There is a reason creativity and ideas are symbolised by a light bulb!
The moment in which we receive that creative hunch, or the AHA, is surely exciting. It’s an experience that we all toil for.
As a creative person we feel blessed...In those moments late at night, or in a crowded airport when the idea hits me on the head, or in the gut, it feels I am different from people around me.
Now, let me point your attention to something that people almost do not notice.
The idea-hitting moment is symbolised by a bulb with a flash. And a flash it is.
A flash of light can’t lighten up the darkness. Because the next moment it is dark again.
The real game is in sustaining that bright moment and making it useful for all of us. That flash of light must be caught and transformed into a continuous flow of brightness that enlightens us.
That’s where consistency comes in.
The consistency makes a crazy guy or girl a creative professional, succesful artist, or a genius inventor.
This is the discipline, ignored by many, but geniuses follow it religiously.
Now let us see how consistency helps you attain creative brilliance. How, you can take your art or passion beyond a hobby to self growth journey.
Consistency helps you swim against the stream
Routine is such a powerful word. We don’t take our decisions for every single thing. The world has already created certain schedules that we follow.
If you are doing a job, you must reach the office (or on your remote workplace, computer) at a designated time. And then, we must arrange for meals, medicines for the elderly or the sick. And time for the kids.
Add friends to this list, and you have a little time for yourself.
The routine sucks us in. Many a time when I am not aware, I sit at night in my bed and ponder—Where has the day gone?
That’s why creating deliberate time for our creative work is a must. When we do our work every single day, other mundane stuff can not rob you of your creative growth.
Consistency and the power of focus:
When we continuously work on one idea or project, the mind gets focused on it. We think about it, work on it, and also develop it. We do research on the subject and then come back to our project. We try some facts and figures and observations that we gained from life in our creative work.
Some of it works. An observation gets beautifully weaved in our description, something we heard on a crowded train triggers a dialogue for our protagonist. Or, a wall texture that you saw and shot in a street during the day becomes a part of the painting that you are creating.
This is exactly how it works with me. My experiences get weaved into my work. Throughout the day whatever I am doing at the back of mind the thought is: How can I use this in my project?
When I take a break I read something which is related to the work at hand. And also write stuff which is based on my creative project. Some of my insights that I gained during the creative work becomes subjects for my writing projects.
This way, life and project get interlinked. Feed each other. And this focus helps get more things done.
Now imagine, if I come back to my work in sporadic periods, this doesn’t become a theme in my life.
Every time I come to my project, it is a chore in such cases.
So, I highly recommend focusing on a theme, or a project. And being consistent. Even if you work on a project only for 10 minutes a day, do it.
Regularity has major advantages.
Consistency saves a lot of time:
Because we work regularly, the ideas and issues are fresh in our mind. When we come the next day, or in the next session, we don’t need to put a lot of time on catching up with the earlier work. Just a little browsing is enough.
And we can move forward on our project.
But if we work on a creative project only off and on, then catching up requires a lot more time. Mostly unproductive. And this gap becomes the barrier to taking the project forward again.
Consistency builds alignment and ‘consistency’!
When we work regularly, it also means the continuity of our creative mood and energy. That gives our work, whether writing or painting or music composition, an integrity which is lost if we only work infrequently.
Consistency motivates us
When I asked an ultra marathoner, why does he hit the ground every single day? He chuckled, ‘there isn’t another way. I feel bad if I don’t run. When I run, I feel a high. And every day I feel like running a little more!’
That’s exactly what happens when we do our creative work every day. It gives us a high. The work isn’t work any more, but a kind of stimulation.
That’s why geniuses not just produce good work, they also create more work and keep on doing it even in old age.
The most important thing!
Some long form projects need consistency, otherwise you just can’t finish them. I am talking about things like a novel, feature film script, or a big scale mural.
Such projects need patience, collaboration and continuous work. While these look daunting and difficult, the cumulitive effect of consistent, small bits of work every day makes it possible.
Creative Consistency And The 10,000 Hr Rule
Studies suggest a person needs 10,000 Hrs of deliberate effort to master any skill. Whether it is mastery of chess or playing a musical instrument, proficiency and expertise demands continuous and focused work for years and years.
Creative consistency is the difference between amateurs and professionals!
While amateur artists, writers and painters rely on their inherent creative ability, the professionals know: Inherent talent isn’t enough. One must hone their natural competency.
That’s why they do 'riyaz', work on their ideas and creative skills almost every day. Sometimes more than once in a day. They work on their strengths, weaknesses. This enables them to push boundaries.