How To Reboot Your Creativity
At the beginning (ish) of each year (or frankly, anytime I need a reset or am embarking on a new phase in my creative life) I like to spend some time doing a little review of my creative practice - reflecting on the highs and lows, what worked really well, what didn’t serve me, areas I excelled in, areas I could improve on, goals, accomplishments and all that good stuff. I find that doing this really helps me to recognise and celebrate everything I’ve achieved (both work wise and in my personal creative growth), which is something I consider extremely crucial as part of the creative process. It also helps clear a path to set a few goals for the next phase of my creative journey. I don’t know about you but I find goal setting inspiring and motivating, so I like to identify a few areas I want to focus on or explore when resetting my mindset for the days, weeks and months ahead.
Over the years I’ve developed a list of questions that I ask myself during times like these - consider them prompts if you will - that help inspire and organise my thoughts about one phase and starting the next. I’ve found that referring back to these promptso often is a great way to identify what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and how I’ve grown as a creative.
I’d like to share these prompts with you today in the hopes that they inspire you to undertake a similar review of your own creative practice. If you’re looking for a bit of a refresh and reset, or for guidance when forging a path into a new phase, maybe this exercise will help.
Prompts for a Creative Reboot
Record your thoughts/reflections on the previous phase in your creative journey, and how you are feeling moving into this new phase.
It's good to acknowledge how the last phase or year made you feel, for better or worse. For example, when I answered this recently at the start of the year, I came to the realisation that I was utterly burnt out from the previous year, which prompted me to put some plans in place that would help me prioritise my wellbeing in the year to come.
What are some things to celebrate before? What are you proud of? These might be achievements, accolades, or anything you define as something worth celebrating.
In terms of your creative practice or business, what are some things that really worked for you in the last phase of your creative journey?
These are good to identify so you can carry them over into the new phase since they had a positive effect on your creativity/biz
In addition, what are some things that didn’t work for you last time?
This prompt is good for identifying things you don’t want or that didn’t serve you previously, so they can act like a checklist to keep you on track in the future and help you ditch the baggage so you can grow!
What are you looking forward to in this new phase?
I love answering this one because it allows me to get excited about the infinite opportunity that a new creative phase can bring.
What are you not looking forward to? Or, what do you want to leave behind as you move into this new phase?
This prompt can help you identify things that perhaps are no longer serving you so you can make some changes.
Are there any areas that you feel you’d like to build on, work on, try for the first time, or improve?
Your responses to this prompt might help you start to set some goals. Be as broad or specific as you like. If you have trouble figuring out where to start with goal setting, I like to separate my answers to this question into different categories: Creative goals, Upskilling, Financial Goals, Business goals, Wellbeing goals. You might like to define some categories that are specific just to you.
What are 3 things to be grateful for moving into this new part of your creative journey?
I always like to end this exercise with a gratitude list because it helps put me in a positive mindset and gives me some perspective, especially after a big session of thinking and strategising which often times can bring up emotions and feelings relating to your experiences and hopes for the future.
When I do this exercise I usually work through each question one by one, noting down thoughts and musings for each. I encourage you to use these prompts as a guide to organising your thoughts, which in turn will hopefully give you some clarity of what you want your new year to look like when it comes to your creative life. They’re not prescriptive by any means, and you might find that you develop your own set of questions rather than following these to the letter. I’ve even taken to doing this exercise for my personal life as well as my creative/business life too. Feel free to make them your own! I hope they help you.
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This post was sponsored by Adobe Creative Cloud Express, one of my favourite apps for designing beautiful and professional digital assets for my blog and social media. For this blog post's graphics (and corresponding Instagram story slides) I integrated stickers from Giphy to instantly add some fun animated elements. I also made use of the Animation tool to bring my text to life. Using these fun tools is a great way to speed up your design workflow and keep things looking unique and eye-catching across all your platforms. You can try Creative Cloud Express for free here.
All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are my own.