Personal Creative Strategy

For as long as I can remember I have always loved being creative. The idea of making movies, video games, and board games was always more exciting than watching or playing those same things. For a long time I would take notes and store them away in a notebook or in a Google Drive document. I would have ideas or I would make proof of concepts and then they would fall into a black hole where they would never see the light of day.

A while back I decided to think more about this. I came up with a personal strategy for my hobbies and various creative endeavors. My goals were to make the things that I create shareable instead of letting them be hidden away forever. Secondly I wanted to make my creativity public in order to force me to actually finish the things I started. Lastly I wanted my creativity to be free and yet directed. I did not want to pre commit to something that I was not sure that I would want to continue and yet I wanted to be able to discover what I spend a lot of creative energy on and then commit to that.

The process I discovered for this involves three stages: create, distribute, and develop.

The first step is the primary creative step. This could come in many forms but lately for me this usually comes in the form of non fiction writing, health and nutrition related reflections, or web development side projects. In the past it would end at that. I would write down something that I came up with or do some small side project and it would end there. Now however I continue this through various avenues for sharing the ideas.

The next step is a blog, podcast, or some other form of sharing what I created. At this step I have some preliminary ideas that I want to share. I use this blog as a way to publicly store away these ideas. So instead of the idea coming to a short death in a folder on my computer or on a shelf in my office the idea at the very least has the capability of being shared. Now keep in mind I don't really care at the moment how many people see the idea. Instead this is simply a means for me to "store away" the idea in a public way so that I can easily share it with people if the opportunity arises. Also this forces me to formulate the idea or project in a way that makes sense to others as well as my future self.

So we have covered the creative step and the distribution step. The final step is finding the common theme in my creative desires and focusing the efforts on a project. This is a much longer process. It involves discovering what I really want to commit my time to. The idea is that over time I can channel some portion of my creative efforts in one direction and develop skills which may lead to unforeseen opportunities in the future. This takes the directionless wandering of steps 1 and 2 and attempts to find a direction for it. The first two steps are process oriented and this final step adds a goal oriented mindset on top of that. I believe this distinction is key. Focusing on processes first will give rise naturally to goals that are a good fit for you. This allows me to discover what I naturally spend my time doing instead of attempting to know that ahead of time.

This process allows me to be creative, share what I create, build new skills, and direct my efforts in the long term without limiting myself in the short term.

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