Choosing Your Creativity Mantra. Having a mantra will help you focus, motivate creative growth, and refresh your energy toward your creative goals. A mantra is a repeated thought or idea that is connected to you in a personal, inspiring way. It has a positive affect on you when you repeat your particular word or phrase. For example, repeating “OTB” might be all you need to keep yourself thinking outside the box. With a mantra like that, you may find yourself experimenting a little more boldly with your creative process, venturing into uncharted waters in a unique way that has yet to be seen. With “OTB” as a mantra, you are always reminding—scratch that, challenging yourself (and your audience) to think outside the box with your work. That’s keeping you on your toes!
In religious practice, a mantra is a sacred word or chant (or sound), repeated during meditation to connect, heighten, or transform spiritual power and/or consciousness. How sacred is your mantra? What is your message? Is your mantra evolving from a deeper place? Do you prefer to meditate on being open to new and unexpected muses, or releasing your fears? Are you seeking compassion toward your creative self, or seeking guidance in the potential of your creative gifts? (You have enormous potential, by the way!)
As a creative, having an inspiring personal mantra can be a unique and powerful resource in revving your creative drive. With the right word or phrase, you should often apply, use, and repeat your creativity mantra for renewed inspiration, keeping yourself on task (“write here, write now”), even push yourself toward creative growth and evolution. One of my mantras, “let nature be your muse,” guides many of my workshop ideas, appears as the name and direction of my Meetup group, as well as my social media outlets and, of course guides much of my art/writing.
Remember, mantras can be fun. If you need a jumpstart in finding yours, Anton Tang’s “little cardboard people” image above may spark one for you, like explore, embrace whimsy, be adventurous, make ’em smile, etc. Or try revisiting a few of your favorite movie lines, lyrics, or a great book. They stick with you for a reason, and you might find they fit in perfectly with your artistic style and work mode. As an example of this, I shamelessly admit I often use, “Talk to me, Goose” when I’m stuck or have just made a mistake that needs a little creative tweaking.
If you’re looking for something a little more inspired, think carefully on one or two ideas or concepts you wish to get across in your work. What do you want to evoke in your audience? Conversation? Uncomfortably edgy? An experience? An escape (aka The Pina Colada Song)? OMG incredible, damn clever girl, or sublime? Don’t worry, be happy? POW? Find your newest mantra in your answer.
What’s your mantra? I’d love to hear it. If you don’t have one already, create one now and infuse your next piece with the essence of it, and see what happens. You can always change it later.
JUST DO IT (winky-wink)