How to tell when a spark of inspiration is worth pursuing
When you have a creative spark, it’s easy to run with it and get carried away. Unfortunately, not all creative ideas are created equal. When you have a creative desire, it’s important to know how to determine whether or not it’s a worthy pursuit.
Next time you’re struck by a spark of creativity, take the time to evaluate whether it’s a fleeting creative impulse or a deep-rooted creative calling. This can be extremely challenging because creativity is such an intensely personal thing.
As is the case with most personal opinions and intentions, we’re often too close and too invested in our own ideas to be objective. We have to find a way to separate and disconnect ourselves from our desires in order to contemplate and evaluate them from an unbiased perspective.
Here are 5 ways to detach yourself from your creative aspirations, approach them more impartially, and determine whether to pursue them or let them go:
1. Focus Group
Presenting your ideas to a focus group is one way to gauge interest and gain feedback. Your focus group could consist of friends and family, clients, or a sample of your target market, depending on what type of project you’re considering.
The key to using a focus group, particularly for something as intimate as a creative pursuit, is to keep the responses anonymous. This will ensure that you’re gaining an honest and unbiased perspective on your concept.
2. Mastermind Group
Enlisting the help of a mastermind group is another way to involve others in your creative process. You may want to survey a mastermind group as opposed to a focus group if you’re feeling called to a creative project that could be incorporated into your business, rather than a personal project.
In this case, your peers and accountability partners will be able to help you approach your idea from a more practical and logical perspective and evaluate the value it could bring to your work.
3. Pros & Cons List
A pros and cons list is a tried and true method for assessing an idea or potential project. When using this approach to evaluate a creative concept, start with the pros. Free write everything that’s inspiring you – really let your creative juices flow and pour out of you.
Then, consider the cons. You may want to take a few hours or days between composing the two opposing sides of the list so that you can both allow yourself to feel fully expressed in your creative desire and have the ability to assess the desire more objectively. Once you finish, you could share it with a focus group or mastermind group to gain more input.
4. Key Questions
There are two ways to ask yourself key questions to help evaluate your creative concept. Asking who, what, where, why, and how can help you develop more clarity around your idea. An alternative approach involves asking yourself a series of why questions. For this method, start by asking yourself a basic question like, why do I want to pursue this creative endeavor?
Once you compose an answer, formulate another why question. So if your answer was, because I want to incorporate more creative work into my business, then your next why question might be, why do I want to incorporate more creative work into my business? The goal is to keep asking why questions until you get to the crux of your desire, and then you can assess whether or not it aligns with your creative concept.
Meditation allows you to clear your mind and revisit your creative idea with a fresh, new perspective. It may not be for everyone or every scenario, but meditation is a proven technique to help you quiet extraneous outside noise, tap deeply into yourself, and listen to your inner voice or gut feeling.
If you don’t have a regular meditation practice, you may want to try meditating and familiarize yourself with the technique before using it to objectively approach your creative idea.
Everyone has creative instincts. You may find creative inspiration everywhere you go or feel like you have a constant stream of creative thoughts swirling around in your head.
However, if you acted on each and every creative notion that crossed your mind, you might never get anything else accomplished in the day! Before you invest yourself in a creative project, ensure it’s going to be valuable and fulfilling.
Using one or a combination of the five methods to help you detach yourself from your creative aspirations, approach them more impartially, and determine whether to pursue them or let them go will help you to make the best use of your valuable time, energy, and resources.