What if there was such a thing as a creativity thermostat, a creative zone you’re comfortable working within, like a usual genre or style of writing?
I recently listened to a short training call from Peter Sage. In it, he said the number one thing that stops people from getting what they want is their opinion of themselves. If you don’t believe you’re good enough or you don’t deserve something, you’ll self-sabotage.
He then linked it to your financial thermostat, the amount of money you’re comfortable earning. This made me wonder if there was a creativity equivalent that kicks in if you move out of your creative zone, much like how an air conditioner or heater thermostat regulates temperature. If it’s too cool, it raises the temperature. If it’s too hot, it reduces it.
Moving Out of Your Creative Zone
Let’s say you weren’t fully present with the book you wrote and it wasn’t up to your usual standard. You release it anyway, and it doesn’t do so well.
As you’ve dropped below your creative zone, your creativity thermostat would launch into action, inspiring you to write an even better book, more aligned with your usual. When you release that one, the results are what you’d normally expect. You breathe a sigh of relief and feel good about writing again.
Now imagine that while you’re feeling good about writing, an out-of-the-box idea for a new book or series pops into your head. It’s not something you’ve familiar with, but the idea intrigues you. You go with it and produce a book like nothing you’ve written before.
Your new book becomes an Amazon bestseller and is heading towards becoming a New York Times bestseller. It’s even attracting the attention of some publishers and producers.
But there’s a problem; this too is out your creative zone, so your creativity thermostat kicks in again to bring you back down. Maybe you freak out at all the attention or feel the pressure of having to deliver a different standard of writing; so you self-sabotage.
You might sign a publishing contract and give away all the film, television and merchandise rights for that book. The publisher then sells those rights to a film producer, who creates a movie that makes millions. You get very little of that profit because you gave away the rights to the publisher.
That’s how your creativity thermostat works. It keeps you safe by producing the same sort of writing with predictable results. How has this played out in your writing? Where is your creativity thermostat set? My thermostat is currently on nonfiction.
Changing Your Creativity Thermostat
If you want to write in multiple genres, and possibly turn your books into screenplays, you’ll need to expand your thermostat settings.
To change your creativity thermostat level, so you can comfortably and successfully try new things, you need to remove the limiting beliefs stopping you. There are many ways to do this. I wrote about one in The success mindset: What is it and how can you get it.
Another way to do this is to question your beliefs and behaviours, then align them with who you want to become. If you need some help, you can adapt Kate Corbin’s guide How To Reset Your Financial Thermostat to suit.
Some other options are to:
- Write more frequently in the new style/genre to become comfortable with it.
- Seek constructive feedback to improve your writing.
- Learn everything you can about your new genre/style, much like you did with your current standard.
Post in the comments below, what your thermostat is currently set at, and how you’re going to expand it.
Cheers to your writing success!