For those of us involved in creative pursuits, such as writing, creativity often ebbs and flows. Sometimes our creative ideas seem to flow, while at other times, we can’t even seem to begin to get started on a new project or continue with one we’ve already begun. There are times when we all could use a little creative inspiration. One way to do that is to cultivate it regularly. With that being said, here are a few activities you can use to get your creative juices flowing – and not just for those of us who are writers, but for all creatives.
Shake Things Up
We all have routines. Routines can carve a rut that allows our thinking to stagnate. One way to combat this stagnation is to try new things. Do something that you wouldn’t typically do. Do something to break out of your comfort zone. Go rock climbing for the first time. Many times we become inspired by new activities or by doing things we normally do in a different way. Taking a new route to work or writing in a different space – perhaps a coffee shop if you typically sequester yourself in your home to write. Just the act of looking at things from a different perspective can often spark our imagination.
Something as simple as walking can help spur your creativity into action. Studies have shown that movement, whether it be full-on exercise or just taking a walk, can improve creativity. So go for a walk, do some yoga, hit the gym, whatever you do – keep moving. Just sitting around staring at a blank paper, canvas, or clump of clay isn’t going to inspire you, but being active just might.
Many writers are people watchers. Besides being a fascinating way to pass the time, observing people going about their lives can often be just the spark, you need to ignite your creativity. From overheard snippets of conversations to eccentric behaviors and mannerisms, these observations can often become the inspiration you need for the next story, essay, or song you write.
Keep an Idea Notebook
Ideas can be such fickle things. Inspiration often hits us at the most inopportune times, right before we fall asleep at night, while we’re in the shower, or perhaps while we’re out on a bike ride. That’s why keeping a small notebook handy to capture those creative moments can be extremely helpful. By the time we wake up the next morning, or towel off the idea may have escaped us.
Create the Right Environment
Create an ideal setting for inspiration and creativity. A peaceful space with comfy furniture, soothing lighting, and calming colors can allow us to focus our energy on our creativity. Being surrounded by mementos, beautiful artwork, sentimental photographs, and our favorite music can often let us call forth our creative energies.
These are all small things that can produce creative results if we take the time to find what works best for us. Things that may work for one individual may not be as effective for others. We all seek inspiration in our own ways, but that doesn’t mean we can try to cultivate our creativity regularly.