We think it’s helpful to have some guidelines for completing what we set out to do.
Here are Catch Creative’s 7 Cs of the Creative Process:
You need to start somewhere. The space between the time you spend thinking about coming up with an idea and actually conceptualising its content can sometimes take, what seems like, forever. Waiting for a “good” idea can deter from any actual progress being made. Perfection is the enemy of good. The only way to really get started, to unearth a great idea, is to get started. Put the pen to paper and scratch out some thoughts, get the brain working. Before you know it, the ideas will come.
Know your capacity when taking on a project - before you make a goal to complete something in a certain way, assess the skills you need to complete it, and compare it with the skills you already possess. Maybe a video you have in mind involves some unconventional editing or technically challenging motion graphics. In order to complete the project efficiently, and to a level that you’re satisfied with, assess your skills beforehand. Maybe you need to brush up on AfterEffects - do it before you start so you don't feel like you’re getting behind once the project is rolling.
Now that you’ve come up with your idea and you know your limitations, focusing on the idea’s ultimate goal is paramount. Concentrate on the message you want to achieve by putting your idea out into the world. Just like an academic paper, any great creative project has a thesis: a core belief or value to its existence. When you concentrate on presenting an idea through all the steps of your creative process, it’s only natural for the central theme of the project to shine through.
Know what you stand for when you are creating. It’s easy to be persuaded to give in to a trend or idea that everyone seems to be capitalising on at the time. However, if you stick to your gut, your values, and intuition, you can churn out something truly great. While learning and taking inspiration from others is certainly admirable, there is arguably more merit in finding your own path. Contribute to the world by putting forth your own ideas, then maybe someone else can learn from you!
Show up every day. You won’t accomplish something you’re proud of every day, or even most days, but you will produce something. All the rough drafts and mutterings of something that may have been something, when combined or looked back on, can always be improved. It may feel difficult now, but creating the habit is the hardest part, all you have to do afterward is follow through. You’ll thank yourself for it tomorrow. After all, yesterday, you probably said you’d do it today.
We all have lulls in creativity, days when trashing a whole project seems easier than picking up where you left off. Giving up is easy, way easier than trudging through a day with a lack of creative inspiration. However, giving up, when justified by lack of inspiration, is never an excuse. Finish all the way through. Maybe the project won’t be what you expected or envisioned initially, but the act of finishing through on your commitment to your work, and yourself, will poise you to habitually finish what you started. Besides, won’t thinking back on your masterpiece one day be so much sweeter when you remember how you refused to give up on it?
Your work is done, but that cathartic release you anticipated isn’t quite there. The nagging feeling that maybe it isn’t that great, that you need to go back and fix something, that you need to start over, is trying to take over. Don’t let it. That feeling, the one detracting you from the basking in the joy of a completed project, is self-doubt. Be confident and have some conviction for all the work you’ve put in. After all, if you’ve gotten this far, you’ve followed through on the other “C”s, and that, in itself, is an accomplishment to be proud of.