Creativity Cannot Be Scheduled

Lately I’ve been struggling to get my creative juices flowing the way they once did. For a short period of my life, it actually came easy for me to seemingly turn my creativity on or off. However, as I’ve experienced my recent battle with creative roadblocks, I’ve found that creativity cannot be scheduled, nor should it be.

The time wherein creative ideas seemed to flow so freely for me was merely a mirage if I really take the time to analyze it. I wasn’t turning creativity on or off, but simply letting it come to me whenever it felt like it. You see, contrary to popular belief, being creative is not a super power that you can summon at will, but rather one that must be allowed to wash over you when and if it sees fit to do so.

My problem now is the problem that many people have. I’m trying to force creativity into my “9-to-5” schedule, and it’s basically giving me the finger for trying to do so. It’s only when I let myself detach from that routine and work more flexible hours that I get that rush or that feeling washing over me out of nowhere.

Recently I was preparing to work on an R&D project I had been assigned. I sat down for three or four days in a row, staring blankly at my computer screen, begging for ideas to come. Just as expected, though, they never showed up. It wasn’t until a week later that I finally got what I was looking for.

I had been up all night and my mind just wouldn’t shut off for some reason. There wasn’t anything magical about the thoughts I was having, but I could feel something on the horizon. Almost like a storm brewing. The next morning, in the shower, my head was suddenly flooded with ideas and concepts. Immediately I jumped out and began writing it all down. Within the next hour I had 10-12 notebook pages filled with potential ideas for my project. They were all up there, hiding, just waiting for the right time to show their face.

That’s the thing about being creative. You can’t force it, and you can’t teach it. It’s a symptomless sickness that we’re afflicted with. You never know when an outbreak will occur, but when it does, you have to be ready to absorb every last drop of what it gives you. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that you can’t put a square peg in a round hole. Well, creativity is a square peg, and schedules are the round holes of life. The two never have and never will fit together.

Where and when does creativity strike you? I’d love to hear your stories. Drop me a line in the comments or shoot me a message via Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for reading!