This is one of the best ways to crush, squash, and generally straight-jacket your creativity. It's also one of the easiest methods to practice. All you have to do is tell yourself, "It has to be done this way."
You can find lots of ways to say this, such as:
"This is how my parents did it."
"This is how I've always done it."
"If it's a good idea, how come no one ever thought of it before?"
"If I don't follow the rules, I'll get into trouble."
"If I don't follow a strict routine, I won't accomplish anything."
We are usually well trained in following the rules and routines. I knew someone who in kindergarten tried to paint a green pumpkin. He got into a lot of trouble.
Another way to get your little creative hand smacked is to color outside the lines.
Underlying rigidity is usually fear. "They'll laugh at me, reject me, ignore me, lock me up."
Creativity lives outside the lines. If you really want to express yourself and be true to yourself, that has to be more important than what "they" might say or do.
I didn't name this blog "Dragonfire: The Creative Spark" by accident. The urge to create is a fire that burns away all considerations about what others might think.
To use a real-life and contemporary example: Many indie authors chose this route because they had a certain pattern of rejection from the established publishing world. They would get rejections that went like this, "I really like your book. It's original and imaginative, and you write very well. The problem is, I don't think I could sell it." Translation: this doesn't fit into any of the slots and categories that the big publishing houses believe can safely sell.
That's why you'll find some of the most creative writers around, those who are transcending traditional boundaries and exploring new worlds among the independent authors.
Rigidity isn't always a chronic condition. Sometimes it shows up in creative blockages where one finds oneself recycling the same old tired ideas.
Dare to think and do something new.