“Fortune favors the prepared mind.”
–Louis Pasteur, scientist

I often hear creative people attribute their breakthroughs to luck:

“My ideas come to me out of nowhere,” they’ll claim. I don’t think so.

Although breakthroughs may seem fortuitous, they actually result from preparation and work. Lots of preparation and work, the kind that empowers our intuition to lead us to creative discoveries.

So, by knowing effective ways to do our creative work and also prepare ourselves to create, we maximize our productivity.

Here, then, are 6 preparatory techniques that fuel creativity.

1. Reflect Before Sleep
As you turn in for the night, reflect on your creative goals and any challenges you’re facing. In this way, you prime your subconscious and fuel your motivation.

2. Act First Thing
At minimum, sketch out some ideas as soon as you rise. By acting first thing, you start the day with accomplishment and put yourself in a creative frame of mind.

3. Percolate
When you aren’t practicing, writing, or rehearsing, keep your materials handy and mentally image when the opportunity arises, perhaps while you’re riding public transportation. Even when life becomes hectic, preserve some mental space and let your imagination brew.

4. Capture Ideas
Use a recorder, notepad, or tablet to capture your ideas as they surface. But take care not to filter or edit – just record, and save the refining for later.

5. Feed Creative Energy
Creating is hard work under the best of circumstances; doing so when you’re ill or fatigued becomes arduous. So abide by a self-care plan in which you sleep, eat, exercise, and promote your health. In tandem, seek out sources of inspiration.

6. Trust
Even when you’re keeping creativity in mind, some days will be more productive than others. It’s okay. Trust in your ability to grow, and enjoy the journey.

For more creativity-boosting techniques, see my book The Musician’s Way and my low-cost online course 10 Steps to Lifelong Creativity.

Related posts
The abundance mentality
The art-career tango
Embracing the unknown
Mental imaging

© 2011 Gerald Klickstein

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