Junction 32 Blog

You're Creative (Even When You Don't Feel Like It)

Julianne Kim December 8, 2017
Julianne Kim
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Have you ever sat at your desk, trying to force yourself to think creatively, and your mind was coming up with nothing?

Yeah, me too.

Whether it’s developing blog editorial calendars, brainstorming podcast ideas for clients, or just having team conversations about ideas to grow the business, there are times when I just feel… blank.

And you know what happens when you come up blank? (I know you know, because you’ve felt it too.) 

You say to yourself: I’m just not creative enough for this job.

I’m not creative enough / I hope my boss doesn’t realize they hired the wrong person / I’m the weakest link in this group of creative geniuses / When are they going to find me out?

It’s not a good feeling. But the good news is: It’s also not true.

Joanna and I had the opportunity to attend Hubspot’s INBOUND conference where we heard Piera Gelardi, founder of the creative content powerhouse Refinery29, talk about just this.

She asked us: Who’s ever felt like they weren’t creative enough for their job? From what I could see, all 21,000 attendees raised a hand. 

Piera shared that she knows the feeling well, but in order to grow her business she had to learn how to push through those moments. Because if you’re doubting yourself, you’re going nowhere fast. Here’s some of the wisdom she shared on how to push past a creative rut (because you are, in fact, creative!):

Construct the conditions for creativity

Think about the last time you felt truly creative—what were the conditions? Morning or afternoon? Coffee or tea? Music playing? Find your creative conditions and replicate them.

Be Courageous Enough to Ask Questions

One of my favorite quotes from Piera was “I wasn’t the only person with questions, I was just the only person asking them.” Somewhere along the way, we decided that admitting that we don’t know everything is bad. (We’re really wrong about that.) If you want to spark creativity, ask bold questions and keep asking them until you find your answers. You’ll be surprised at what you can uncover by simply speaking up.

Friction Creates Spark

You’ll run into roadblocks when you’re being creative. People won’t have the reactions you were expecting. You'll be shut down with the classic "we’ve already tried that, what else do you have?" and sometimes—even under the perfect conditions—you’ll come up blank. But remember this simple rule of science: Friction creates sparks. Keep pushing. 

So the next time you’re questioning yourself and your abilities, remember this: You are absolutely creative enough. Then, cultivate your conditions, ask courageous questions, and lean into friction.

When you show up for yourself, your ideas will show up, too.

Topics: content strategy, creativity, creative process, brainstorming, blogging, inbound, piera gelardi