I have always taken excessive pride in saying that ‘creative ideas’ jump into my head automatically.
I have seen a lot of people burning themselves to get one good idea. They watch videos, read books, and listen to some cliché advice just so they can also imagine a world of ‘out of the box’ creative ideas.
But the question is why do some people have to try so hard while others seem to be blessed?
Let’s explore the answer then.
Growing up, people used to call me ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ because I was not good at studies. I used to barely get past the exams. And when we used to get those summer assignments, I was always looking to hide my face. My classmates used to come up with some really creative assignments while I couldn’t. Even when I tried to copy their assignment, I would create nothing but trash.
And that’s how I made a belief in my mind that I can’t be creative. I used to think so because growing up I was being told that creativity is for intelligent people, and as a ‘dumb-ass’, I knew it was not for me.
However, you can see the change now. I have written a book that everyone loved. I am working on my second book and I cannot wait to write more in the future.
In fact, whenever I wish to write an article on Medium, I don’t have to try hard to come up with a title. I open Medium and tadaa..title automatically comes up as if I already knew what I wanted to write.
The question is what changed? How did I become more creative even when I was dumb?
I don’t claim that there is only one final-fixed answer to this transformation. I believe many things collectively made me the person I am today.
But if I look back and analyze my life, here are 3 things that I believe made me more creative. If you apply these 3 pieces of advice, I am sure you will end up searching for my name to ‘thank me.’ Okay, I like to be dramatic but let’s jump to these 3 creativity lessons:
1. Junk In-Junk Out:
I know. I know what you are thinking. And you may think yet another cliché advice but hey, listen to me for a minute? (okay read me for a bit)
As I told you, creativity wasn’t my thing even till my second year of college. However, in 2020 when Covid-19 happened, I picked a book randomly. I decided to read it because I was bored but that book was so good that it pushed me to read more books.
So, it’s safe to say that in 2020 I read my first novel and to this day, I have read more than 200 books.
See, I take excessive pride in saying that when my other friends and classmates were scrolling TikTok, I was reading books on my phone. And now, I am sure you are smart enough to connect the dots.
For almost 1 year, I was so addicted to books that I would barely use any social media platforms. I used to read for hours, lost in a world that only the author and I knew existed.
And that made me more creative. Believe it or not, you will produce what you consume.
For example; It’s scientifically proven that when you eat healthy food, your skin glows and you stay young. Why? Because what you consume reflects on the outside.
The similar is true for our brains as well. Your brain or anyone else’s brain didn’t come with predetermined information. It was clean as water. If you add salt to the water, the water will become salty. If you add sugar to the water, the water will become sweet. If you add any color to the water, the water will change its color.
The same is true for your brain. Whatever you add to your brain, your brain will transform into that.
So, if you are blaming God for not making you creative, stop that. Analyze your life and ask yourself what you feed your brain with. Do you spend your time watching reels/TikTok or do you read/watch/listen to something related to your field?
When people say, you are so lucky that you could come with your book’s idea. Do you know what I think?
I think that, yes, I am lucky that I read more than 200 books and now, those stories connected some dots and I could come up with an idea while I was peeing.
So, first thing first, understand your brain. Feed your brain with good things. Don’t let your brain be a Dustin where you can throw any type of cheap content. Treat your brain like a luxury. Feed it with what you want to produce.
One thing that I will advise you to do is read books. I have an app called, Shortform on my phone. This app features all the bestselling books and you can read the summary of any book from anywhere. When I feel bored, or when I am waiting in a queue, or when I am in the metro, I open this app and start reading a book of my choice. I will highly recommend you to get this for yourself. Here, ShortForm.
2. Stop The Input:
It might sound a little contrary to what I have just recommended but bear with me for another minute.
Over the past few weeks, it’s getting a little tough to come up with the kind of titles that I used to write earlier. Not only that, I started working on my second book a few days back but even when I am on it, I cannot focus.
I feel ashamed to say that I have been addicted to social media since I launched my first book. During the launch of the first book, I was taking a short break, and that break transformed into an addiction. For the first hour in the morning, I scroll reels. Then my eyes hurt and I abandon my phone. Then again, I open social media to check the updates just to waste another 30 minutes. The cycle goes on until it’s time to sleep.
I can clearly see the difference of this addiction in my work. How?
Well, first thing, the input is trash. Obviously.
And more importantly, you have to stop the input to create the output. That’s how it works.
If you keep feeding your brain with something all the time then you are leaving no room for your brain to digest that information. It’s proven that your brain needs time to process that information. And when there is no gap, it all becomes a mess in the brain. That’s the reason why some people feel tired all the time and why they cannot focus and why creativity seems to be far from their reach.
So, what can you do?
Well, firstly, feed good information to your brain. And don’t feed your brain anything mindlessly. What do I mean?
I mean that when you read a book/article, your brain is actively taking participation in it. Trying to read the words, then imagining the scenarios and finally understanding the meaning. The brain is doing the required exercise. That’s why I suggested you get Shortform on your mobile.
However, mindless scrolling makes your brain dead and lazy. That’s the reason focusing on your work becomes another task.
And secondly, give your brain the time to digest what you read. For example; after reading this article, don’t jump on another one. Take your time to make a summary in your mind.
When I initially started writing on Medium, my titles used to be like this ‘7 benefits of reading books’
I cannot imagine writing on such a robotic topic but there was a time when that was the best topic for me.
The change came from practice. I have written more than 220 articles on Medium.
I don’t want to stretch this unnecessarily. The point is simple, you don’t become creative in one day nor do creative ideas start jumping in your head one fine day when you have done enough practice.
It’s the process.
I don’t know when did my articles become better and when writing became joyful to me. But I do know that I wrote every day for the past 365 days. That’s practice.
And whatever your field is, be it writing or any other, what you need is practice. If you are waiting for that one day when you will be perfect, you will end up waiting even in your grave.
I am telling you this from experience. In my initial articles, you will find a lot of grammatical mistakes. But did I stop? Nope.
The lucky people make the choice of doing the same work until the world starts calling them lucky or talented. Now, the choice is in your hands.
To sum up this article, I will ask you to do 3 things:
a) Consume healthy content.
b) Give your brain time to digest the information.
c) Practice a lot.
And do yourself a favor. Get yourself Shortform. You can read books in the app on your mobile, laptop, kindle, or even iPad.
Now, bye-bye. I am off to work on my second book. Till then, you can buy my first book. here.