You could compare me to the young Cruella, who terrorized everyone in her school. Like Cruella, I also felt terrible whenever my parents would have to see the principal because of me. Mom and dad both had work, and they had to take time off for that. I learned to look down whenever that happened because I knew the look of disappointment in their eyes all too well.
But unlike Cruella, I met a teacher in middle school who happened to have a double degree in psychology and education. Little did I know, she had been observing my behavior whenever I was in class. I found out about it when she asked my parents to see her at the office.
At that point, my folks already assumed the worst and were ready to beg the principal to let me stay in school. Thus, they were surprised when the teacher/psychologist revealed that I might have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
My teacher told my parents that there was not much to be afraid of because it was excellent that I got my diagnosis. (That was true, and I was forever grateful for that.) Instead, she believed that my issues could be resolved if I channeled all my energy into creative activities.
Over the years, I took on painting, belly dancing, sculpting, etc. I even became the president of a glee club in high school and college. Everyone loved that I never ran out of energy, which is most likely due to my ADHD.
I decided to study psychology in hopes of returning the kindness that my previous teacher gave me. Instead of teaching, though, I chose to provide therapy to my future clients.
As a therapist and an artist, let me share some odd yet effective ways to get creative.
Allow Yourself To Feel Bored
I have read more than my fair share of blogs about creativity to know that many encouraged people to distract themselves from boosting their creativity. Some of these suggestions were reading a book, playing a video game, solving a Rubik’s cube, chatting with your friends, etc. Doing any of those activities is supposed to push your brain to work and hopefully help you feel creative again.
The thing was, I tried all of them when I found myself stuck in a seemingly endless rut. If I were honest, I would say that they worked for a bit and got me to get back on my feet. Unfortunately, the distracting activities were not for the long haul. They could be too distracting that you could no longer use your brain for more productive things.
What I found helpful most of the time was allowing myself to feel bored. After all, even when you experience boredom, you do not precisely stop what you are doing. Instead, you continue and make do with whatever material you have.
You know that’s not your best, yes, but you have an output. Then, you can take a nap, look at it again, and see how to improve it. Thus, boredom eventually works.
Get Criticized By Others
Receiving criticisms is one of the most hated activities that people may not even wish upon their worst enemies. It is a challenging and bitter pill to swallow, and your thick skin may not be enough to deflect one. Still, if your creative choices are not flowing, I would highly recommend letting other people criticize you or your work.
Doing so may make it seem like you are a masochist, but you can gain much information from your critics. They can pinpoint everything you are doing wrong, and you can take notes of them and analyze how to make things better. Just try not to let the criticisms get too much in your head.
Move On To Other Projects
People do not always look kindly towards individuals who do not finish what they have started. If they are not called lazy, they are called childish. If they do not seem dumb, others assume they had bitten more than they could chew and swallow. It was not a great look overall.
Despite that, whenever my clients would come to me and tell me that they had creativity issues, I would often advise them to move on to another project. Although you might not see its benefits at once, heeding this tip would allow you to get something done and feel good about yourself at some point.
More importantly, the new project may spark something in you and give you an idea of tackling your unfinished project. You could then return to it and make it exceptional.
I got diagnosed with ADHD at 16 years old. I officially became a psychologist and therapist more than a decade later. I tried my best to put my excessive energy to great use by being creative between those years. But you better believe that I hit a stump sometimes, and only the ways mentioned above helped me.