Inspiration isn't a prerequisite for creativity. Here's why 💭
The counterintuitive nature of building creative habits, explained.
DD HQ here. Be honest - are you a bit skeptical that creativity can become a habit?
This question is the crux of everything we do at Daydreamers. But we get it - showing up to create consistently, even when you don’t want to, feels sacrilegious in a way. We’re often taught that we have to feel inspired before creating. That creativity is this elusive, magical thing that strikes at random.
Well, we’ll be honest: that isn’t necessarily how it works in our brain.
Being creative is something in the scientific world, we like to call a ‘virtuous cycle.’ That means, just by doing it - regardless of how inspired we feel when we begin - we’ll becoming more motivated, inspired and excited to do it again (and again).
This concept is the entire basis of what the Daydreamers Ecosystem is based on, but we were skeptical that it could work at first, too. So, let us expand your mind + explain why creativity doesn’t have to happen on an inspiration-basis only.
First, let’s rewind the clock for a moment to ancient history (literally).
Thousands of years ago, it was believed that creativity wasn’t a human thing. Instead, it was something that deities bestowed a lucky few individuals at random. A creative work was a ‘gift from the gods’ and if you weren’t paying attention, the idea might jump to someone else.
Even though much has changed in our world since then - including our understanding that, biologically, creativity is a natural human trait - this concept has been stuck in our culture for centuries. We still subconsciously believe that some people are creative geniuses, filled with inspiration outside of their control, and some of just…aren’t.
At Daydreamers, you know that it’s our mission to redefine the way we think, talk + interact with our naturally creative brains. And the core of that mission is this: we don’t have to do anything special to be creative - except show up.
From a scientific perspective, creativity-as-a-habit is rooted in neuroplasticity (if you want to nerd out, we gave a good breakdown of this concept here). In short, even though our brains can learn new tricks at any age, they’re really, in fact, quite lazy. We’re constantly looking for the path of least resistance, so the more consistently we do anything, the easier it becomes.
And, that goes for exercising our creativity, too. We can never ‘use up’ our creativity - it only grows each time we do it.
But, what’s especially cool about creativity is that it sends our brain on a positive, upward spiral. It isn’t just making us get on a hamster-wheel of habit-building, but instead, helping us expand our sense of time, reality and even of ourselves.
On a micro-level, being creative releases neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that help us feel happier and more inspired to create. Get this: In a recent research study out of New Zealand (and our favorite at DD HQ - if we could have favorite journal piece 🤓), college students were asked to practice creativity for 15-minutes each day. Not only did they feel better in the moment - but the researchers found that those positive emotions lasted for over 24 hours.
Talk about an even more effective, longer version of a ‘runner’s high’ without leaving your couch, huh?
In all seriousness, we know that inspiration doesn’t just strike at random, but in fact, can be cultivated through consistent, creative practice. And the more we defrost our creative brains, the more we can change our entire world 🌌
With us?! And btw - if you’re feeling like you need a boost of creative habits, the Daydreamers Universe is waiting for you to join us 🛸 Check out our new digital home + learn more about how we’re turning creativity into a foundational part of our collective well-being.
Remember: if you are human, you are creative. See you on the flip -
Katina + Dupi
and the entire team @ DD HQ
Craving a sense of consistent creativity + inspiration? You’re in the right place. Sign up to get Early Access to what we’re building at Daydreamers - and join our next cohort to become more human, less robotic using your naturally creative brain 🧠
An idea to noodle on 💭
Creativity is a virtuous, inspirational cycle
THINK ON THIS: The more you use your natural creativity, the more ‘creative’ you become. We love comparing our creative well-being to our physical health, because it puts things in perspective. You can’t become physically fit by going for a run once a year, right? Creativity works the same way; the stronger we make the pathways in our brain, the faster (and easier) our creativity fires.
…MAYBE NOT THAT: BTW, inspiration doesn’t just ‘strike’ anyway - it’s something we can control. Seriously; fMRI-based studies have shown that when we create the right environment - internally and externally - we can make disparate connections between ideas. The core elements? Relaxation, awe and daydreaming. Our favorites 🙃
Inside our brains at DD HQ 🧠
In our opinion, fun needs to be a habit, too. Being ‘awe-inspired’ is good for you - and the world. Speaking of, we’re geeking out: machine-learning might be able to help us find extraterrestrial life. But, have things gone too far - Spotify now has an AI-powered…DJ? Maybe we’re all just craving a little bit of chaos.
Ideas from the DD Crew 🛸
2023 is our year to unveil the layers behind the Daydreamers Universe - and we’re pumped about all the ways the DD message is getting out in the world. Our most recent piece in Fast Company explores the most overlooked elements of psychological well-being, and how to use them to fight against burnout (hint: they’re all included in the Daydreamers ecosystem!).