Curiosity is the key to creativity. Learn how you can jumpstart your natural curiosity and in turn, live your most creative life.
Curiosity. When I think about the word, “curious”, I immediately think of a little mischievous monkey and the man with a yellow hat. “Curious” conjures up ideas of someone who gets into trouble because they ask too many questions or try things that everyone knows shouldn’t be tried.
And yet, when I looked up “curious” in the dictionary, the definition didn’t allude to such a person. It merely defined curious as, “having a desire to learn or know more about something.”
Being a curious person is being a student of life which is actually a very good thing for the creative.
If you have a child at home, you probably won’t have to stretch your imagination too far for this exercise because, well, you’re living it every day. But regardless, let’s go back to childhood for a moment. Remember when . . .
You weren’t afraid to ask, “Why?”
You weren’t afraid to ask, “Why?” again. You know, just to clarify.
You didn’t know everything, and that was okay. You were still able to have lots of fun!
You splashed in puddles, painted with big blobs of color, and laughed until your tummy hurt because you thought something was hilarious. . .
By the way, a really great way to explore your creative side is to journal. I’ve been journaling since I was six years old, and it has been immensely helpful in my life. I teach you five different ways to journal in my online course. Click here for more info.
So, what happened to your childlike curiosity?
If you’re like many of us, somewhere along the line, you stopped wondering. You found the answers to your questions, or you found routines that worked for you. Life became busy, and you didn’t have time for discovery.
Yet when you really think about it, curiosity can be your closest ally when it comes to working through problems, expanding your work, and growing personally as a creative.
Three Reasons Why Curiosity is KEY to Creativity
You’ll Learn How to Work Through Creative Problems—in a Healthy Way
When you’re “wrapped up in your thinking”, meaning you already have preconceived answers to everything you encounter or you are too busy rushing from one activity to the next, you may find that you run into the same creative problems over and over again.
Here’s an idea: The next time you set out to start a creative task, force yourself to do it differently.
If you’re a writer, do you always go to the same coffee shop and write? Next time, get up super early and write in the living room. Knowing what works for you is great but sometimes, especially when we’re “stuck” creatively, it is a good idea to mix up the formula a little bit.
The truth is, if you find writing in the living room does NOT work for you, it is not the end of the world, right? But you also might discover you really enjoy curling up on the couch with a cup of tea in the morning before everyone wakes up.
You’ll Expand Your Work Through An Infusion of Curiosity
I love this quote SO much. If you and I want to expand our influence as creative people, one of the best ways to do so is to infuse some curiosity into your life. If you have no idea of how to do that, you can start with these ideas and expand on them:
- Go to a new place (for you) in your town. Observe. Listen. If possible, park your car and walk around so you can experience it. Sit on a park bench and sketch what you see or list what you hear. Be in the moment. Whatever you do, don’t pull out your phone, and check your email. Really look around and allow yourself to discover. You might be on the verge of discovering your new favorite place! (Here’s how to be a tourist in your own town.)
- Try a completely new-to-you medium. Let yourself play and mess up. Banish thoughts of making it for a gift or copying what you saw on Pinterest. Just play.
- Read a book in a genre you don’t normally read. Try as much as you can to not prejudge.
- Take time to be curious. “Curiosity often must be instilled intentionally, it comes from intentional pauses.” Sue Heilbronner, cofounder and CEO of MergeLane
Brainstorm three ways you could expand your work through curiosity this week. Don’t make this complicated; remember how children approach play and take their lead.
Your entire LIFE will blossom and grow, including your creativity
In the quote above, LeeAnn Renninger is referring to how curious people view their world. In fact, she has written an entire book about surprise and embracing the unexpected, a habit which many curious people naturally cultivate.
Do you want to see your artistic and creative ventures grow this year? One of the best ways to do this is to grow as a person first. We all have set ways of doing things which often is a great thing, but it could be that you are going to need to break through those “set ways” in order to really take off creatively.
But how does one grow in curiosity? Remember the beginning of this post where I talked about a little child asking, “Why?” constantly? That is the number one way to grow: asking questions. But before you start drilling your family and friends with questions, consider these tips.
- Take on the role of a journalist and get to know the people in your life. If possible, don’t ask “yes” or “no” questions.
- Follow up with questions pertaining to what they are talking about; try to not take over the conversation with your own stories.
- Approach these conversations with humility, as someone who doesn’t have all the answers. Treat your friends and family like experts. (Be honest with yourself: you don’t know everything, and that’s alright.)
- Be brave and ask how your creative friends work through common creative problems. Ask your friends who have nothing to do with the artistic world what they do to grow in their field (you’ll probably find some incredible insight!)
- Jot down questions you have about things you want to explore further. Use that good old bullet journal to keep a list of questions and books to read on the subjects that strike your curiosity.
Journaling is a great way to chronicle your creative journey and any questions you might have. Take my journaling course and learn five different ways to journal by clicking here.
Taking steps like the ones outlined in this article will deepen your experience as a creative person. You’ll find you are able to take more risk and be more brave because your curiosity will drive you. And honestly, that is a very good thing.