Growing Creativity

Something we all need to know. Not necessarily for our just our writing but for all aspects of ourselves:

bigstock-Creativityby Venture Visuals


A few months ago I was packing for a climbing trip. As I was sorting through gear I grabbed my camera and after hesitating for a second, I thought “Do I really want to work on this trip?” I realized then that something terrible was happening. My brain was beginning to associate creativity with work and the daily grind! As the Director of Photography at Venture Visuals, it is essential that I be working creatively. However, just because creativity is a part of my craft doesn’t mean that my zeal for creating should be diminished.

Like most creative professionals, you probably got into your field because you love what you do. Up to the point of pursuing it professionally, you were free to create for yourself. The challenge with working in any creative field ‘professionally’ (whether it’s graphic design, writing, photography, etc.) is this: Now you are suddenly creating for others under tight deadlines with a lot of outside direction. This isn’t a bad thing (I would actually argue that it’s ultimately beneficial for your growth as an artist), but it is different from creating for yourself. This position forces you to be creative out of necessity – and if you’re not careful, being forcefully creative can be mentally exhausting.


‘Doing what you love, and loving what you do’ can be paradoxical. When you’re forced to ‘perform’ with your craft, your natural passion and creative guidance can be diluted. Burnout – we’ve all experienced it in one form or another, and that’s exactly what I was beginning to experience that day as I was packing for my climbing trip.

For me this reinforced one very significant idea. An idea that I’ver heard several times expressed in various ways – ‘The importance of personal projects in maintaining creativity’. The concept is this: Personal projects provide for you an outlet to rediscover your love of whatever creative field you are involved in… not as a profession, but as a passion. These personal projects should not be just another thing on your professional to-do list, they should be reserved for free time – that very time you would spend reading a good book, going on a hike, or spending an afternoon at the beach.

Here are 3 tips I apply in my own life to help foster creativity and avoid burnout:

  1. Personal Work
  2. The 20 % Rule
  3. Finding Inspiration

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