Within every INTP lies the spark of innovation, a deep level of creative brilliance that allows you to think up new and better ideas. But your muse is quixotic. What happens when she's sleeping? What if the ideas and inspiration keep slipping away from reach, no matter how desperately you try to grasp them?
Creativity is much talked about, coveted, and misunderstood. Most INTPs feel the urge to create but struggle to unlock the creative genius within. That doesn't mean that your brain is hardwired to block your creativity - quite the opposite. True creativity is available to everyone. And it starts with processes that speak to artists, technologists and INTP-architects alike.
Care to give it a try? Here are some tips to help INTPs tap their inner muse.
#1: Find your medium
INTPs have a drive to create, but often get frustrated when they have no aptitude for painting, writing, composing, or sculpture. What use are creative skills if you can't find an outlet for them?
Fortunately, creativity is not defined by the bounds of art or literature. It's an entire philosophy - a way of looking at the world. As an INTP, your creativity is more likely to reveal itself in ideation and problem solving than in straight-up artistic creativity. You're capable of being ingenious and resourceful and brilliant in all aspects of life. You just have to find your medium.
Some INTPs unleash their creativity through programming. For others, it's cooking, parenting, photography, music, bee-keeping, role play, or soccer. There are ways to show creativity in everything you do, and every tiny action is capable of being explored in new and exciting ways.
#2: Practice every day
Waiting around for inspiration to strike is all well and good, but true creativity can be sweaty. And hard. And boring. You might be one of the lucky ones who has the serendipitous accident that sets their thoughts on fire. But chances are, if you want to be creative, you're going to have to work at it. You're going to have to schedule creative time on the calendar then faithfully show up at the party.
Ideally, schedule 20 minutes of creative time each day. Our brains love routines since it helps us to form habits. Dedicating all day Saturday to your creativity isn't nearly as valuable as dedicating 20 minutes every day of the week. You don't have to accomplish much in your allotted time - just develop the discipline of making your creativity a priority. Practice is how we transition a new skill to autopilot.
#3. Stop worrying about outcomes
Worrying about the outcome of your actions is a creativity killer. You'll start editing your ideas (Will people love it? Hate it? This part really sucks!) and feed your own insecurities, especially if you have a preconceived notion of what a good outcome looks like or have unrealistic expectations for yourself. In the words of Ray Bradbury, "Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy."
The best ideas happen when you hold back on criticizing yourself and focus on the joy of performing your activity. Even if you spend the entire afternoon sketching meaningless doodles on a notepad, you're still spending quality time with your muse. As an INTP, you're bound to get some flashes of insight along the way.
#4: Get out there
"Creativity is contagious. Pass it on." It's strange to think of creativity as contagious, like a virus, but Albert Einstein, the INTP behind this quotation, clearly knew his stuff. INTPs reach sky-high creativity by connecting the dots and considering the connections. Talking to inspiring people and immersing yourself in their ideas can propel your own creativity to new heights - why do you think mega-creative corporations like Google and Virgin encourage their employees to chat and be spontaneous together while on the clock?
Your takeaway from all of this? Creativity is not a fixed sum. Anyone can be creative as long as they observe, question, and connect the dots - skills that an INTP has in abundance. The rest is just training. You have to take your muse seriously if you want her to flourish.