Here you stand on a bare beach, so much sand, and you can see the castle you intend to build clearly in your mind. You’ve planned out exactly how you are going to build it, but as anyone could tell you, what you see in your mind right now probably won’t end up being what comes to fruition. It’s time to talk about the second half of the creative process, the part where you get your hands dirty, or in this case... sandy. (Before you go any further, make sure you've already read Part I of this blog, which you can find here!)
Start Building (Get to Work)
When it comes to any specific craft, there are tips and tricks unique to it. People will spend decades perfecting their techniques in any given creative field, but there is some overarching advice that is applicable to any creative endeavor. Creative work rarely comes easily, but here are some small tips to help you work as efficiently as you can to meet your deadline.
Figure out what time of day you are most creative. Everyone has a different time of day when their creative juices get moving. Pay attention to what time of day your mind typically starts to wander and your imagination catches fire. If you can discern a pattern, that’s the time of day you should work most concertedly on whatever project it is you are working on.
Remove yourself from distraction. That means your phone, social media, television, or anything that can yank you out of your work. Distraction is not only a killer of creativity, but it is a driver of procrastination, and can easily drain you of any motivation to get anything done.
Learn how to unlock your state of flow. Both of the aforementioned tips contribute towards what has been called “flow.” This is a state of deep concentration that anyone can unlock. While removing distractions and figuring out what time of day you are most creative contribute to this, there are other things each person can do to get into the zone. You might play a certain type of music, or have a glass of wine. Everyone is different, so figure out what gets you into your flow to help you get your sandcastle built.
Reshape (Adapt or Revise)
As mishaps, mistakes, or changes in circumstance come along, don’t be afraid to deviate from your original plan. A lot of times, when you are in the middle of working, you’ll get new directions from a client, or you’ll find yourself wondering if there isn’t a better way to do something now that your hands are getting sandy. Take this as an opportunity to make your work better!
And then there are instances where you just messed up. The best thing to do in those moments is to figure out how and why things didn’t go according to plan. Was it an oversight? Was there a fault in the plan, or did your hand just slip? Figuring out where you went wrong is an integral part in becoming better. We all learn from our mistakes, but it is our job to make sure that we learn the right thing.
On the other hand, there are such things as happy accidents. Sometimes you’ll find that you like your sandcastle after a mistake was made, or you’ll find that the mistake allowed you to re-do something, and make a better product after the fact. Optimism is your best friend in the creative process, and it’s important that you hold onto those silver linings.
Behold! The most magnificent sandcastle to grace these shores! I bet that measly lump of grit the kids managed to pile up looks absolutely insignificant next to your majesty, especially since you followed the creative process laid out in this blog. And in the sandy halls of your sandy fortress, these two documents shall be enshrined, so that no man shall ever forget how it was built.
Haven't subscribed to our blog yet? Click below to never miss an update!
CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).