Building Your Creative Process to Fit You
written by kayla dean
One of the first times I thought about what it actually means to build a creative process is when I was building the most recent version of my website. I’d been through a lot of themes, copywriting styles, and aesthetics. Plus, my writing was going through its own reinvention process. Until recently, it wasn’t really clear to me how people make the things that they share on their blog or through their online business.
But then it hit me: you can’t build a creative process if you don’t know exactly what it means to make one in the first place.
The steps we take towards building our own creative process are rarely unpacked. We make to-do lists, we tackle them, and we launch. Sometimes it feels like we either have it together or we don’t. And oftentimes that means hiding our own hectic notes and throw-it-together mindsets. But the only way we can really understand the steps we take towards the careers we love is if we open ourselves up to a new way of doing things.
We always talk about the creative process in vague terms, but what does it mean to make this process for yourself as a creative or business owner?
We may define the creative process as the steps we go through to ensure that we can produce work. There may be an end goal, like hitting the publish button on your blog, selling your first course, or finally getting that book to excited readers. This ultimately means that we have to become idea people. After all, many of us are in a business where pitching your ideas is pretty much a requirement. Making people receptive to our ideas by putting them in the right packaging is absolutely necessary.
To get in this mindset, it first takes discovering your creative purpose.
What is it that you really want to do? This initial step means sitting down in peace and quiet to write out those goals and dreams for ourselves. It’s about being intentional. I wanted to be a writer, but it took me a long time to decide how I might go about doing this. I majored in English in college, but got overwhelmed by the wide world of writing.
Here’s the thing: your creative field likely has many different niches.
You may have one you’re most passionate about, but several others that may also work well with your lifestyle and personality. Before you can nail down a creative process to get things done, it may work well to decide where you’d like to go. Make those goals for yourself.
Then find a community. Before we started our blogs and businesses, we had to see what others were doing. This step introduces us both to the aspirational sides of having an online presence, but also to the hard work it takes to nail down your branding and niche. In this early stage, we join other mailing lists and Facebook groups or simply follow others on social media.
Integral to this process is finding reading material that inspires you. Maybe you just like reading blogs, but reading actual books and magazines can be life-changing. If you’re a writer, this is absolutely a given. But even if you’re a business owner, this can still help you nail down solid ideas.
After we have our niche, goals, and reading material behind us, it then takes determining the day-to-day.
How will you spend your hours? Do you just want a blog, or will you provide services or courses? Do you want to focus on your writing first and your blog second? Or are both equally important? Make some kind of schedule. You may be a calendar girl who needs her planner at all times, or maybe you can wing it. Get to know your style so you can plan with optimal flair.
The most important part of this process, though, is letting our ideas incubate before we set them free.
After all, we don’t often publish impulsive blog posts. Chances are, that post that just went out to your newsletter subscribers has probably been floating in your head for months.
If we want to cultivate a creative process that works for us, we have to know how to capture our own ideas. This may mean carrying a notebook or keeping a running list on your phone. It takes dedication and time. It means realizing that we have ideas that are important.
All it takes is a series of steps to make them a reality. Some days are harder than others, but that feeling when someone says thank you for what you just made? Absolutely gratifying.
Kayla Dean helps authors and freelancers grow creative skills through actionable blog content, authentic personal stories, and a supportive community so they can make story the center of what they do. As a writer, graduate assistant, and writing consultant, she's passionate about living a creative life. When she's not reading from my stack of books or writing stories, you can find her exploring Las Vegas or flagging down a lavender latte.