As any creative professional will tell you, some creative jobs are harder than others. While creativity can flow easily and freely on one project, it might be severely stalled on another. Some people like to blame the difference on something uncontrollable: the terms of the project, or whether or not their muse is online on any given day. But in reality, the power of creating with ease is available to all of us at any time, if we just know how to tap into it.
What does it mean to “create with ease?”
When I think of creating with ease, I think of flow, the psychological state that occurs when you’re intensely involved in work that is enjoyable and pleasantly challenging. When you’re in flow, the work feels almost effortless—not because it isn’t hard, but because you’re more than up for the challenge. Flow often causes people to lose track of time as they become fully absorbed in work they love.
Creating with ease is like this. You feel willing, you feel capable, and you feel creative.
Why there is power in creating with ease
Being in flow is creating with ease, and there’s power in it—not only because it will improve the quality of your work, but also because it will improve your creative abilities.
When you tap into your power to create with ease…
- Ideas flow freely. You’re able to come up with more, and more creative, ideas. The pressure is off and you’re simply enjoying creating for creating’s sake.
- Your next step is clear. Creating with ease means not getting stalled or stuck. When you create with ease, you know where you’re going and what you need to do to get there. (Or, if the next step isn’t crystal clear, you’re still willing and able to move forward and work on the problem until you do have a clear path forward.)
- You feel excited, motivated, and in control. Creating with ease helps you feel excited about creating. You feel motivated to keep going and to work through the hard parts. And what’s more, you feel capable of doing just that. You claim control over your creativity.
- You build confidence. When creating feels easy, you build confidence in yourself and in the project. You’re able to stretch and build your creative muscles while also feeling confident that you’re doing your best work.
When you’re unable to create with ease…
- You feel discouraged. It can start to feel like you aren’t a creative person, or you aren’t qualified to work on that particular project.
- You get stuck. The work gets stalled, possibly over and over again, because you aren’t always sure of the direction you’re moving in.
- You dread going to work. It’s difficult to get yourself to start working when you know you’re going to have to inch your way through. When you can’t access the power of creating with ease, you start to have a sense of dread surrounding the project.
Once creatives have experienced the power of creating with ease, they want to experience again and again. But exactly how can you do that?
How to create with ease
As I said before, some people think the “ease” of a given creative project is up to chance. Creativity might come easily if you’re given the “right” material to work with, or if your creative energy is particularly strong that day. But there are some things you can do to tap into your power of creating with ease.
Believe it’s possible
You’ll never be able to do anything if you don’t first believe that it’s possible. It’s vital that you convince yourself that the power of creating with ease is inside of you, and that you are capable of accessing it on your own. Of course, this can be hard to do if you’re facing a project that feels overwhelming, daunting, or just plain impossible. Try reframing your thoughts to be more positive and self-encouraging. This chart might help:
|Instead of thinking…||Try thinking…|
|“This is too hard.”|
“I can’t do this.”
“I shouldn’t be working on this.”
|“This will be a challenge.”|
“I’ve never done this before, but I’ll try.”
“I wonder what skills I could bring to the table that will benefit this project.”
You can’t go into something unprepared and expect it to be easy. A little preparation can go a long way when it comes to accessing your power to create with ease.
Being prepared doesn’t necessarily mean you have to know exactly what you’re going to do when you sit down to work. You don’t have to know what the finished product is going to look like, or exactly the process you’re going to follow. If you do, that’s great! But I’m talking more about being mentally prepared for the act of creating.
That means making sure you are physically, emotionally, and mentally ready to access your most creative self. This preparation will look a little different for everyone. For me, it means a bottle of water, my phone turned off, and a pad of paper and a pen at hand for jotting down ideas.
Get to know yourself. What sets you up for creating with ease?
Know your craft
Along with being prepared, there’s also usually an amount of knowledge and experience that comes before you can create with ease.
The best way to get these things? Patience and practice. Give yourself time to learn a new skill or to fine tune the skills you already have. Be patient with yourself as you grow. Recognize that even if something feels hard now, with enough desire and effort, you’ll eventually be able to handle those tasks with ease.
Fit creating into your life
One of the best ways to access the power of creating with ease is to invite it by making time for it. Many creatives I know resist schedules and calendars; they create when they feel like creating. The problem with that is that creating leads to creativity, which leads to more creating. But if that cycle isn’t ever started, it can’t keep going.
Here’s what I’ve found in my years of work with creative professionals: the ones with the most success are the ones that give structure to their creative processes.
That doesn’t mean you have to create a rigid schedule that you stick to no matter what. But it does mean that “creating with ease” might come more naturally if you explicitly fit creating into your life.
This could mean:
- Scheduling set times for creative work every day
- Knowing the time of day you’re at your most creative
- Identifying things that inspire you and working them into your life
- Setting aside time for meditation, rest, or other things that invite creative thinking
- Setting time-bound goals that push you to do creative work before a specific deadline
When your life is set up to accommodate creativity, creating comes easier.
Look for inspiration everywhere
One thing that keeps people from accessing their power to create with ease is their perceived lack of inspiration. I say “perceived” because the truth is, inspiration can be found anywhere, as long as you look for it.
One of the things I love most about creatives is that they are inspired by anything and everything: nature, music, people, art, strangers—even a good meal or a walk around your neighborhood can invite inspiration if you’re open to it.
The more inspiration you invite into your life, the more you’ll be able to create with ease. Instead of waiting for inspiration to come to you out of nowhere, you make space for it and go searching for it. Collect inspiration; it will always make creating easier.
The power of creating with ease is within all of us, but we don’t always tap into like we can and should. If you can learn to access this power when you need it, you’ll be empowering yourself to live the creative life you’ve always wanted to live.
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