Explore Your Secret Selves to Be More Creative

by Liisa Kyle, Ph.D. on 07/04/2012

image via commons.wikimedia.org

Wanna be more creative?  Want to tap into your creativity in a deeper way?  Whether you’re in the throes of mad, passionate creative expression…or finding yourself in a creative rut…or, more likely, somewhere in between, you can boost your creativity by understanding more about yourself.

Here are some fun ways to discover more about yourself and your talents, adapted from Julia Cameron’s Vein of Gold:

1.  What were your favorite childhood books?  Write down as many as you can think of.

2.  What were your favorite movies as a youth? Write down as many as you can think of.

3.  Now, go back through your two lists.  What themes do you see?

4.  Grab a bunch of magazines you are ready to recycle.  Set a timer for twenty minutes.  As fast as you can, flip through the magazines.  Rip out whatever images resonate with you.  Don’t analyze or edit, just pull out whatever strikes your fancy.

Once the timer goes off, go through the images you’ve selected and sort them into piles of similar images.  What groupings do you see?  Any surprises?

In my case, for example, I was surprised to find an unexpected pile of images depicting ‘nature’ or ‘jungle’ or ‘animals’.  I mean, sure I’m an animal lover — I foster dogs and am a lifelong vegetarian, for heavens sake  — but what was with all the exotic wildlife and safari images?  There was something there — a strong connection of which I had been ignorant.

5.  Now, clear some time to compare the results of all these activities. What do they say about you?  Who are you, deep down?  Who are your ‘secret selves’?

Some selves won’t be so secret.  You probably already know if you’re a ‘scientist’ or a ‘stripper’ at heart.  An ‘athlete’ or an ‘adventurer’.

But some selves will surprise you.  Gosh, who knew I harbored an  inner nun / cowboy / nerd / fashion model?

Once you bring these lesser known, lesser expressed selves to light, you can have fun with them.  You can use them to inspire or inform your creative work.   You can depict them via different talents and different media.  You can revisit older projects with fresh eyes.  You can jump-start stalled projects.

Okay, my sci fi novel isn’t going so well.  Maybe it’s a western. What if my inner cowpoke was the main character?

This marketing copy is stale.  Maybe my inner teenage brat can breathe some fresh life into it.

One of the joys of creativity is that it is, literally, limitless.  The more you express it, the more creativity you generate.  By identifying your secret selves, you will have that many new touchstones to energize your creative work.


donecoverWant more tips and techniques on getting things done?  Check out my book  YOU CAN GET IT DONE:  Choose What to do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish.  Available here for only $3.99: http://bit.ly/YouCanGetItDone




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Are you struggling with too many talents, skills, ideas? You may have The DaVinci Dilemma™! Find tools, fun quizzes, coaching, inspiration and solutions for multi-talented people at http://www.davincidilemma.com/ .




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