“Creativity is what helps me escape a lot of my inner demons.” — Demi Lovato
I’m a writer.
As such, I spend a lot of time starting at blank Word documents (or paper, because I’m old skool like that).
If you haven’t guessed yet, sometimes my creative juices run dry and, if you’re a creative person, I’m sure yours do, too.
So, how do we get them flowing again? How do we make that stagnant mud puddle — you know, the one that just kind of hangs around the corner and never really sinks into the drainage system — gush like Niagara Falls?
1) Commune With Your Environment
Communing with your environment could mean anything from taking a walk through the park or forest to people-watching at your local mall. (You probably expected me to suggest a bookstore or coffee shop but, c’mon — what’re we actually going to see there? We need hustle and bustle!)
Really pay attention to your surroundings. Do the trees swaying in the light breeze inspire a poem? Do the insecure girls complaining about their bikini bodies inspire a story?
You might even want to take pictures, or strike up a conversation with a stranger. Just really pay attention to how all of it makes you feel, and what those feelings make you think.
2) Peep Out Others’ Creativity
Read a book. Watch a movie. Listen to a song or three.
Check out others’ creativity to get ideas for your own — and trust me when I say, you might think that’s cheating, but getting a little boost from someone else could send you in a completely different direction.
For example: Think of your favorite mushy love song from high school. That same song could inspire a witty break-up ballad today.
3) Remember WHY You’re Creative
Why do you write? Sing? Paint? What sparks that passion? Was it a happy event? A shock? A devastation?
Tap into that past memory and create from the feelings that surface. Even if it’s just a brain dump of words or paint or humming, it’s a start.
4) Do Something Completely UNcreative
You know what I’m talking about. Some call it procrastination; I call it giving my brain a break. (OK, sometimes it really is procrastination but, hey — we need it sometimes.)
Clean your house. Straighten your desk. Wash your hair. Give the dog a bath. Do something that’s not at all creative (but productive) and see where that brain break takes you.
5) Be Patient
Above all, be patient. You can’t force creativity. You can take all the suggested steps above, but you can’t MAKE anything happen. Sleep on it. Meditate. Take a yoga class. Relax and be patient. Your mind and body will rest and eventually, something will break through that creative dam.
How about you, sweet readers? How do YOU get your creative juices flowing when things seem backed up?