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The ABCs of Creativity: Practice

That’s all this stuff is… It’s just practice, you know, and you continue to practice.

Tim Perkins at Malta Comic Con 2015

You were creative once. School, authority figures, and a system that punishes mistakes and failures, while rarely rewarding those who create, beat it out of you – or rather, it beat the belief that you are creative out of you. But that’s where your ascendancy in creativity starts: Believe you are creative and start practicing. Creativity is a skill. Some people have more talent at it, but everyone can become more creative. All it takes is practice.

Practice your problem-solving skills, look for more than one solution, even if you find one that will work, go an extra two or three steps and find more ways to solve the same problem. The more solutions you come up with, the more likely you are to hit on one that will be better than the others. However, even if your first solution is the best, you’ll have explored other options and exercised your creative muscle.

Practice coming up with ideas. Keep the idea process flowing, track them, and make the ideas important. Then choose one to implement. While you’re implementing the idea, don’t stop coming up with new ideas. As long as you track them, they’ll be available when you finish implementing the first idea.

When you do implement that first idea, it won’t be great. It’s not supposed to be great. If this is your first foray into the realm of a creative endeavor, you will probably make mistakes, and the effort will probably fail. That’s okay. It’s like walking when you were a toddler. You probably fell hundreds of times; you’ve probably tripped and possibly fell recently. That didn’t stop you from getting up and going again.

Write every day. Draw every day. Do something creative every day. You will get better at it.

Of course, classes, mentorships and knowledge about your chosen area are essential to being more creative. If your new to physics, you’re not going to know enough to be creative in the field though you could be creative for yourself. Once you have a could base, it’s just practice, practice, practice, even if you’re Allen Iverson.

For more on creativity get “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Order “Penguinate: Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

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