If you want to be more creative, practice

“Solving problems is a practical art, like swimming or playing the piano. You can learn it only by imitation and practice.” – George Polya

If you want to be a better artist you start by making art. To be a writer you have to write, day-in and day-out. The same for being a good leader, teacher, inventor, dancer, or singer.

If you want to be creative you have to practice being creative, which means doing things differently, creating more than resting, and giving yourself a lot of varied experiences to pull ideas from.

But to be really, really good at something you have to practice without criticism. You have to create without editing, draw without erasing, list out your ideas without doubting, create first, evaluate later. Second guessing is where a lot of people first struggle, and what keeps amateurs from becoming experts. To really hone your abilities you have to practice them first, evaluating second, because the more you work on something, the better the quality will be over time.

The best way to learn how to be creative is to be creative. You won’t be any good at first, but you have to ignore that fact and just keep working on it. You’ll get better with practice. It’s only a matter of time.

Photo by Thomas Leuthard.