This is part 1 of a 12 day blog series called “12 Steps You Must Take To Get Into Creative Flow Whenever You Want” or the more seasonal “The 12 Days of Creativeness”.
Why are you reading this?
My guess is you’re looking for information which (you hope) will give you the knowledge you need to learn how to get into the peak state of creative flow at will.
But both and information and knowledge are useless without the wisdom to use it.
If you’re anything like me you’re inundated with more new information every day. And good information or not, unless you’re very careful you won’t have the time or space to use it.
You don’t need more information! But you do need more wisdom.
So when I decided to write this blog series I had a problem. How do I teach you what I’ve discovered about inspiration and creative flow without it becoming yet another piece of useless information?
Unfortunately I don’t have the power to determine how you use the information or knowledge I’m about to give you. The only way I can do that is in a one to one coaching context.
But by starting this 12 day series with my best ideas on how to locate and engage your innate wisdom, I’ll have done what I can to give you the kind of help you can use.
Think Creatively About Creative Thinking
Why do so many music production courses, tutorials and so much “how to” advice take such a left-brained approach to creative work?
It might be that today’s technology plays such a big role in the average musician’s daily life that we assume we have to focus on the “1s and 0s” to be any good.
But I’m not so interested in the 1s and 0s. The 1s and 0s are just the tools, the medium.
The 1s and 0s don’t give you shivers down your spine. The 1s and 0s don’t make you laugh, cry and everything in between. The 1s and 0s don’t remind you of a past love or give you hope for the future.
No, that comes from somewhere else. So why not use that same part of our brain, body or soul to think about and learn your craft?
I want you to take a more creative approach to creative thinking. I want you to remember what it’s like to be a child again. I want you to use your imagination, because that’s where the magic lies. The same kind of magic you’re trying to create in your music.
So what exactly do I mean by “think creatively about your creative thinking”?
In one sentence:
Don’t just imagine, dream and create your music, do the same with your creative process, your work and your life.
Forget Your Need To Know “How To” At First
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
In the next 12 days my aim is to provide you with as much value as I can. But unlike most other places offering advice most of it won’t be “how to”.
I know (and most successful people) know that your success doesn’t come from the “how to”. It comes from the “what”, the “why” and the “what if”.
This is also the most difficult part. If you’re struggling to get to the next level with your music it’s most likely because you’re caught up in the “how to” and haven’t spent enough time thinking about what I will teach you in the next 12 days.
Because when you’ve taken the time and considerable effort it takes to get into the right place mentally, you’ll find the “how to” naturally falls into place.
So if you find yourself getting impatient or frustrated with what you might think is a waste of time, just remember that the “how to” will look after itself after this mental preparation.
Trust The Process
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
I know some of my methods won’t appeal to everyone.
Some are too set in the traditional ways of learning that they’ve become comfortable with at school or university. That’s fine. I’m not here to make you comfortable, I’m here to help you if you want it.
I have your best interests in my mind and heart. If some of what I tell you seems a little out there, just go with it – you’re not losing anything by keeping your mind open.
Just know that most of the successful people I have studied, met or modelled employ these strategies either consciously or unconsciously. And it is these strategies that make them successful.
Learn To Use Your Intuition
“I can make up my mind about people and ideas in sixty seconds. I rely more on gut instinct than thick reports.” – Richard Branson
Imagine you could access every memory and everything you’ve ever learnt. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Well you can – by using your intuition.
Most high flyers in all walks of life talk about using their intuition or “gut instinct” to make important decisions.
This is your unconscious, the part of your mind that has access to everything you’ve experienced. Learn to notice it, act on it and you will rarely be wrong.
Unfortunately your intuition won’t communicate with you in the most obvious way. And you might not be used to noticing it.
“I have trusted to my intuition to find the subjects, and I have written intuitively. I have an idea when I start, I have a shape; but I will fully understand what I have written only after some years.” – V. S. Naipaul
Here’s a simple technique I used to start to listen to my intuition. I got it from Robert G. Allen.
I want you to remember the last time you knew something was right but didn’t know why. You had no concrete evidence, you just knew.
Describe that feeling. Where is it in your body? In your head? Chest? Stomach? What does it look like? It might not be a feeling. It might be a voice or a picture.
Now you’ve described it you’ll be able to recognise it again. Practise paying attention to your intuition.
You might not believe it yet, but you already have all the answers you’ll ever need right there.
Don’t Worry About The Right Answers. Just Ask The Right Questions.
“Understanding a question is half an answer.” – Socrates
Confusion is a great state to be in.
A confused mind is open to many possibilities that a certain mind isn’t. Confusion also comes before before understanding. Be comfortable in your confusion.
More specifically, through this process your conscious mind will naturally want to answer all the questions that pop into your head immediately.
“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” – Lloyd Alexander
Try to ignore your conscious mind. Just be comfortable with and concentrate on asking the right questions.
The answers will come.