creative is more than just inspiration and revelation. It takes more than just
AHA moments and epiphanies to create works of arts, whether they are
symphonies, novels, paintings, hit songs or whatever art you make.Being
a successful creative means not just thinking up creative ideas, but making time
for them, and then actually doing them. It takes focused planning on how
you will accomplish the creative thing and actually get it done.
nothing worse than having all sorts of creative dreams, plans, and ideas, but
having nothing to show the world. How do you exist as a creative without
you don’t. So, let’s dive in to how you can plan to be creative, and then work
already used my Beethoven quote (again) in the last post, but the key is to
“do.” Be industrious. And Step 1 on how you can be industrious and get
work done is to plan the time for it.
plan everything else you want to get done right? You plan to wake up at a
certain time, take a shower at a certain time, so you can leave at a certain
time because traffic will take a certain about of time. You plan all these
things out in your head to make sure you get to work on time. Which by the way,
most things we do are scheduled from a certain time to a certain time like how
long you work at your job.
schedule dinner. We schedule TV time. We go to movies on their schedule. We
even plan on when we need to go to bed and how much we need to sleep.
you want to focus on your creative stuff and get it done, you need to plan and
schedule and make the time for that creativity too.
I’m not talking about you beatmakers out there making your beatz. I’m talking
about your circadian rhythms. What kind of person are you? Morning person?
are you naturally most creative? Our bodies and minds work on a schedule (even
they schedule!!) So, you need to find that right creative time for you to
do creative work.
also helps if it’s a time where you won’t be disturbed, so that’s where the
rhythms part comes in. If you’re naturally up and mornings are quieter, then
maybe that’s the time. If you’re a night owl and you’re up anyway, then there
guess what, you can change this. I did. I went from being a complete night
person, always up to 2 or 3am. I did all my creative stuff then if I didn’t get
to it any other time. But I decided to try mornings, decided I had missed
enough of them, and literally changed my rhythms. Now I go to bed earlier like
a regular person and get up every day with the sun and start thinking creative
so we’ve planned the time, and we know when in our day we will be creative.
work. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you are going to have to
put some serious work in to make serious art.
a job (especially if art is your job) you are going to have to schedule time to
do your creative thing, work on it whether you feel like it or not when that
time comes and keep it on your to do list until you get it done.
To Do lists are legion. I use Evernote to get everything done, to keep all my
ideas, goals, deadlines, and journals. It’s a great app for your phone or
tablet, and also accessible on any browser or desktop apps.
people start to find out the ridiculous amount of creative work that I do for
my client’s brands and then all my personal brands, they ask me how in the
world I get everything done.
answer is I put it on lists, then either delegate it or more likely just
schedule the time and knock stuff out each day. I have a daily To Do list, and
on weekdays that includes both client and personal creative things I need to
is no way I would get work done without lists.
Work and Play
some ways I see all the work I do as play, but each job, whether it is creating
a music track, editing a video, or marketing it online; each of these are jobs
that I must get done. But admittedly, my personal songs, videos, and marketing
is usually extra fun for me because it’s all mine and my creative brain
what I do is alternate between things for clients and my personal art to get
everything done. This helps keep all things accomplished and refreshes me
throughout the day.
your “other job” isn’t creative work, but you can still use this strategy to
get creative work done alongside your other work.
to finish a presentation for school or work? Do that, and then work on
finishing that song you wrote. Need to get the laundry done? Add a laundry switch
every time you finish a section of writing, or a recording, or part of your
helps by letting you do both the things you want to do and the things
you need to do. Like recess, lunch, and other things at school you
actually liked, this is the way teachers and schools have kept students
graduating for generations.
the alternating method will only work if you focus on that To Do List. Line
those creative tasks up and then knock them down!
never had much luck myself with scheduling creative work for specific times
like 45 minutes on and 15 off. But maybe that would work for you.
goal simply is to get work done, and sort of “force” focus.
you’ll excuse one more school analogy, I didn’t “want” to finish those papers I
had to write for the master’s degree I just finished. Music Theory! Music
History! But at some point, I had to buckle down and just knock them out.
guess where those tasks went? Yep, right in the To Do List right alongside
client work and my personal creative brands.
now let’s talk about the dreaded…
course, with school, and sometimes client work (or work work as I call it), a
deadline exists for certain projects. That actually helps greatly and forces us
it’s hard to force focus on purely creative tasks. But by putting each song,
painting, chapter of a novel, video edit for your YouTube channel, whatever
into a To Do list and systematically knocking them out, is a great way to keep
you focused on the tasks that need to be done.
even adding bullet points under each thing that needs to be done or options for
the job, and then knocking down each part of the job. I do this with most
things. So yes, sometimes even each creative thing has its own list in
to the Plan
plan works if you work it they say, and they are mostly right. At the very
least, making a plan, making action steps, then figuring out the process of
working through each step and finishing is the key. The list gives you the next
step, and even if you don’t feel like doing it, just knowing what the next step
is and powering through it helps you get that creative thing one step closer to
showing it off (or monetizing!)
hope this has given you some hints on how I do it, and that it helps you beat
focus and distraction and get your creative work done.
a great week!
Eric Copeland is a full-time composer, producer, and creative marketer who keeps lots of dang lists. If you'd like to get help getting creative things done, you can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're a composer, music artist, songwriter, or musician and would like more help with your music and brand, check out https://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com