Creativity is like a pilot light. For some, it seems to always be blazing while others struggle to keep it lit. No matter how dormant it gets, it’s always possible to reignite with just a little effort. Sometimes, we all just need a little boost. If you feel your creativity running dry, never fear! Try one of these handy tips to get it flowing again.
- Take a shower – If you find that you’re under a lot of stress or have been dwelling on one idea without much success, it’s probably a good idea to temporarily shift gears and get clean. No, seriously. Relaxation is a good way to get the mind flowing, and there’s no better way to detox from reality than stepping in the shower. Of course, it’s not always convenient to hop in the tub every time you need to do some serious thinking. Exercise and other tasks that require minimal focus are fantastic ways to clear your mind and stimulate blood flow. You may find that inspiration strikes you when you’re able to let your mind wander.
- Keep notes – Inspiration often comes in the form of outside sources. Events, people, places, and even overheard conversation in your day-to-day can make for some creative fodder. That last one might sound a little creepy, but I swear by it for fiction writing. Since these stimuli are fleeting, it’s important to capture them when they happen. Keeping a pen and notebook on hand isn’t always plausible, but that’s one of the wonderful uses of a phone. There are more than enough note-taking apps to choose from, but my favorite is Google Keep, which syncs with my Drive and lets me put a sticky note widget right on my homescreen for quick reference (sorry, iPhone fans).
- Change your environment – If you sometimes feel like your usual hangout is stifling your inner dialogue, you’re probably due for a change of locale. The brain develops subconscious associations with just about everything. Color is especially important, since our brains have been conditioned to equate certain moods with color since we were young (even before mood rings were a thing). Soft, mellow tones like blues and purples invoke calmness, while harsher, brighter colors convey energy, passion, and even anger.
- Indulge your passions – If there’s one bit of wisdom I can impart on you, it’s that stress puts a damper on creativity. If life is too busy that you can’t squeeze in the things that make you happy, you might need to re-prioritize your activities. But don’t just stop at engaging with your hobbies. Make a point to seek out other hobbyists or professionals who share the same interests and use their work as inspiration. Just remember that there’s a fine line between “inspired” and “plagiarized.”
- Stop thinking about failure – Failure is a necessary evil. It’s inevitable as much as it is discouraging, but worrying about failure is a torment in its own right. If you’re always fearing a lack of success, you’re more likely to be overly critical and take less risks, which isn’t inherently a good thing. There’s also a good chance you’ll hold yourself back from even trying. The solution? Focus on the experience of doing instead of the hypothetical outcome. Make peace with the idea that even if you don’t emerge successful, you’ve at least made progress.
How do you get your creative juices flowing again?