Get Cozy with Your Creative Chaos

Creativity is easy when you’re a preschool-aged child. Slowly but surely, the need for the “right” answers and approval grows and creativity shrinks. We become afraid of the chaos that is creativity. Stop being afraid. Get cozy with your creative chaos.

Count to Five and Start

Starting is the hardest part, facing a blank page you balk. Your brain wants to find order. There’s safety and security in order. But creativity is not a straight line from concept to the idea to execution to product. 

What Creative Chaos Looks Like

Image shows graphic representation of creativity with a squiggly, chaotic line morphing into a disjointed line and then a line with ups and downs
Image adapted from an image on  

Allow Failure

Part of creativity is failure. And often, failure sets off alarms in our brain. It triggers the fight-or-flight response. There are no right or wrong answers. Does that make you uncomfortable? Good. You can’t create without a little discomfort and a lot of chaos. Plan for failure. For writers, that means write a crappy first draft. Plan for it to be crappy. Editing it will turn it into the polished piece.


Feed your creativity the images, words, sounds, rhythms it needs to replenish. Gathering lots of ideas is critical to creativity. Use all the arts, all the media you can get your hands on. The things you feed your creativity mix and meld and mash together into something new and different.

Processing Time

You sit down at your creative station, your desk, and…nothing happens. Your mind is a blank. Most likely you’ve not given your brain the processing time it needs. Do something else. Unleash your creative chaos. Your ideas need time in the primordial ooze to reshape them into something creative. 

Be Open

The first idea you come up with is usually predictable, trite, or blah. Be open to lots of ideas, even the ones that seem crazy. Play with each of them a little. Have fun with it!

Be Ready

Creativity often comes in the middle of something else. Be prepared. Keep a notebook and pen or electronic device by your bed, in your pocket or purse, everywhere. Prepare your family/friends. That blank stare in the middle of a conversation isn’t about them; it’s your brain finally pulling something out of your creative chaos.

You don’t have to be an artist. Everyone is creative. But many adults have stifled that creativity for so long they believe they have no creativity. Undo the brainwashing. Build up your creativity muscles with ways you can be more creative and what you should know about creativity. Creativity isn’t a straight line. It isn’t neat. But it is mighty rewarding. Get cozy with your creative chaos and go be a maker.

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