I love these times. Times when the juices are really flowing and I’m getting a lot done. I’m writing, I’m creating, I’m even selling a few things, and booking a few presentations. My Kaleidoscopic Creatures coloring book is at number 2096 in Coloring Books for Grownups on Amazon.
But this isn’t about me. It’s about you. You see I’ve also been on the other side. The side a lot of my friends talk about. The times when the well has been dry and the ideas are just simply not there. The creative life can be feast or famine, so what do you do when you’re in a creative famine?
Well, oddly enough, the Bible speaks to this… at least sort of. Think about Joseph from The Old Testament. Pharaoh dreamed of those seven fat cows and the seven thin cows that ate the fat cows. Joseph interpreted the dream to reveal that years of plenty would be eaten up by seven years of famine. It can be the same way with us. We all have times when we have more ideas than time, and sometimes we have ideas that are ahead of their time. These are those things that we look at and think they would be cool, but for one reason or another we’re not at a place where we can accomplish them yet. These are the the fat cow feast times of creativity. You need to store those up for times of famine. Write them down, sketch them out, do simple things to store the idea. Then if you find yourself in a time of famine, get them out and get to work.
Sometimes to get ideas flowing you just have to start jamming. Get out your sketchbook and start sketching anything that comes to mind. If you’re a writer, start to free-write. Just grab your journal or laptop and write, stream of consciousness, whatever walks into your mind. Don’t edit, don’t re-read, just write. Often these types of activities will trigger something and get you rolling.
Jumping on a trend can work. I saw a ton of adult coloring books out there and decided I could do something different. Has it been the most successful thing of all time? No, but it was fun and it got me creating. I’ve drawn about 130 pages in the last month or two, most of this has happened in my spare time, while watching TV and am feeling immensely inspired. Think about it, this started out as a diversion, something to redirect my attention in a time when I was feeling blocked on another project and it has turned into several products.
Look at what you’re trying to accomplish. We all should have a personal mission. When you feel blocked, go back to your personal mission and ask yourself the question, how can I work toward that goal. Part of mine is to help people develop and/or reclaim their creativity. Adult coloring is a great movement for that. I also have a mission to help people connect their creativity to their faith. Bible art journaling is a great thing toward that cause, so I created a journaling devotional based around some of my favorite Biblical teachings, the parables of Jesus.
Finally, never discount the power of prayer. God gave you this gift and He wants you to use it to His glory, so when you feel dry or out of ideas ask Him for some. He may direct you to something new or He may redirect you to something you put on the shelf.
The point is, we an all be prolific. We just need to seek the ideas and then do the work.