4 Ways to Seduce Your Creative Spark

It could easily be argued that Joss Whedon doesn't just direct superhero movies, but that he is, in fact, a superhero himself. A superhero for nerds. The creator of such shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the gone-too-soon Firefly, and screenwriter/director of blockbusters like, oh you know — a little movie called The Avengers, makes him the idol of geeks everywhere.

How to Be Creative

He recently sat down with Fast Company to talk about the making of The Avengers and how it left him tired, burnt out, and uninspired (although quite rich after making well over $1 billion dollars at the box office). And while travel, exhaustion, and beurocracy are all expected elements when making a big-budget, major studio film, they were also the reasons he was shying away from signing on for the the sequel that everyone and their mother wanted to see. That is, until he got himself a side-project that jump-started his creativity and got his lifeblood flowing again. He didn't need a vacation, he needed a creative shift.

Whedon said, "When you work at something really hard, then working at something else is a vacation."

If you're a solopreneur, these words may ring extra true for you. You're so razer-focused on every detail that you might find yourself exhausted and wondering if you've made the right decision to even start your own business. You might come up empty when creative ideas are needed to shift, adapt, and roll with punches. Working at something else for a while — or at least getting a change of scenery — could be the answer.

After the break, I give you four ways you can seduce the creative spark back into your life and live happily ever after. That's how stories are supposed to end, right?

  • Get a side project — Focusing 100 percent on your full-time job could lead to soul-crushing, drag-your-bag-of-bones-body-out-of-bed, five cups of coffee-style burnout if it's not satisfying your need to be creative. You could end up feeling like the least creative person in the entire known universe. And there's a lot of people in the known universe. Starting up a side gig, a side hustle, hell, even just a hobby, can cause a shift in your conscious that will allow you not to focus so much on the negative aspects of your day job, but it also gives you an outlet to let off some steam and work towards goals, even if those goals are to someday work for yourself. If your hobby is your passion, why NOT make it your life's work?
  • Get out of the office — Your best work and creative sparks of genius may not come in the cold, closed-off, and grey-walled confines of your cubicle. Those farms just aren't conducive to making magic happen. This is why the most innovative, fresh, and inspired companies make it a priority to provide open-aired, brightly lit, and collaborative environments for their teams — it's the best climate to nurture new ideas. So if you're sequestered to a box for eight hours of your day, and only work on your side biz at night or before working hours, make it a priority to get outside during lunch every so often to brainstorm new ideas for your business. This breaks up the monotony of your full time gig, allowing you to dust off those cobwebs that have formed in your brain after hours of meetings, spreadsheets and small talk.
  • Get a support group — Solopreneurship is hard work, but being creative doesn't have to be, especially if you have a support network of like-minded, bad-ass, business-loving ladies like yourself. Know other women that are blazing their own fiery trail to self-employment? Gather them up and schedule a monthly brainstorming meeting to generate fresh new ideas for each other. Choose a topic each month, or have each bring an aspect of their biz that they need help with, and spend a predetermined amount of time coming up with solutions. And thanks to technology, you don't even have to be in the same geographic location — Google Hangounts allows up to 25 people to chat live via webcam. Ahh, technology. I love you.
  • Get a notepad — I say it all the time — the best ideas come when you're sleeping or in the shower, so keep a notepad handy. This could be in the form of an actual notepad you keep on your nightstand, a mini Moleskine that you toss in your bag, or the Evernote app on your phone. Preferably all of the above. You never know when your creative juices will start overflowing, and when the rush hits you need to be prepared to catch it all. Don't wait! Don't think twice! Don't delay! Just write or record, then digest it all after you've taken a moment to bask in the glow of inspiration.

How do you stay creative? Share your number one fail-proof method for seducing your creative spark in the comments. Myself and your fellow readers would love to hear about it!

Source: IMDB/Marvel