By Rena Justine:
One bright side of these past few years has been a surge in creativity, including providing more time and opportunities to collaborate online. But there’s also a chance that your creative process may have actually suffered. Solitude was something many creatives struggled with in 2020 and beyond, and while the BBC notes that creativity can thrive in isolation, a lack of stimulus and fresh experiences left many uninspired and stuck.
In 2023, you may want to shed that creative block by embarking on a new project. However, that’s easier said than done with so many distractions, obstacles, and mental hurdles getting in the way. If you want to commit to getting something creative done this year, here are some measures you can take to help you stay motivated:
Identify the "Why"
Before you embark on your creative project, ask yourself its purpose or cause. Having a clear answer to your motivations or goals for your project can help you commit to it and keep you going. Many creatives—perhaps even yourself—take on endeavors that seem grand and beautiful in theory, but not having a deeper "why" behind the process can make people prone to abandoning or leaving projects unfinished until that next burst of inspiration. Establishing the reason for your project will allow you to see it through to the end.
List Your Creative Goals
It’s easy to tell yourself that you want to accomplish your creative project within the year, but not having clear and attainable goals to help you get there will make it challenging to stay on track. A write-up from Time Magazine on setting goals highlights the importance of keeping them specific and realistic. A goal that is too big might intimidate you; and a small, vague goal won’t do enough to motivate you. Breaking your goals into smaller tasks can also be helpful; if you want to finish your novel’s first draft within the year, try setting a smaller goal to write a certain amount of words per day. Write your goals down on paper and put it somewhere you can be reminded of regularly to keep track of your progress.
Invest in the Right Equipment
The proper materials and tools are essential parts of any creative project. Though it’s fine to start with cheaper equipment to get you started, it will be worth it to splurge on something more high-quality down the line—and you're more likely to use a tool you've invested in. For creatives hosting podcasts, recording music, or doing voiceovers, the best microphone on Shout4Music is Shure SM7B, with its capability to offer a clean, crisp reproduction of the human voice and a well-rounded sound. It also eliminates extra noise when you’re recording, a benefit of a pricier model that often comes with good features.
For creatives working in photography, one of the best cameras recommended by CNET is the Hasselblad X2D 100C, a camera with pristine image quality thanks to its focus on photos rather than videos. It is also expensive, but it's a model to consider if you’re looking for crisp, beautiful pictures.
Start with Small Opportunities
To get your creativity flowing for your project, you might want to consider starting with other opportunities that can pressure you into creating something. You might find that prompts and deadlines can help you stick to your plans and achieve your goals. Submitting to anthologies, collaborating with other creatives, or joining a competition like Flapper Press’s Valentine's Poetry Contest can keep you accountable and driven to get something done within the timeframe. These opportunities can help propel you to work on your own project by giving you inspiration and a push to ignite your creativity this year.
Rena Justine is a teaching consultant who provides guidance to schools across the country. Through her online articles, she hopes to impart her ten years of experience to help others. She spends most of her free time in the park with her husband and three children.