I have a love/hate relationship with those cheesy “creative date ideas” lists. You know the ones I mean. “Go on a picnic.” Or, “Watch the sunset together.” Even, “sing karaoke!” Someone put me out of my misery, please. I always read them and when I finish I always emit a heavy sigh. Really? This is creative? Furthermore, people need to be reminded to have a movie night with their partner? Hmmm…
That got me thinking, “Maybe we’ve lost the spark when it comes to romancing our field.” Oftentimes, there are two ideas behind those lists. The first is to impress the person with whom we want to spend time. Or, the second, we want to reconnect with our partners and make vivid memories. I already see the connections to our music careers forming. Can’t you, divas?
Your 29 Days to Diva Challenge for Day 18 is to Start a Creativity List.
Yesterday’s post had a whole punchlist of tasks that I collected at the end. I realized, “wow, that’s actually like five or six days worth of action items.” Not so with today’s post, dear readers. Today will be short and sweet. We are starting our creativity list.
The 10 Minute Meeting
In #29DaystoDiva seasons past, I told you about one of my favorite productivity hacks. I stopped using a to-do list altogether. Now, I just do 10 minute meetings. To-do lists are clunky when it comes to weighing urgency and importance. There are plenty of apps that try to do this but I still do not find it as useful as sitting down each morning with my legal pad, setting the timer for 10 minutes, and writing out the smallest action items I can think of to get done for that day across all areas of life.
How to Start Your Creativity List
Let’s add five more minutes to that process. This is a timed event after your 10 Minute Diva Enterprises Meeting. You can use the same journal as your daily lists; but, I highly recommend keeping your creativity list as a running log.
Five minutes on the clock. Now, go-go-gadget creativity! You’ve already done the business logistics list. This is the time to start dreaming a bit bigger. “A project that centers around Greta Garbo and the music attached to her movies.” Or, “A concert that takes place on cross-country skis.” I do not presume to know what gets your creative juices flowing. What I do know is that we don’t need one more chronological, this-is-what-my-voice-teacher-assigned-me recital.
The Danger of Being Called “Innovative”
Creativity, like they all say, is a muscle that must be exercised regularly. Your creativity list will get better the longer and more intentionally you work at it. Even ensembles praised for being fresh, cutting-edge, and innovative will try to repeat the same patterns of success and find themselves directly in a rut. They tried a concert with video once and they got solid reviews. Now, every concert has video whether or not it suits the music and/or performance. They saw someone else get a grant for integrating puppets and now they’re going to use puppets too even though it doesn’t interest them slightly. This is the “mission creep” of creative work. Do you see how dangerous it is?
Having a creativity list will help you actually provide value to your audience because you are pursuing projects that are the most interesting things you could devise. A quick route to bland and condescending projects is to go against your creative visions in favor of some mythical, oft-displeased audience member. Once you have that kernel of a creative project about which you are passionate and enthusiastic, then you can set out for user testing.
Finding Water When the Well is Dry
The reason I had you set a timer, rather than number your page one through five, is because sometimes the ideas don’t come. That is okay. Know those days when you want to scribble down fifteen projects that you have been meaning to develop? There are also days when we want to quit the creative business forever. Scheduling five minutes of creativity time every day is ideal for exactly that reason. Especially on the days you want out, you have given yourself the gift of five minutes to think about the one thing that will keep you in the game.
In Need of a Creative Sounding Board?
Sign up for the pre-launch of the #DivaSquad.
The Diva Squad is an exclusive group of singers who are wishing to connect, learn and share with other like-minded ladies who are ready to supercharge their singing businesses.
Sometimes the New New Forum just isn’t enough. We want a select group of people who really understand what we’re after. We are about accountability and encouragement to take our singing careers to the next level.
Divas use this group as a networking tool, a source of information, and a great place to grow new friendships. Would you like to be on the waiting list for the launch? Drop me a note and just put #DivaSquad in the subject line.