Creativity Truths Every Freelancer Should Know


It’s the golden standard of freelancing — a holy grail of sorts. . .

We all think that we know what creativity is. It’s the beautiful logo, the smart web design, or the clever prose. Surely, those things are evidence of the creative process at work. But, there is something more to being creative.

What is Creativity?

Creativity is that rare combination of skill and innovation. It’s the ability to look at a blank wall or a dead end and see something else there — something much more meaningful.

Creative people aren’t stopped by obstacles. They don’t know the meaning of the words “it can’t be done.

Four Characteristics of Creativity

What does creativity look like? Here are four characteristics of the creative person:

  1. Persistent — If you look at the history of some of the most creative people in the world you’ll notice one thing about all of them: they never quit. A creative person doesn’t give up.
  2. Unconventional — Creative people are often unconventional. Some may even be described as “eccentric.” They get this label because they don’t do things in the “usual ways.”
  3. Imaginative — A key element of creativity is an active and vivid imagination. A creative person is able to imagine solutions and possibilities that other people cannot see.
  4. Flexible — Creativity demands flexibility. Creative people are usually not bound by rigid rules, expectations, or circumstances. They are able to work around or see past their environment.

How Does One Become Creative?

This post might cause you to wonder, “how does one get creativity?” Or, you might ask, “can one become creative?” These are both good questions.

Many would argue that you can’t get or teach creativity, but that one is born with it. They have a point.

On the hand, many of us live and work in an environment (sometimes even of our own choosing) that does not really foster creativity.

Here are some steps you can take to find your own creativity:

  1. Slow down – As freelancers it seems that we are always in a hurry. If the project isn’t due today, it was due yesterday. Although sometimes creativity is born out of stress, most often it is not. To find your inner creativity, give yourself some extra time.
  2. Allow yourself to dream — Rather than accepting your current circumstances, ask yourself the hard questions like: “what if?” Then, don’t be afraid to answer those same hard questions. Creative people aren’t afraid to answer the difficult questions of life.
  3. Consider alternatives — Our society loves boxes. It’s more efficient to do the same thing the same way every time, but that doesn’t necessarily foster creativity. “Think outside the box” has become a cliché, but it’s a true cliché. Do something different.
  4. Follow your passion — Is there something that you’d rather do more than anything else? Many of us have laid aside our passions to pursue our professions, but the two don’t necessarily need to be separate. Follow your passion and find your creativity.

You may find that you actually have more creativity than you realize.

Are You Creative?

What is the most creative thing that you’ve done? Why do you think that it was creative?

How do you think you could increase or better apply your creativity?

Share your stories in the comments.

Top Image by kaalam