Last Updated on December 25, 2020 by Kelly Thoreson
Do any of these sound like you?
“I’m not a creative person.”
“I am not good enough at writing to make it as a blogger.”
“Some people are artistic, but I have more of a math and science mind.”
“I would like to pursue a creative career, but it’s just not practical.”
Well, guess what, sister?
Your good friend Kelly is calling bullshit on that self-defeating inner narrative.
Point me in the direction of the misguided adult who told 7-year-old you you’re not the creative “type”,
that you weren’t naturally (barf) good at writing,
that you had to choose between math/science and being artistic,
that living the artist’s life was selfish.
Mamma Kelly has some words for them. More importantly, I’ve got some long overdue words for you:
You are an artist.
Inside you lies a creative beast waiting to be unleashed and I’m going to help you break the shackles.
In this post, I will show you how to easily nurture your inner artist so you can write every day and flourish as a blogger.
Let’s do this thing!
The Easy Answer
I promised you an easy answer to the niggling question: how to be more creative, and here it is (it’s a two-parter):
- Allow yourself to believe that you are already a creative person (your artist is in there somewhere, I promise)
- Accept that convincing your inner artist to come out of the deep dark hole you stuffed them in is going to take some cajoling
I’m not talking about drinking the Kool-Aide and joining a nomadic hippy commune. You still get to retain everything that makes you, “you”. Awakening your inner artist means becoming more of who you naturally are, not the other way around.
I’m talking about listening to that little voice inside that is telling you to create something, anything!
All you must do to be more creative is know that you are an innately artistic being and then put in the daily practice to nurture your creativity.
We’re going to cover precisely how to do this below (click here if you must jump straight to it), but first, let’s gain a deeper understanding of our limiting beliefs so we can dismantle them.
Where Our “I’m Not Creative” Narrative Comes From
You may be wondering, if we truly are inherently creative beings, why am I so convinced of the opposite?
As wee children, the “I’m not creative” narrative is not our fault.
*flicking away tears*
This message of either being a born artist or not and that pursing a creative lifestyle is impractical, comes from our caretakers, teachers, coaches, commercials, media, and society as a whole.
On the flip side, as grown-ass adults the continuation of the, “I’m not creative” myth is 100% our fault, if we continue to believe it.
There are lots cultural myths contributing to the atrophy of our collective inner artist that need to be called out, and we are going to focus on the two that I believe hold most back from pursuing a creative career.
I hope you’re ready cause I’m about to start dropping some mics.
Myth #1: You’re Either an Artist or a Scientist
Before we delve into myth #1, let me make my stance on this perfectly clear:
WRITERS ARE MADE, NOT BORN.
As a child I was told by my parents that I was the “creative type”(thank you, mom & dad).
I was also told that I wasn’t the math and science type by society (screw you, grown ups that project their insecurities onto unsuspecting children).
In college, at the ripe age of 25, I finally took a math class from a growth mindset teacher (more on that below) and found that not only do I have a mind for math, but that I am really good at it with copious amounts of practice.
Hmmm, interesting …
How can someone who is not “inherently” good at math get an A in advanced, college-level algebra?
Could it be that the, “you got it or you don’t” narrative we’ve been fed is a steaming pile of horse crap?
Ding ding ding! We have a winner.
Yup. It’s all horse shit. With enough hard work, anyone can be creative. Anyone can be good at math. Anyone can be both.
Myth #2: You Can’t Make Money As a Creative
Arrrrrgh this is such a bald-faced lie!
Like everyone else, I also received a societal message that chasing art as a career is a fool’s mission.
What the world deemed my “natural” talent, was not good enough to carry me through and would lead to a life of poverty.
This idea was so ingrained in my psyche that even as an adult when I accidentally minored in English due to the sheer number of creative writing classes I took for fun, I did not even consider pursuing a writing career.
After all, I had a kiddo to take care of, how could I be so impractical (/selfish/frivolous/reckless)?
Well … as it turns out …
According to Payscale.com, the average hourly wage for a freelance writer is $21.81/hour. That wage, approximately $41k/year is not going to make you rich, but it is also not going to leave you starving.
As per OptinMonster, “Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to have a positive ROI on their efforts.” Thirteen times?! If there was every proof that writing can make money, this is it.
And of course we have all been dazzled by dreamy income reports from other bloggers:
- The Savvy Couple: How We Made $43,547 With Our Blog Last Month
- Adam Enfroy: HOW I EARNED $35,174 THIS MONTH
- Fin Savvy Panda: How I Made $6,790.93 Blogging in January 2019
- Breaking the One Percent: How We Made $347,675 Blogging in Two Months
- Ryan Robinson: How I Earned $39,448.92 Blogging (This Month)
Ummmm. Yeah. Take that, myth #2!
Money can be made as a creative, it’s as simple as that.
Now that you understand that you can learn to be more creative and that making a living doing so is wholly possible, let’s examine what is keeping most people from chasing this dream: the fixed mindset.
Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset
We’re going to get to the nitty-gritty of how to be more creative in a minute.
First, we need to build upon the foundation we set by myth-busting with a firm understanding of fixed vs. growth mindset.
Six years ago, I one-click-purchased a book that would forever shift my thinking. Not to be cliché (I’m going to anyway), but this book changed my life.
Digesting this book created a slight crack in the iceberg that was my limiting beliefs. That crack turned into a gaping chasm, freeing my mind from, “I can’t do that” thinking.
Dr. Dweck is broadly considered one of the world’s top researchers in social and developmental psychology as well as the study of the personality. She posits that there are two mindsets broadly observed: fixed and growth.
