The Surprising Secret to Unlocking Your Creativity
While you may have heard of brilliant minds retreating into periods of solitude and somehow emerging with a masterpiece, that’s probably the exception rather than the norm. It’s much more likely, in fact, that these creatives achieved their success with a lot of feedback, idea-sharing, and behind-the-scenes support.
Take it from the greats—not only did J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis regularly meet up in Oxford’s local pubs as part of the “Inklings” writing group to discuss and refine classics like The Lord of the Rings that we’ve all come to love, but they also constantly drew inspiration and critique from each other.
When so much of our concentration is focused on the end product, it’s easy to forget that, often, everything you do is actually a work in progress. And not sharing something until it’s complete could be stunting your creative potential more than you know.
David Burkus of 99U expands on this, saying:
“Instead of building a platform and showing something off to the whole world at the click of a mouse, many of us need to rebuild a safe place where we can display our work to a small group of trusted colleagues, get feedback, and refine…or abandon as needed...While we can broadcast our work to the entire world, perhaps we all need to first carve out a space in our life to broadcast on a much smaller scale to a trusted group of folks we respect. We’ll need their criticism first and we’ll need their support long afterward.”
If you’re overcoming any kind of creative hurdle or want to take your work to the next level, it may make sense to give a creative support group a try—meeting up with fellow inspired bloggers or tech enthusiasts is a great way to bounce ideas off each other. It might be just what you need to get your project to the next level—or to find the inkling of inspiration you’ve been missing.
Photo of group courtesy of Shutterstock.
Before joining The Muse, Sarah worked in social business innovation for Virgin Unite in London, strategy and innovation at Market Gravity, sustainability research in the Dominican Republic, and business development for a NYC startup. Wrapping up her time at Columbia University, she’s headed to McKinsey & Company after graduation. Say hi on Twitter @sarahlichang.More from this Author