If you’re new to writing, or just have a lot of ideas and don’t know how to make them into something real, this guide is for you. It’s time to stop getting stuck in your creative process and start creating great work!
The problem: Your creative process isn’t working for you. You have a ton of cool ideas but can never seem to turn them into anything tangible.
The solution: Learn how to think about your work in a new way that will get you unstuck from the common pitfalls that most beginners encounter when trying to start something new (e.g., perfectionism).
What’s the takeaway? Once you know what not to do, it becomes much easier for us as creators (and humans) not only generate ideas but also take them through their full life cycle by sharing those ideas with others in meaningful ways using our words.”
|1. Recognize the importance of research before starting a creative project.
|2. Avoid overcomplicating your designs; simplicity often works best.
|3. Understand the target audience to tailor your creative work effectively.
|4. Embrace constructive criticism and feedback to refine your creations.
|5. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and techniques.
|6. Pay attention to typography and ensure it aligns with your overall design.
|7. Maintain consistency in your work to create a cohesive visual identity.
|8. Prioritize user experience when designing digital interfaces.
|9. Be mindful of color choices and their psychological impact on viewers.
|10. Avoid clutter and give each element in your design a purpose.
1. Not Knowing What You’re Good At
Learning your strengths and weaknesses is the first step in learning how to be a good creative. This means you will know what skills you need to improve, as well as what projects may be better suited for other team members or collaborators.
It’s helpful for everyone involved if you can look at your portfolio and see that one of your projects was not as strong because it came from an area of weakness or inexperience, rather than just assuming it was ‘bad.’
Knowing what you’re good at is also important because it means you’re able to leverage your strengths when making decisions about new projects.
If there’s something within a project like budgeting time or managing client expectations where you feel less confident, consider bringing on someone else who has more expertise in that area (or find another way around it). Knowing where your strengths lie will help inform these types of decisions too!
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2. Not Using The Right Tools
The second mistake is not using the right tools for the job. This can be a big one when it comes to creativity because we often don’t understand what our minds need to produce creative work.
If you want to write your novel or paint a picture, you need certain things: paper and pencils/paints/etc., as well as time alone with yourself so that you can think creatively without interruption by others around you (or even by yourself).
The same goes for other types of art forms; being able to write code or code well requires learning how computers work so that they can be used effectively in building software programs; learning how electricity works help people design better lights and sockets.
Knowing how music works allow musicians to create more beautiful songs than those who do not understand the underlying principles behind sound waves traveling through airwaves into eardrums which then send signals back down into our brains where they are interpreted as the music we enjoy listening to!
But what about activities like brainstorming ideas? For example, if we were trying to come up with new ways our company could improve its customer service process then maybe writing down ideas on sticky notes would be ideal.
Since this allows us flexibility without needing much space like what printing out each idea would require in terms of office supply costs then sticking them all together somewhere else where everyone could see them too easily without having someone else accidentally moving one place off course before anyone had even gotten halfway done reading through all those ideas yet again!
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3. Not Setting Goals
Once you have a goal in mind, it’s time to set concrete expectations for achieving that goal. This is where we get into the nitty-gritty of how much time and effort you need to put into your project.
For example: “I want to create a game where players can press buttons on an arcade cabinet.”
This is an awesome idea! But it’s also too vague. Why? Because it doesn’t tell me what kind of game you’re creating or how many buttons there are going to be (or even if they’ll control the same thing).
It also doesn’t say whether this will be a single-player or multiplayer experience, or whether there will be any complex interactions between players’ inputs (such as two-player button mashing). These are all vital pieces of information if I’m going to help you succeed with this project!
So instead let’s break down this example into smaller goals that will eventually lead us back up toward our larger vision:
My game has at least one input device that accepts player input through buttons or levers and allows us access through gameplay actions like jumping, moving left/right/forward/backward/etc., and interacting with objects in the world around us.
There are no more than three different types of input devices in total; one for each button press action mentioned above, plus one extra so we don’t run out during development but still keep things simple enough so as not to become overwhelming while playing!
4. Too Much Perfectionism
The first step to overcoming perfectionism is to understand that it’s not helpful. It can prevent you from getting started and can be detrimental to your creative process. The desire for perfection can cause you to lose motivation and give up, procrastinate, get stressed, or even make yourself unhappy.
But how do you know if you have too much of a good thing? Well, several signs indicate your perfectionism level might be out of hand:
- You spend more time editing than creating (or enjoy the editing more).
- You feel anxious when someone gives feedback on something you’ve made even if it’s positive feedback!
