Creativity is Not Just a Trait, It’s a Habit

commitment creativity writer Jul 05, 2017

Notes from the Broadcast

I read a great blog today by Srinivas Mayo in The Mission on titled “Showing Up is the Secret to Progress in Just about Everything.”

I felt inspired by this concept. I learned first hand, when I made writing part of my daily practice. I discovered a side affect… I became a better writer. That made me stop resisting the writing process, and enjoy the feeling of producing good work.

In unlocking this principle, I asked myself if I could use that concept in different ways… could I get better in my professional life by working on becoming more creatively accountable?

In a world where things can be outsourced, creativity is more important than ever. Creativity is necessary in any job! No matter what you’re doing!

Srinivas Mayo says in his article, “But look at the body of work of any prolific creative, and a certain pattern will emerge:

For example:

Photographers are always taking pictures
Writers are always writing
Painters are always painting
Musicians are always singing

If there’s anything that this makes clear, it’s that creativity is a habit, not a trait. It’s not something that certain people are born with and other people lack. Unlike a trait, a habit is something that must be cultivated and refined on a regular basis.

Here are some tips for developing this habit:

  1. Allocate time for Creativity Every Day
    Little things done repeatedly lead to big changes in our lives. By allocating time for our creativity every day it goes from being an item on a to-do list to a habit. I schedule as much as I can on my calendar to make it a critical ingredient to flow and deep work. Consistency results in more creativity, and your cumulative output matters more than any individual piece of work. When you allocate time every day for creativity, you’ll end up with unexpected outcomes that exceed many of your expectations.

  2. Master Your Craft
    There are two reasons to master your craft. Passion follows engagement and meaning follows mastery. When you start to dance on the edges of mastery, a creative habit or activity becomes much more engaging. As a result, you’ll be intrinsically motivated and passionate about the activity. And all of this will lead to greater levels of meaning in your work.

  3. Commit to Building a Body of Work
    The author, Mayo, says a body of work is more valuable than a resume because:
    1. You own it
    2. It’s lifelong o It helps you build valuable skills
    3. It’s more rewarding than a resume
    4. It gives people a reason to find you interesting

A body of work is not something that is by chance, it’s committed habitual activity.

For any serious creator, a body of work is going to be the work that defines your life. Making a commitment and forming habits is the beginning of forming the next part of our lives. It includes creating:

  • Rituals
  • Routines
  • Improving skills
  • Connecting with others

Srinivas Mayo says” Unlike outcomes and external goals, habits are entirely within our control.” Isn’t it time to develop the discipline to do the things that are your heart’s desire? That, in fact is what makes creativity come alive. The Commitment, the rituals, the repetition.

Creativity is not a trait. It’s habit. Another author I follow, Stephen Pressfield, who wrote the Legend of Baggar Vance and other inspirational books on writing says: “Get your butt in the chair and do the work… that’s when you become a pro.”

I don’t know about you, but I know when I created a ritual around my writing, that’s when it all opened up for me. Today I have 4 books…. A fifth on the way, and now articles in Huffington Post and Thrive Global. It didn’t come by wishing, it came by committing.

I promise you can fulfill your dreams if you make a commitment and a habit of the dream that is coming alive in you right now.

Get started on your Creativity commitment by downloading my Checklist for the Creative Mindset!