The Difference Between Fixed & Growth Mindset
In Mindset: the New Psychology of Success, Dweck offers this synopsis of fixed vs. growth mindset: fixed mindset means that you believe your intelligence, abilities, and skills are just that – fixed. Set in stone. Unchangeable.
“Believing that your qualities are carved in stone – the fixed mindset – creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.”– Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., Mindset: the New Psychology of Success
Growth mindset means believing that intelligence, abilities, and skills can be nurtured and grown with consistent and intentional work.
“The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.”– Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., Mindset: the New Psychology of Success
Let’s look at some examples of both mindsets:
(hover over to Pin):
Once you understand the difference between fixed and growth mindsets, you start to identify them everywhere.
The patterns are crystal clear: those with growth mindset flourish, those with fixed mindset are miserable.
Don’t take my word for it, let’s take a peek at examples of growth mindset heroes as presented in Mindset: the New Psychology of Success and you can decide for yourself!
Examples of Growth Mindset Champions
Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the most talent basketball player of all time, but that wasn’t always the case.
In high school, Jordan was cut from the varsity basketball team.
What did he do? He showed up to practice every day at 6 am before school.
After high school, Jordan wanted to play ball for North Carolina State, but was passed over during recruitment.
He attended the University of North Carolina instead, identified his weaknesses, and practiced for countless hours to remedy them.
And even when he had become the Michael Jordan we know today, the unstoppable badass baller, he never stopped honing his craft, striving to be better. Growth. Mindset.
As a wannabe budding artist, Jackson Polluck was reported to have no innate painting skill whatsoever.
Then how, you may be wondering, did he become Jackson freaking Polluck, world renowned painter of subconscious mind-numbingly beautiful squiggly marks?
He doggedly learned from every artist he could, pestering them and winning them over with his perserverance and enthusiam until they agreed train him.
He worked damn hard and developed his own, iconic and revolutionary style.
Jackson loved the idea of being an artist so much that nothing could stand in his way.
What the Growth Mindset Means for Creativity
Okay, I’ve proven my point: fixed mindset sucks and growth mindset is where it’s at.
Now what the hell does this have to do with how to be more creative?
In Mindset, Dr. Dweck speaks on a case study performed by Betty Edwards. Edwards chronicled the progression of students in a basic drawing class. Showing the striking difference between their self portraits at the beginning of the course and their self portraits just five days later:
Does this teacher have magical pixie dust she sprinkles in the budding artists’ tea?
Maybe, but she also understood that anyone can draw if given the basic instruction on how to do so.
Yes, some lucky ducks have an innate ability to draw what they see, but the other ducks can easily catch up once they know what to look for.
What this means is that creativity can be developed.
What this means for you as a blogger is that your writing skills can grow.
There is not a cap on how beautifully you can compose, no limit on how well you can organize your thoughts on paper, no restriction on how persuasive your copy writing can become.
Alright, you’ve hung in there long enough, it’s time for the coup de grace: actionable steps you can take to be more creative (with ease).
(Exactly) How to Be More Creative
One of the most common struggles I hear from new bloggers is content creation, or the lack thereof. And lemme tell you, if you’re not creating content, you’re going no where as a blogger real quick.
The path to prying open your creativity is simultaneously deliberate and free-flowing.
Yes, it takes dedication and daily practice.
On the flip side, the more you give to your artistic endeavors and continue to show up, the easier it becomes.
The easiest way to be more creative, is to show up every day and practice. Just like Michael Jordan, just like Jackson Polluck.
Let’s start your creative journey today, together, so you can start publishing knock-out content on a regular basis with the 3 actionable steps below.
3 Actionable Steps to Becoming More Creative as a Blogger
#1: Stick to a DAILY Writing Routine
This is hands down the most important step. If you can only pick one strategy to implement, pick this one.
The sooner you begin writing every day, the easier your blogging life will be.
You don’t have to be writing blog posts every day, you just need to be writing something to hone your writing skills and get in the habit of composing.
I promise, if you practice writing every day, you will:
- Write posts faster
- Come up with post ideas easier
- Find your writing flow state more often
- Enjoy the writing process more (because it’s not an agonizing struggle the whole time)
#2: KNOW That You Are a Creative Person
Mindset, mindset, mindset. There is nothing that the right mindset cannot fix.
I want you to agree with me, out loud, right now that you are a creative person.
Say it: “I am a creative person.”
Because, you are.
There is an unstoppable creative tidal wave inside each and every one of us.
KNOW that it is there.
BELIEVE that your creative opening is inevitable.
ALLOW it to flow with ease.
Kick start your unwavering belief in your inner artist with this 7 minute creativity affirmation video:
#3: Tell Fear to Shove Off
Just because Carol Dweck planted the seed of being able to do anything, doesn’t mean my 27 years of self-doubt were undone in an instant.
Making stuff and publishing it on the internet is scary.
As bloggers, we tap into our inner most thoughts and then go, “here, strangers of the world – give me your feedback on my SOUL!”.
Fear and creation go hand in hand. The fear will always be there, but you don’t have to give it any control.
Accepting that being creative is scary, that it’s okay to be scared and doing it anyway is going to get you a long way in your writing and all other facets of blogging.
Just like writing, the more you practice conquering your fears, the easier it becomes.
As a blogger, your ability to tap into your creative well is crucial to your success.
The longer you wait to learn how to become more creative and develop a solid writing routine, the more difficult your blogging career will be.
Imagine writing posts with ease, every day, and enjoying it! How much better would your blogging life be?
Don’t wait another day, now is the time to open yourself up creatively so you can publish like a BOSS!
What is your favorite way to get in the creative zone? Leave your answer in the comments below!
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