- Since starting this article series last month, I’ve already spent way too much time trying different angles and color schemes for these headers…I’m hoping no one notices!
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5. Starting With Big Projects
If you’re just starting, it’s tempting to jump right in and start working on the big projects. But it will be easier if you start with smaller projects so that you can get your feet wet before tackling bigger ones.
The problem is that when the project gets too big, you may lose your motivation because it takes more time than what you can afford to spend. If this happens, then there is a good chance that you might quit halfway through the project.
One way to avoid this situation is by breaking up large tasks into smaller ones so that each step feels achievable within a reasonable amount of time.
For example: if I want to write an article about how my creative process works (and I do), then instead of trying to write an entire book about how my creative process works from start to finish (which would take months).
I break down this task into smaller steps like researching what other people have already written on their creative processes and finding out what sites they have referenced or linked to throughout their posts/articles; reading through those posts/articles myself.
Writing down notes based on what I learned reading those articles; interviewing friends who work as designers or developers so they can tell me about their experiences working with clients over long periods (this part took around 2 hours); meeting up with mentors who are more experienced than me at designing websites/mobile apps/games etcetera (this part took another hour); etcetera…
6. Not Taking Breaks
Taking breaks is crucial.
Research has shown that the human mind needs time to process information and make connections, so it’s a good idea to give yourself a few minutes of downtime every hour.
This can be as simple as walking around your workspace or getting a drink of water, but if you can take longer breaks (or even take one long enough for lunch), then I highly recommend doing so.
While taking breaks may seem counterintuitive at first glance, they help me work better in general because they allow me to clear my mind and come back with fresh eyes and energy.
For example, after eating lunch on most days I find that I’m able to focus more easily than before!
Likewise, when we took our daily walk around campus during our recent trip abroad in Japan last fall semester it was always amazing how much better we were able to think about creative ideas afterward even though these were often when we were tired from hours of walking around Tokyo all day long beforehand!
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7. Letting Small Mistakes Stop You
Let’s say that you’ve been working on a project for hours and hours. You’re really happy with what you’ve created so far and can’t wait to show someone else a family member or friend or coworker how great it is!
But then you find one tiny thing that makes the whole thing look silly: the typeface isn’t quite right, or one of your characters looks like something out of an old Disney cartoon, or maybe there’s an extra word in one sentence.
Whatever it is, this isn’t the end of your creative journey; this isn’t even going to make any difference whatsoever once people see how awesome your project is!
You may be tempted to discard everything because of this mistake (or any other small error), but don’t do it! Your work should never suffer because of minor mistakes like these; instead, use them as learning opportunities so they won’t happen again in future projects.
8. Forgetting That Being Creative Is A Process, Not A Goal
Creativity isn’t something you’re born with. It’s not a talent at all it’s a skill that can be learned, just like riding a bike or tying your shoes. And like any other muscle in the body your arms, legs, and abs creativity take time and practice to grow stronger.
So don’t beat yourself up if your creative muscles are feeling particularly weak right now. Instead of focusing on what you lack (which only leads to more self-doubt), think about all the things you’re good at the strengths that make you who you are as an individual!
Then channel those strengths into creating awesome stuff: write poems about them; draw portraits of them; take photos of them; build a house for them out of Legos and paper maché; heck, even build them their online portfolio site if that sounds fun!
The point is: never forget that being creative is part of life, not some prize we win after years spent working on our craft (because let’s face it: who wants to spend their entire lives doing something they love?)
9. Not Working Regularly
The biggest mistake I see creative people make is not working regularly. It can be hard to find time to work regularly, but it’s worth it.
You don’t have to go into “creative mode” every day and sit down at your desk for hours on end. But we do need regular practice something that happens at least once or twice a week if possible so that our creativity doesn’t dry up from lack of use. If this seems impossible with your current schedule, try some of these ideas:
Schedule your creative time in advance (e.g., Friday mornings). You may find yourself regretting this later if you skip it when something comes up!
Do some mind-mapping or brainstorming in the evenings instead of watching TV or reading a book (although those are great things too!). Or bring your journal with you wherever you go and work on it whenever inspiration strikes (like waiting in line at the grocery store).
10. Not Setting Deadlines For Yourself
In my experience, setting deadlines for yourself is one of the most important factors in maintaining a successful creative practice. If you don’t set them and stick to them, you’ll end up procrastinating or getting distracted by other things (like social media) until your work is overdue.
You should always be aware of whether or not you’ve got any upcoming projects that are due soon, and plan accordingly so that your schedule doesn’t get out of control.
