How to Stifle Your Creativity And Underwhelm the Masses

There are endless lists on how to create that you just skim over and forget about. But you should really consider the opposite. How do you stifle your creativity? Not grow it? Or inspire an audience? Trust me. It’ll make a greater impact and slap you across the face. In the best way possible… Cheers!

1) Completely overwhelm yourself by what everyone else is doing in the blogosphere and keep at least 25 tabs open on your computer to see how you can compete. Consequently, decide you can’t and lock down into an epic state of paralysis. Might as well close up shop. At the prompt, “Are you sure you want to delete your blog?” Hit yes.

2) Procrastinate as an act of fierce rebellion. If the world really wanted you to create, it wouldn’t be so damn hard. So do nothing instead until the procrastination turns into a form of debilitating depression.

3) Exhaust yourself with office drama, gossip, and meaningless initiatives until you are emotionally drained by 6:30 pm and can do nothing but eat in front of the TV in comfort. Squash and mutilate the voice that wanted you to do work on a drawing tonight. Inform that voice it is dead to you.

4) Complain. Complain loudly. Complain to anyone and everyone that will listen and then some. Attribute all of their successes to mere luck. Decide you are categorically unlucky and thus you are doomed to a life of beige. Get so worked up you have nothing left to give but bitterness.

5) Categorically refuse to exercise. Decide it’s a waste of creative space and then become angry your body is sluggish and not capable of keeping up with your mind. Decide it’s not worth it and just get winded and fat.

6) Give all of your power over to your day job, parents, or spouse and allow them to seed ideas that your creative work isn’t good enough. Or that creativity is not a means to a lucrative profession. Resent everyone, and yourself, for believing it.

7 ) Ignore all creative opportunities at work including ramping up your company’s social media presence with fancy FBML tabs, rewriting the HR manual that no one understands, developing a new procedure that would make everyone’s lives easier, and shun any and all opportunity for ingenuity.

8 ) Focus on every other idea on the planet including stenciling sports insignias into lawns instead of the one that you are inherently built to create. Like pursuing your woodworking. Decide anything else out there is intrinsically better than whatever you can come up with.

9) Insist on calling yourself a starving artist, filmmaker, or writer at every opportunity and charge $5 for a logo because it’s all you believe you’re worth. Then wonder why you lose clients to the person who charges $250 and isn’t even as good of an artist. Torture yourself over the concept that people don’t value free.

10) Ask for creative advice to all the wrong people, like your Dad who doesn’t believe creativity is anything but a hobby, and all your friends. On the chance you do get some good advice, become hysterical when offered actionable steps and insist it will never work for you and they have no idea what they’re talking about. Become a sobbing, hot mess.

11) Ostracize what small, but loyal, Twitter following you have by announcing creativity is a waste of time, and that if they really liked your work they would have clicked on the freaking donate button.

12) Call everyone around you, especially your coworkers, stupid or moronic. Firmly entrench your beliefs that the only ones that get ahead are sleeping with the boss or are the office favorites. Refuse to look at the self-motivated projects they continue to work on and win respect and accolades.

13) Decide travel is too expensive, too dangerous, too time-consuming, and too counter-productive without ever looking into options. Secretly know that the entire world is wrong and in on a conspiracy together. You know there’s no way travel changes your point-of-view and rejuvenates your soul.

14) Don’t network. At all. Even if you see someone blogging about something you have expertise in. Know that if you do, they’ll just steal all of your work anyway and no one is as smart as you, so why bother networking to begin with?

15) Never write down your creative goals or framework and instead keep vague, unstructured plans in your head that are three shades of grey instead of peacock blue and vivid enough to take shape on their own.

16) Worry yourself to the point of nausea over how Chris Guillebeau has the audacity to steal your dream life away, despite the fact your dream is completely different. Dismiss his success as a fluke.

17) Blame the recession, economy, and student debt on everything from your weight to your crappy, uninspired paintings to never opening that design service you charted out 3 years ago.

18) Insist that the world is your client, but then wonder why no one cares about your marketing message for your new food product. Decide you’re a talentless hack, and that the general public are stupid, reality-TV watching morons who don’t know their Wolfgang Puck to their Rachael Ray.

19) Spend every cent you have on an ad in a magazine and wonder why you only got 3 emails. Sue the magazine and tell everyone you know that advertising is a scam. Shrug off anyone’s mention of social media or grassroots marketing as new-agey or for hipsters with a trust fund.

20) Daydream that self-employment is the only route to creativity. Refuse to consider that the reality of self-employment dictates a new set of rules contingent on self-motivation, networking, thinking fast on your feet, self-reliance, creative problem solving, faith, and hard work. All things you can’t seem to manage for yourself in your current state.

If you faithfully follow one or all of the above steps without wavering, you’re well on your way to living an uninspired and uncreative life… So what will your new list look like tomorrow?