How creatives find their flow

It’s much easier than you might think.

The creative flow or state of being inspired is often held in high regard. It’s put on a pedestal as this magical thing.

People often like to ask creatives about their process in order to understand how they are able to do what they do.

But the thing is, finding your creative flow is just like finding anything else, you have to look for it. It might not be right in front of you and you might encounter a few flows that just aren’t quite right but that shouldn’t stop you from looking.

All of a sudden you’ll find it and your work will change. The good bits will get even better and you’ll have more of those moments where it comes to you with such ease that you’ll look back and wonder if you were in a trance.

And that is all there is to it. You can’t figure out what works without encountering the stuff that doesn’t work.

Putting it out there

Your job is to create and then put it out there.

It might not get the amount of views you want or it could be loved by millions, that is not something you have any control over.

It’s not your job to try and convince people that your work is good. In fact, you need to learn to be okay with the fact that some people won’t like it.

Focus on creating your work for the people that want it. That might only be a few to begin with but those people are important.

Creating for your audience

When it comes to being creative and putting stuff out there, often we end up focusing on the wrong thing.

We ignore the audience we already have and put our efforts into reaching new people with the hope of growing and growing.

However, what often ends up happening is we lose our current audience in the process because they no longer feel like we’re creating for them.

Instead, you’re much better off putting your efforts into creating for the people that are already here. Those people are already interested and given time will care enough to spread the word, if what you’re putting out is good enough.

Restoring the balance

YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, podcasts and blogs.

We have the opportunity to take in a lot of information every single day to the point where we can become overloaded.

But more importantly a lot of this information is other people’s thoughts, opinions or just things we don’t need to know or don’t benefit us.

I think online content is great in moderation but if you find yourself at a point where it feels like too much, the best thing to do is reduce your consumption.

That could mean unfollowing, unsubscribing, logging out, taking a break or setting a time limit.

You need to do those things for long enough so that you can restore the balance between online and offline or creation and consumption.

The balance should always be in your favour so create more than you consume or be offline more than you’re online.

Open to opportunities

If someone asked you why you didn’t achive a particular goal it’s likely that not having the opportunitiy would be one of your reasons.

When you’re far from where you want to be it can be difficult to realise that you are capable of making things happen. And it’s not that you’re in control of everything but more that you don’t have to rely on external things all the time.

You can create your own opportunities.

I think that statement has been true for a long time but with Instagram, Youtube, Podcasts and really just the internet in general, that has chnaged.

The person that wanted to be a talk show host can gather a few friends and put something together for YouTube or the person who wants to be a stylist can share images of their work on Instagram.

But opportunities can be created offline too in your everyday life. They might not be so obvious but they’re there. Often it is just a case of being open enough.

Could Instagram Guides replace blogging?

From November 17th, you may have noticed a new feature on Instagram, Guides.

Guides allow users to ‘find, curate and share the products, places and posts you love’. They can feature your own content or the content of others. Tech Crunch have a good article that explains things in more detail.

Aside from captions this feature is the first that allows users to create longer form content similar to a blog post.

It could be considered as an easier way to create blog posts that are based around shopping, pictures and recommendations. In fact, it’s likely to become what many creators will turn to and what many brands will start paying creators for.

On the other hand, for a blog that is focused on the words, where the images aren’t the main focus, guides won’t work as an alternative.

It will be interesting to see who uses this new feature and how. It will also be interesting to see the blogs this feature may end up replacing.

The best place to share your work

Coming up with an idea of who your customer or target audience is incredibly helpful. For example, if you are trying to attract a younger age group you would use different methods than those you would choose to attract an older age group.

That could mean promoting your work on a Tik Tok account instead of setting up a Facebook page.

But you can even take things further and really carve out what sort of person would be interested in your work.

Perhaps it is someone that spends a lot of time reading, isn’t on so social media much. Maybe they are introverted or they prefer meeting people in person rather than online. Keep going with that until, you eventually begin to cultivate this conceptual idea of a person and then you’re able to look at different ways of reaching that person.

Ask yourself, ‘Would this person want updates on twitter, insta stories or by email?’

Once you can answer these questions, it can provide a useful base for figuring out the best place to share your work and promote your stuff.

The people and the work

The idea that what you are doing might not be good enough can be difficult to accept. Especially when that might be the reason why people aren’t supporting your work.

It’s much easier to hide behind the excuse that people just aren’t supporting you because you’re not popular but if it was *insert name of celebrity*, they’d be all over it.

That could be true for some situations but it isn’t always the case.

On the flipside, instead of playing the blame game you could accept that maybe your work needs work.

Instead of feeling frustrated that you aren’t getting enough support take some time out hone your craft, learn something new and improve. Then put your work out again.

If it’s better received great but if not then maybe you need to change the people you’re sharing it with.

What do you want to be known for?

When Seth Godin answered this question he said ‘ I would like to be known by what the people who have learned from me have taught other people’.

I think this was said on an episode of Tim Bilyeus’ podcast, Impact Theory.

If you’re somebody that creates or puts stuff out there, I think it’s an important question to have regularly running through your mind.

Your answer will serve as a compass to help guide your decisions.

I often ponder on that question in relation to this blog and my answer is always about adding value and sharing something useful. And so I’m so I’m less likely to write about personal details in the day to day life because it doesn’t align with my answer.

Perhaps, it isn’t something you’ve considered much and maybe right now you can’t sum it up in 18 words. But it is definitely something worth thinking about.

As soon as possible

In you life you might find that there are people who will create a false sense of urgency. They’ll give you something to do and give you a deadline like ‘as soon as possible’.

So, you put your blinders on because it’s urgent and you don’t want to contribute to something being finished late.

But when you let the other person know you’re done and they appear nonchalant, that’s when you realise the urgency was fake.

Perhaps they couldn’t trust you’d do it within a suitable time without the extra pressure.

Whatever the case it’s important to not allow yourself to get swept up in it all.

As soon as possible might really mean by the end of the day, not right now.