When it comes down to sticking to deadlines, there’s no magic bullet it’s just about discipline and good old-fashioned willpower.
The key here is just not giving in to distractions or laziness whenever they arise; if something comes up during this period (and let’s be real: something always happens).
Then either deal with it later or move on to another task while still keeping track of how much time has elapsed since when your original deadline was supposed to have been met.
11. Worrying Too Much About Others’ Opinions Of Your Work
This is the moment where someone takes a second look at your work, and then tells you what they think about it. It can be a friend, family member, or stranger. And for some people, this can be helpful but for most of us, it’s just another layer of pressure that we don’t need when trying to create a masterpiece from nothing.
I know that when I create any piece of work, I always want others to love it as much as I do. But sometimes this creates conflict within me because my inner critic gets in the way; telling me that no one will ever appreciate my art anyway and therefore why even bother?
Here’s the thing: You don’t have to worry about what others think of your work (or lack thereof). If someone doesn’t like what you’re doing then don’t let them influence how you feel about yourself as an artist!
As long as there was some level of effort put into whatever creation process went down during creation time, then everything else will fall into place naturally over time — so keep going!
12. Comparing Yourself To Others Or Thinking That Your Work Has To Be Perfectly Original To Be Worthwhile
You’re going to make mistakes. We all do, and it’s OK. The only way to learn is by doing, so don’t feel like you have to be perfect from the beginning that’s an impossible standard that will only lead to stress and disappointment. Instead, try not comparing yourself to others or thinking that your work has to be perfectly original for it to be worthwhile.
Just do what feels right for you instead of trying too hard or worrying about what other people might think of your ideas.
You can’t please everyone; there will always be some people who don’t like something about your work even if they appreciate its overall message or meaning (just look at any number of controversial pieces of art).
You’ve got enough on your plate trying not to think about how other people might perceive what it is you’re doing! Just focus on making something personal and authentic if anyone else likes it well enough for them as well then great! If not then maybe just focus on finding someone else who does enjoy what it is that makes YOU happy with YOUR creation!
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13. Trying To Do It All Alone (Don’t!)
One of the most common mistakes beginners make is trying to do it all alone. That’s not to say that you should never work on your projects, but it’s important to remember that there are other people out there who can help you along the way.
It’s natural to be afraid of asking for help when you’re just starting. It seems like a big deal, and it can feel pretty intimidating but don’t be! You’ll learn much faster by bouncing ideas off other creators and getting feedback from their perspectives. And who knows? Perhaps someone else has already thought through something similar in their work!
Don’t limit yourself only to your friends and family members either… try reaching out beyond those circles as well!
There are plenty of creators on YouTube and Instagram who have been doing this for much longer than I’ve been alive (and maybe even longer than my parents have), so consider reaching out if you’re struggling with something specific or need advice from an expert in another field entirely (like art or marketing).
14. Getting Frustrated By Your Lack Of Skill At First And Giving Up (Don’t!)
When you’re just starting, the idea of creating something that might be judged can be overwhelming. You might want to wait until you are “good enough” or until your skills are perfect before trying anything.
However, this can cause a lot of frustration because it doesn’t account for the learning curve and also assumes that being “good enough” is a realistic goal in the first place.
Instead of being discouraged by what seems like an insurmountable task at first, remember that everyone has to start somewhere! Just because someone else may do it better than you does not mean that their work was any easier or more natural for them than yours would be for you.
You don’t need to be an expert at something to start doing it you just need some basic tools and guidance from those who have already been there (like this post!). So go ahead: take some chances on your creative journey today!
15. Thinking Creativity Can Fix Everything Wrong In Your Life (It Can’t!)
Let me be clear: I’m not saying that creativity can’t solve your problems. It can! But you have to know the difference between a problem and an issue. And it’s easy to conflate these two things when you’re in the midst of your creative process because problems often seem like issues at first until time reveals them as one big problem.
What’s the difference? If you’ve ever read my blog before, then you know that my definition of a “problem” is something that frustrates or stops me from accomplishing what I want in life like having writer’s block or being unable to pay my bills on time.
Whereas an “issue” is something that frustrates or stops someone else from accomplishing something they want in life like how no one understands how hard it is for me to write this blog every day without getting paid (even though they do receive some benefit because they get to read it).
So yes! Creativity can fix all sorts of things if we let it lead us but only if we use our creativity correctly by creating solutions instead of just complaining about our problems.
