Building creative confidence: How to be more creative

How to be more creative

Today’s topic is about being more creative. But first, let me share a story about my creative journey.

Although I’ve been designing graphics and websites for over 10 years, after college my career path led me into day job as strictly a web developer.

This is not what I want — I feel most comfortable when I’m working on projects that combine design and development (and other skills, which is why I’ve started my own business).

But, over the years I settled and just adjusted to the corporate grind. As I became more frustrated and bored with my job, my creativity suffered.

I was uninspired to design and apathetic to things that I used to love so much.

Considering the fact that I have a business and a blog that require me to be creative, something had to give. And since I have to keep my day job (at least for now), I had to figure out a way to get my creativity back.

Today, I finally feel like I’m getting my confidence back as a designer. How did I do it?

These are some simple steps I took that have really helped me rediscover my creativity.

Be a creative

This sounds really corny, but labeling myself as a creative really helped. I’ve always been hesitant to call myself a “creative.” I didn’t feel like I was cool enough or good enough to deserve that label. I’m not a hipster or a design snob, I don’t drink coffee (although I love Frappuccinos!) and I don’t prefer a Mac over a PC (I use both). But that doesn’t mean that I’m not a creative. Someone who does creative things is a creative. The more you say it, the more you’ll believe it.

Do more creative things

Simple, right? And yet, at one point I found myself working on zero creative projects and wondering why I didn’t feel very creative.

This is how it happened: there was a time when I decided I wasn’t a very creative person, so I stopped doing creative things (I stopped taking on client work and didn’t really have any personal projects going on). I didn’t do it on purpose, it just kinda happened. I went from designing something every day to never really designing anything. It took some time, but I realized that I will never be more creative if I never even try.

I read somewhere that creativity can be learned (or in my case re-learned); you just have to practice. The way you practice is by doing — designing graphics, trying DIY projects, painting, drawing, lettering, or whatever. Maybe all of the above. Just don’t stop creating!

Get Organized

Over the past year, I’ve been reorganizing my life and business — and the more organized I get, the clearer my vision becomes. It’s really hard to focus when your desk is messy and you can’t find files on your computer and your office is filled with junk.

If you can function that way, more power to you. But I know that I am much more creative without the clutter.

Write more stuff

I’ve noticed over the years that the more I write, the more ideas I get and the more I learn to express myself. This can be any type of writing — blogging, writing a book, or even journaling. Evernote makes it so easy to keep all of my writing organized in one place.

Read more fiction books

Reading blogs, articles, and non-fiction books is great, but I think we should all read more fiction books.

I’ve been reading more fiction books lately, and it’s amazing how much it opens my mind. I was really into reading fiction books as a kid, but I fell out of it in high school and college. Now I’m back to reading again and the stories really do inspire my work.

Make everything beautiful

Strive to make everything around you beautiful. Some ideas: Add your personal style to your workspace or office, rearrange your bookshelves, or redesign your blog. Makeover your closet, get rid of junk that you don’t need, or hang some new artwork.

Just do whatever you can to organize, beautify, and simplify your life, and it will start to show in your work.

Get inspired

Find inspiration wherever you can! Above, I mentioned reading and writing as some of my inspirations. I’m also inspired by movies, tv and music, colors and patterns from my favorite clothing brands, and photography.

Sharpen your skills

It doesn’t matter how awesome you are — there is always something you could learn or improve on. Taking courses and studying books and tutorials are great ways to build creative confidence.

All of these things have helped me so much. Sure, there are still times when I lose confidence or fall into a weird creative block, but now I’m always able to get back on track.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your journey!! I was so excited to read this post. My blog and passion is all about fueling our creativity, so it’s so good to hear from others about it and some good ways to boost our creativity. I would say that we all are creative, even if we don’t think so, and labeling ourselves creative can help so much! I’m loving your other tips too. I think writing is so important, and now I am inspired to read more fiction too! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Tanea!

    • Thanks so much, Gina! I agree that we are all creative. I think it’s all about mindset and getting in that creative space, mentally. Thanks for stopping by, and for the sweet comment. 🙂


    This is all so helpful. It’s really hard after awhile to not get stuck in a rut or feeling “blah” about things when they get repetitive. I’m a true believer in making everything in your life beautiful. A beautiful workspace or a dreamy bedroom is the perfect place for the mind’s wheels to get turning.

    I never thought about non fiction being beneficial to your own writing, but that completely makes sense. Do old classic romance novels count? lol

    • Thanks, Kat!! You’re so right about making everything beautiful. It puts you in a constant creative state of mind.

      And yes, classic romance novels count! 🙂

  • lama

    really perfect article, your words ispired me and let me feel that i should try and keep trying untill i achieve my dreams. i am speechless. good job !!

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