I’ve developed an obsession with some of the history’s most creative minds in the hope that I might learn some tricks to expand my own creative productivity.
The truth is this: becoming a successful writer doesn’t mean discovering a great secret. Instead, walk the path of the literary betters who came before you.
Some of the things I’ve earned are more useful than others, and some are simply too weird to try.
I discovered that if only you could figure out what successful writers do every day and then use this insight to get better at your craft and learn how to become a writer.
This is because a lot of successful writers are inaccessible (or they’ve passed on).
The good news is you can still learn from them if you put in the work. All you have to do is emulate their writing habits.
Steve Jobs, for example, routinely sat on toilets, dangling his bare feet in the water while he came up with new ideas, and Yoshiro Nakamatsu (inventor of the floppy disc) would dive deep under water until his brain was deprived of oxygen, then write his ideas on an underwater sticky pad.
Now, look at this?
Starting an idea file is a huge time-saver. I keep a simple text file on my computer desktop (and laptop) and jot down ideas as soon as it drops down.
Sometimes, I use Google Notebook to record notes from online reading. I don’t tear out magazine bits anymore because that creates clutter that I have to sort through later.
I don’t tear out magazine bits anymore because that creates clutter that I have to sort through later.
Weird ideas aside, I’ve developed a pretty good understanding of the habits of some of the history’s most creative minds.
There is enough commonality between different people that I’ve distilled their habits into strategies that anyone can follow.
Six of these strategies stand out because they have the power to change the way you think about creativity and your mindset about writing.
Give them a try, and you’ll reach new levels of creative productivity as a writer.
1. Rise Up Early (and Write)
This works rightly for me and it may as well work perfectly for you. Have you not read a book before during the day (noon time) and after the
Have you not read a book before during the day (noon time) and after the exercise, you discovered that you honestly did not understand what you read? You felt worn out and couldn’t believe what happened that you gave it a second trial reading
You felt worn out and couldn’t believe what happened that you gave it a second trial reading the same book at night or early in the morning (between 03:45 am and 04:30 am) and you are like WOW it was an awesome moment.
Have you not experienced such before?
The true example above is a passive definition of TIME and PURPOSE.
Not all creative minds are morning people.
Franz Kafka routinely stayed up all night writing, and William Styron (author of Sophie’s Choice, among other best sellers) woke up at noon every day and considered his “morning” routine to be staying in bed for another hour to think.
However, early risers make up the clear majority of creative thinkers.
The list of creative early risers ranges from Benjamin Franklin to Howard Schultz to Ernest Hemmingway, though they didn’t all wake up early for the same reasons.
Ben Franklin woke up early to plan out his day, while Schultz uses the time to send motivational emails to his employees.
For many creative people, waking up early is a way to avoid distractions.
Ernest Hemingway woke up at 5 a.m. every day to begin writing.
There is no one to disturb you and it is cool and cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.
The trick to make rising up early stick is to do it every day and avoid naps—no matter how tired you feel.
Eventually, you will start going to bed earlier to make up for the lost sleep.
This can make for a couple of groggy days at first, but you’ll adjust quickly, and before you know it, you’ll join the ranks of creative early risers.
2. Set Big Target and Stick
For instance, there are many footballers out there who are celebrated by their fans and yelled upon to stick to an always win mentality. For them to score that goal, dribble that opponent and make the right assist they need to be extremely creative to play their cards well. Setting big targets as simple as setting larger goals. Larger goals
For them to score that goal, dribble that opponent and make the right assist they need to be extremely creative to play their cards well. Setting big targets as simple as setting larger goals. Larger goals
Setting big targets as simple as setting larger goals. Larger goals are adopted and work right in some cases while smaller goals have a part to play, too.
It’s a common misconception that in order to be creative, one must live life on a whim with no structure and no sense of the need to do anything, but the habits of highly successful and creative writers suggest otherwise.
In fact, most creative minds schedule their days rigorously.
Psychologist William James described the impact of a schedule on creativity, saying that only by having a schedule can we “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action.”
3. Don’t Avoid Exercise
Exercise has been a lot of inspiration for many.
After the exercise is done assisted with a warm bath with water you feel refreshed, soft and ready to strike.
It introduces a new world to you.
There’s plenty of evidence pointing to the benefits of exercise for creativity.
Feeling good physically gets you in the right mood to focus and be productive.
Exercise also forces you to have disconnected time (it’s tough to text or email while working out), and this allows you to reflect on whatever it is you’re working on.
In a Stanford study, 90% of people were more creative after they exercised.
It’s no surprise that so many creative and successful people built exercise into their daily routines.
Kurt Vonnegut took walks into the nearby town, swam laps, and did push-ups and sit-ups, Richard Branson runs every morning, and composers Beethoven and Tchaikovsky both walked daily.
4. Keep Your Day Job
Creativity flourishes when you’re creating for yourself and no one else.
Creativity becomes more difficult when your livelihood depends upon what you create (and you begin to think too much about what your audience will think of your product).
Perhaps this is why so many successful and creative people held on to their day jobs.
Many of them, like Stephen King, who was a schoolteacher, produced their breakout (and, in King’s case, what many consider his very best) works while they still held a 9 to 5.
Day jobs provide more than the much-needed financial security to create freely.
They also add structure to your day that can make your creative time a wonderful release.
The list of successful, creative minds who kept their day jobs is a long one.
Some notable individuals include Jacob Arabo, who started designing his own jewelry while working in a jewelry shop; William Faulkner, who worked in a power plant while writing As I Lay Dying; and musician Philip Glass, who worked as a plumber.
5. Be Ready to Write Anywhere
A lot of people write, work in only one place, believing it’s practically impossible for them to get anything done anywhere else.
Staying in one place is actually a crutch; studies show that changing environments is beneficial to productivity and creativity. E.B. White, the author of Charlotte’s Web, said it well: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
The same is true for any type of creative work. If you keep waiting until you are in the perfect place at the ideal time, the time will never come.
Steve Jobs started Apple in his mom’s garage, and JK Rowling wrote the first ideas for Harry Potter on a napkin on a train.
When you have a creative idea, don’t wait—put it into action as soon as you can. Recording that spark of creativity may very well be the foundation of something great.
6. Recreate New Ideas
As long as your heart is still beating, you have the ability to come up with new ideas and execute them.
They may not always be great ones, but the greatest enemy of creativity is inactivity.
Author Jodi Picoult summarized creative blocks perfectly: “I don’t believe in writer’s block.
Think about it—when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due?
Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it.
“You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.
Picoult’s comment describes all creative activity—the only way to stay creative is to keep moving forward.
In my experience, you must get intentional about your creativity as a writer and entrepreneur if you want it to flourish. Give these six strategies a try to see what they can do for you. he creative process is messy, unordered and demanding, but you’ll find it harder to
The creative process is messy, unordered and demanding, but you’ll find it harder to organize your writing if your life outside of the blank page is chaos. You are in for success, go make it happen.
Give these six strategies a try to see what they can do for you. Even if the creative process is messy, unordered and demanding, you can still master your selling skills.