It was 2009 when I discovered my love of coffee shops, particularly those in the Mission District of Calgary. The smell and flavour of the coffee, the welcoming people, the eclectic music buzzing beneath the conversations, and the feeling of being hugged the minute I sat down.
Flash forward two years and I now know that these coffee shops were my sanctuaries, providing a comforting space to read and enjoy a cup of coffee or write stories for 2 – 3 hours each day as I was managing a health hiccup. During this time, The Write Harle was born as it was there that I understood my voice in writing. Eight years later and I still go back to Mission whenever I need an influx of creative juices combined with the excitement of a young business owner just starting her journey in spite of no longer living within a 5-minute walk. (Oh, YYC traffic and your 30+ min drive there now).
Why am I telling you this? First, go and support the shops in Mission – they are fabulous and committed to providing Calgarians with excellent service!
Next, it’s to highlight the power of space for you to tap into creativity to benefit your business, whether in content development, client solutions, or systems innovations. As many employers now identify that creativity is a critical job skill required for today’s digital era, it’s important that companies start understanding how spaces tap into this creativity for their team. This includes companies of one to 1 mil+.
Connection to Space
Our mental capacity for creativity often stands in direct relation to our physical space. This is why some people can be uber creative in board rooms while others can’t. For me, I’ve tied my creativity to these shops and, whether consciously or not, I always do some of my best work while there; unedited work, of course, admin and editing happen elsewhere, but great creative work, nevertheless.
The coffee shops in Mission are where my own ability to think beyond a corporate office started (nay – cubicle). To me, these coffee shops are places that allowed me to see my future in a new way, tied to creativity and greater purpose. When I go back to Mission, I’m flooded with firsts for The Write Harle, such as knowing this is where I:
- completed my first online web writing and SEO courses,
- discovered the power of humour in writing,
- first said out loud – “I run a copywriting business,” and
- met my first client (and still have the list of fiction books he gave me to read).
What spaces do you have a connection to that allow you to tap into who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing? Whether emotional ties or something else entirely, use this space to open up your mind to creative possibility.
How this helps you enhance your creativity: you discover where you do your best work and why.
Atmosphere of Space
The atmosphere for tapping into your creativity is different for everyone. Some people need complete silence, while others need a prime construction-season level of noise. For me, white noise is my happy noise and coffee shops have this in droves.
Smells are another aspect that set your creative atmosphere. Like any good little writer, I am a coffee addict. Just the smell of coffee awakens my creative brain. When combined with all the other smells of a coffee shop (fresh baking, meals being made in the back, cinnamon – they all smell like cinnamon), there’s a connection I tap into to write.
Returning to a space that sparks creativity can help put you back in the creative space needed for the initial burst of unedited genius. Think of a place where you felt unhindered in thought. What was the atmosphere there – what did you hear/see/smell/feel? Note this and see if you can recreate them the next time you need to get your creative flow going.
How this helps you enhance your creativity: you create the right conditions to tap into your creative mind when you need to.
Space to Give Breathing Room
As mentioned, whenever I work at one of the coffee shops in Mission, I complete brainstorming and first drafts only. It is a creative space, not a fine-tuning one, which helps remove the need for “perfection.” Rather, I have a space dedicated to editing my brain dumps and drafts. This physical separation of spaces ends up providing, as Woody Bendell calls it, temporal space. This is where you create the first draft and let it breathe for a few days (or months…years even), letting the ideas percolate further for you to then enhance. Many creatives find that to allow their work to be fully realized, they must have time between “finishing” and sending off to wherever it needs to be. This allows time for ideas to grow/change/deepen, allowing one to add to them if needed prior to presenting.
How this helps you enhance your creativity: gives you the time to create, reflect, and adjust to ensure items support your business brand.
If you find yourself struggling to find a solution, write a blog post, or playfully build your brand voice, take a look at your surroundings. Is it conducive to your creativity? If not, think back to where you have your best ideas. Create these same conditions and feel the creativity flow.
Share your insights below or contact The Write Harle for a 1:1 chat!