How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Spark Your Creativity
Whether you’re a fan of TV movies, comic books, music, or indeed all of the above (plus plenty more), you’ve likely wondered if you could do the same thing that you have spent your entire life adoring. You ask yourself, Why can’t I do that, too? Well, the fact is that you can, but inspiration and creativity can be a complicated beast to cage and tame, especially if you’re not used to doing it. We’ve already discussed a range of podcasts to help you find inspiration. Still, you will need more than that, and often, sparking your creativity comes with stepping out of your comfort zone and introducing you to something entirely alien and unfamiliar, in the best way possible.
Get Into a Debate
You might consider yourself someone who doesn’t enjoy confrontation, and that’s perfectly cool, not many people thrive in such an environment. However, getting into a debate, whether respectful or heated, will allow you to recognise a unique perspective that you may not have considered beforehand.
This isn’t to say you need to flat out argue with everybody you come across over the smallest things, but you can still engage in a healthy discussion. Without this, you’d struggle to hear any other opinions except those that match with your worldview, and while it’s comforting to listen to people think the same as you, this isn’t the point you’re looking for.
Creativity will come from engaging in things you find uncomfortable, but you must push through this to spark that creative flame.
Use Your Hands to Build
Relying on yourself rather than machines or other people is something we discussed in depth in our guide on how to make a comic book without any cash. This can also be beneficial for boosting your creativity and dragging you kicking and screaming out of your comfort zone.
We don’t mean literally building something, although you can if you want, but rather being more self-sufficient with your practices towards creativity. If you’re used to typing away at your laptop in an eventually futile attempt to come up with action scenes, try writing by hand, which triggers something different in the brain and increases your creativity.
The same is true of abandoning digital art programs and going back to basics. Rather than use the clean convenience of comic book design software, get to your drawing board and sketch those characters and scenes.
Try Something Unfamiliar
If you’re stuck for any inspiration, consider trying something you’ve never done before. You don’t need to be any good at it, and the chances are you won’t be, but it can help trigger ideas for a variety of creative ventures.
Doing something you’ve never done before will also help you contextualise your characters and stories. If you’re writing something about Vikings, Thunderstruck 2 could give you the context you need for accuracy. Likewise, you can consider consuming media you usually avoid, especially if you’re trying to differentiate your characters more effectively than merely their hair colour.
Most of the time, this is useful for research, but you might find that it’s something you enjoy, making it doubly positive, giving you a brand new hobby in the process.
Make More Snap Decisions
Too many creatives tend to overthink everything. They can spend hours wondering whether a piece of dialogue requires an exclamation point at the end, or whether the protagonist’s combat gear would look better in red or a slightly darker red.
While this might all be part of your creative process, it won’t help with your inspiration and creativity, and you will end up procrastinating over the misty insignificant things. To overcome this, push yourself from your comfort zone and force yourself to make more snap decisions.
These snap decisions will demand you choose something and stick with it. Not only will this help you get things done, but it will also allow you to explore other ideas while you’re on a roll, which can only be beneficial.
Avoid the Safe Choice
When faced with a decision, your immediate reaction is to follow the safe choice. This choice is comfortable, but it’s also something that could be hindering your creativity.
When you look at other creatives throughout history, you’ll see people who were willing to take risks and benefit from it. From The Beatles and their foray into psychedelica over the rockabilly of their early records to Grant Morrison and his seminal Arkham Asylum comic book that explored the psyche of Batman’s mind, these risks opened up more exciting avenues for inspiration and creativity.
The unsafe choice can be scary, but it’s supposed to be. Without it, you won’t grow as an artist, and if you’re not growing, you’re stagnating, which is not something any creative person can afford to do.
Embrace the Yes
The idea of saying Yes to everything can make a lot of people, especially creative introverts, run back home and hide under their bed until the question is forgotten about. But, just like unfamiliar situations, saying Yes as often as possible (and preferably all the time) will help you get the unique experiences you need to boost your creativity.
This can open up a range of possibilities that you never thought were possible in your career. You can meet new people that could offer unique experiences, and they could also introduce you to other important people in the industry.
You’ll never know until you try it, and you don’t want to be the one who missed out because you were too scared to say Yes, so try it sometime and see how it benefits you.
If you’re anything like any of the millions of creatives out there, you probably have a pile of unfinished projects hiding away in a drawer that you swore you’d get to eventually.
Well, there’s no better time than right now to attack them. Hiding them away for so long has likely given you the chance to consider the good and the bad, and this allows you to approach everything from a new perspective, which can help you make the necessary improvements.
You can’t call yourself creative if you stop creating, so even though unfinished projects can be daunting, it’s something you need to do.
Focus On Areas You Need to Improve
Nobody is the finished product. There is always something you need to improve. It could be your endings; it could be your character development or worldbuilding. Whatever it is, you can’t ignore the need for improving these areas.
Too many people will find something they are good at and try to build their work around this. However, this is not the way to become a well-rounded creative. Instead, you must look for the weaknesses in your work and strive to make changes that will improve these.
This, in itself, can be a way to step out of your comfort zone. It can be frustrating to tackle something you’re not adept at, but doing so will help improve your skills and get you closer to being a finished product.
Mind the Step
You can’t expect to understand unique and interesting experiences that make up books, comics, TV, film, and songs if you spend your entire life stuck in the same bubble. While it can be terrifying to step out of your comfort zone, even if it’s just for a second, you will experience plenty of benefits, and it will prove that the world isn’t so scary after all. As a creative person, you are supposed to face up and scrutinise the bad just as much as the good, and getting into another zone will make that possible.
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