CAREER ADVANCEMENT / MAY. 09, 2014
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Tips to Teach yourself a New Creative Skill

Being creative is in everyone's blood, even if you are certain there isn't an artistic bone in your body. There's something about the human brain that demands a creative outlet, which is why there are so many forms of art: film, painting, drawing, writing, music, dance, and more.

Learning new skills takes time, but creative skills require a certain amount of talent as well. Is it possible to teach yourself new creative skills? Absolutely!

Steps to Teaching Yourself Creative Skills

Step 1: Find a skill that matches your abilities. If you're an architect, you naturally have talents at drawing and sketching. You can take up dancing and filmmaking, but art is a much more feasible creative skill given your abilities. Of course, you don't want to limit yourself, but consider carefully which skills fall within your wheelhouse. It could shorten the learning process considerably.

Step 2: Consider your passions. What makes you truly passionate? If you are trying to learn new creative skills, which forms of creative expression enchant you the most? If you're passionate about learning something new, it will be far easier for you to be consistent with it. Consider your passions to find what skill is the best for you to take up.

Step 3: Look for hidden talents. If you're a professional, you've probably established the skills that you need in your life. However, there are always hidden skills you may have forgotten or simply didn't know existed. If you have an eye for beautiful backgrounds, you may be an undiscovered photographer or filmographer. If you have a steady hand, art may be a skill you didn't know you possessed. Can you write lengthy memos? Perhaps you're a writer. Look for talents that you may not know you have!

Step 4: Have fun with it. Start out by practicing your skill for fun, before you ever start learning about it. Draw, paint, take pictures, film movies, or write for the heck of it. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't come out the way you want it to. This step is all about indulging in your passion for creation.

Step 5: Buckle down and do some hard work. If you're learning how to draw, paint, or take awesome pictures, you'll be tempted to try out your new skills as you learn them. That could lead to serious discouragement when you realize you're not as good as you think you are, or want to be. Don't put your newly acquired skills into practice just yet, but do the hard work of studying and learning the skills properly.

Step 6: Set small goals. You're obviously going to have huge goals like "become good at X creative skill", but you need to start out small if you're going to make any progress. Set small goals of "learn how to draw faces", "write a short story", or "film a 10-minute home video". These bite-size goals are much easier to achieve, and will help motivate you to do more and persist.

Step 7: Do it now, and don't stop. Learning new creative skills is actually quite difficult, and it's going to take a lot of hard work to acquire that skill. Start working on it now, and keep it up until you've got it down. Persistence and hard work are the keys to learning new creative skills, so get ready for long weeks, months, or even years of honing and improving on that skill.

With the steps above, you can go the distance and teach yourself a creative skill. You may even be able to turn it into a full-time career, but one you enjoy far more than your current day job. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert on any topic, so start ticking off those hours today!

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