16. Even If You’ve Made Some Of These Mistakes, You Can Still Succeed As A Creative Person!
Even if you’ve made some of these mistakes, don’t give up! Creativity is a process and it takes time to learn and grow. Even the most experienced creative people make mistakes sometimes. If you find yourself making the same mistake over and over again, then it might be helpful to reflect on your process and try something new next time.
The best thing about being a creative person is that there are no rules you can create whatever inspires YOU! Don’t compare yourself to others or worry about what they think about your work. Instead, focus on finding out what inspires YOU by doing what makes YOUR heart sing without worrying about making mistakes along the way.
At the end of the day, there are no hard and fast rules to creative work. You can make it up as you go along, but it’ll be a lot easier if you have some idea of what works for you so that when your plan inevitably goes awry, your next attempt will be better than the last.
In other words: don’t give up! Your creative process may seem daunting at first but like any skill worth developing and let’s face it, being creative is something we all want to get better at it takes practice and patience.
You may not get it right on your first try or even in your first 100 tries (or maybe even 1000), but with persistence and dedication there’s no stopping how far ahead of others’ creativity curve you’ll be by learning from their mistakes instead of making them yourself…and whether or not they’re aware that their mistakes would’ve been avoided had they read this article first!
Here are some additional resources related to common mistakes and how to fix them:
Common Copywriting Mistakes: Learn about the pitfalls to avoid in copywriting and discover strategies to enhance your writing skills.
5 Common Mistakes Lettering Beginners Make and How to FIX Them: If you’re a lettering enthusiast, this class provides insights into common errors and ways to improve your lettering techniques.
10 Common Mistakes Beginner UI/UX Designers Make: Dive into the world of UI/UX design and explore tips to rectify common blunders made by beginners.
What are some common copywriting mistakes to avoid?
Understanding common copywriting mistakes is crucial. These can include lack of clarity, poor organization, and failing to address the target audience’s needs.
How can I fix mistakes in my lettering work?
To improve your lettering skills, focus on practicing consistency, paying attention to spacing, experimenting with different styles, seeking feedback, and learning from experienced lettering artists.
What are some common errors in UI/UX design for beginners?
Beginner UI/UX designers often struggle with issues like neglecting user-centered design, overcomplicating interfaces, ignoring responsive design principles, and failing to consider user feedback.
How can I enhance my copywriting skills?
To become a better copywriter, work on refining your language, tailoring your message to your audience, using persuasive techniques, and continuously learning from successful copywriting examples.
What steps can I take to avoid UI/UX design blunders?
As a beginner in UI/UX design, focus on understanding user needs, creating clear navigation paths, prioritizing visual hierarchy, testing your designs, and seeking guidance from experienced designers.
I’m Stuck In A Rut. What Should I Do?
You can fix this by taking a break. Start with something different; maybe try your hand at a different craft or medium altogether. Maybe you’ll discover an entirely new passion, or maybe your old passion will come back to life!
Either way, it will help take the edge off of whatever creative block you’ve been feeling lately and give you some time to relax and recharge before jumping back into your work with renewed vigor.
How Do I Stay Motivated When My Creativity Is Flagging?
There are plenty of ways to keep yourself motivated when things get tough try setting up rewards for yourself whenever you finish a project or goal (e.g., “Every time I finish one chapter of my novel, I will treat myself to ice cream”).
Focusing on all the benefits that come from being creative rather than dwelling on what’s keeping you from being more productive (“I love creating things because they make me feel good” vs.” I shouldn’t be wasting my time playing video games”) or simply reminding yourself what amazing skill creativity is (“Creativity has helped me through so many difficult times” vs “I’m just not smart enough”)
What If I’m Stuck In A Rut?
Don’t panic! Everyone gets stuck sometimes. You may be feeling uninspired, or simply hesitant about starting new projects. It’s important to remember that there is no one way to be creative you get to decide what you create and how you express yourself creatively. Here are some good places to start:
What If I’m Struggling With Motivation?
Motivation is something that ebbs and flows, just like any other emotion we experience throughout life (e.g., happiness). Sometimes your motivation will be high and other times not so much; this doesn’t mean that either situation is better than the other!
There are many ways for getting inspired some people love listening to music while others prefer reading an inspirational book or taking a walk outside so explore what works best for YOU!
And remember: even if it feels like nothing’s happening at first glance (or sound), keep working on things anyway because those ideas might come later down the line once they’ve been incubating inside your brain long enough 🙂
I am a content writer, and I love what I do! Writing makes me feel like the words are flowing through my fingers, and then onto the keyboard, like magic. My experience as a writer has taught me that writing makes me feel good, as well as helps others to feel better too!