Friday, July 20, 2007

Guest Article: The Myth Of Creative Freedom

"Creative Freedom" is a phrase that at first sounds like the ultimate goal to strive for.

Free to create whatever we want to create, free from restrictions and pressures and demands. Free from limitations put on us by ourselves and by others. Free from anything and everything that might restrict our creativity.


Except it doesn’t quite work like that...

What happens when we have this complete freedom is not that our creativity flows with the might and volume of the Amazon River.

In fact you might be lucky to even get a trickle with the force of a pinhole in a hosepipe.

So what happens, what goes wrong?

Why does the promise of so much freedom actually restrict our creativity, often to the point of complete standstill?

Quite simply, we become overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with possibilities, overwhelmed with choice.

Which medium should I create in? What materials shall I use? How big is the project going to be? What’s it going to be about? What themes will run through it? Where do I START?

Plus a hundred thousand other variables marching through your head as relentlessly as hungry ants who’ve just caught the scent of a family picnic.

Contrary to what we think - and what might be the sensible, logical conclusion – when we start to put a few boundaries in place, we actually give our creativity the go ahead to get busy.

Let me give a personal example if I may:

I used to record music using an electric guitar, a small amp, a microphone and a 4 track cassette recorder. I had big ambitions to create deep, complex, ”sonic soundscapes”.

I had to be very inventive to get the layers and sounds I wanted in the music.

This included recording then flipping the tape over and record the next layer backwards, swinging the microphone from a light fitting to get the effects of the music coming closer then farther away, and physically “manipulating” the guitar (ie banging and shaking it with varying amounts of force!) to get the different sounds I wanted.

It was great fun! And a very creative period of time.

Later on I got a multi-effects pedal and computer software that did everything but make you a cup of tea and a sandwich. (It probably did this too, I didn’t read past about chapter 5 of the 65 chapter manual).

I did go on to create more sophisticated tracks. But something was lost. And it didn’t feel as “hands on and dirty” as creating in those early days.

The point is, the fewer options we give ourselves, the more creative we HAVE to be.

Sometimes it’s about defining the boundaries we think are going to stimulate our creativity and force us to take it to another level that are most important. Not how many knobs and filters and effects our equipment has.

What project can you take on today to get back to basics and “hands on and dirty” with YOUR creativity?

Pick something that needs the minimum of equipment, approach it like you’re creating for the first time, finding your way around and learning as you go.

It’s a great exercise in getting back in touch with your core creativity.

Take the next step to increase your creativity today. Get your FREE copy of Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin’s powerful and practical "Explode Your Creativity!" Action Workbook when you sign up to the FREE twice monthly ezine “Create Create!”. Visit the website now:

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