One of my favorite podcasts is the Accidental Creative with Todd Henry. I love that each episode is short and concise. And I seldom finish an episode without several ideas bouncing around in my brain for days. But I got lucky in liking this podcast. The truth is I was originally attracted to it for the name alone. I have often referred to myself as an accidental creative.
Becoming a Creative
Back in 2005, I wrote my first real article. It was basically a race report about my daughter’s first race. But the truth is I had been writing for years. I had been writing since 1992 to be exact.
That was the year I got married, but more importantly from a creative standpoint, it was the year I started running. I started running because, quite frankly, I had gotten fat and in 1992, I was far too young to be starting my life fat. I started running for my health, but almost immediately, no, that’s not true. Immediately, I started writing. Not on paper, not on a computer, but in my head. During my first run, I wrote my obituary. I was absolutely convinced I was going to die before the run was over and the obituary simply popped into my head.
After that I found myself getting lost in my head on most runs. Sometimes, I would write a story about a person I saw ambling down the street. Sometimes, I would write about something completely unrelated to exercise, something I was mulling over after my day at work. But more often than not, I wrote about a life lesson I was learning through running.
Ann’s Running Commentary
It took almost fourteen years for me to put those lessons on paper. Fourteen years for me to realize that all of those words floating around in my head were my creations and could be written down and shared. Fourteen years for me to realize anybody would be interested in reading them. When I did finally write them down, Ann’s Running Commentary was born and even more words flowed through my brain.
Using the Accident
Today, I still maintain Ann’s Running Commentary. I still write about life lessons I learn through endurance sports. But today I find myself using that accidental creative to help my clients as well.
For me, the creative part of my brain is most easily accessed through exercise.
When I find myself up against a tough campaign, something I know could be great but I just can’t find that greatness, I will head out the door on my bike. I will hammer away for miles avoiding the problem all together, until suddenly all the pieces fall into place. It is through movement that I find my ideas.
But this idea of movement and creativity is not unique to just me. The more I talk to business owners the more I realize they can get their creative side to come out through movement as well.
You will seldom find me at a coffee shop for a meeting with a client. Instead you will find me walking in downtown Annapolis or along the B&A Trail side by side with a new business owner.
I do this because I know when they start walking they will start talking and when the words begin to flow they will express their passion so much more clearly then sitting across from me with a legal pad and stack of business cards. Walking beside me their mind opens up and they can share their vision for their business.
It is this vision, this passion that we find the start of great social media and marketing campaign. Finding my creative was the first step in finding my own vision, my own passion. In many ways, finding my creative was the beginning of the life I love today.