If you’re struggling to reconnect with your creativity, don’t despair. There are plenty of simple ways to get your creative juices flowing again.
As author Elizabeth Gilbert puts it, “If you are alive, you are a creative person.” Creativity is innate in every human being. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been told your whole life that you don’t have a creative bone in your body or if you don’t consider yourself to be an “artist.” Making a living from your creativity is not required, nor is making any money. There’s no obligation to show anyone your finished work. All you have to do is tap into the amazing power that comes up when you find something you can do where you can freely express yourself creatively.
But there’s another side to being creative: having to deal with times when you don’t have any ideas. This is an entirely normal occurrence from time to time. Like the changing of the seasons, the ebb and flow of creative inspiration follows its own mysterious cycles. Sometimes you may be blocking your own creative flow without even realizing it. No matter what, I’ve found that these five habits help me get inspired again and keep me from getting stuck in the future.
One easy way to jump start your creativity is to take a break from your normal routine. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to get the creative ideas flowing again. So take a walk in the park, visit a new city, or just spend some time outdoors in nature.
Another great way to reconnect with your creativity is to explore new hobbies and interests. Trying something new can open up whole new worlds of possibilities and help you see things from a different perspective. So go ahead and sign up for that painting class you’ve always wanted to try, or pick up a new musical instrument.
And don’t forget about the power of journaling and brainstorming. Sometimes all you need is to get your thoughts down on paper (or digital screen) to jump start the creative process. So grab a notebook and start jotting down whatever comes to mind- no matter how silly or random it may seem.
Whatever method you choose, just make sure you give yourself some time and space to be creative. Once you start making creativity a priority again, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the ideas start flowing.
Consume art that stirs your imagination
If you want to get your creative mojo back, one of the best things you can do is consume art that inspires you. This can be anything from watching a movie or TV show that you love to listening to music that gets you pumped up.
No matter what form of art it is, make sure that it is something that really speaks to you and gets you excited about creating again. Once you have found something that does this, make sure to set aside some time each day to consume it and enjoy it.
This doesn’t have to be a lot of time, even just 10-15 minutes can be enough to jump start your creativity. And if you find yourself really enjoying it, then there’s no harm in spending more time on it. The important thing is that you’re taking in something positive and inspiring so that you can put that energy into your own work.
As creative people, it’s easy for us to forget how good it is to enjoy the work of others because we’re so focused on what we’re making for ourselves. When I find myself in a creative dry spell, I often realize that it has been a very long time since I’ve read a good book, watched a great movie, or listened to some new music. This can be a contributing factor to my creative block.
This piece of advice may be really challenging to put into practice for you if you are the type of person who considers activities such as reading books and watching movies to be meaningless forms of entertainment that should only be engaged in after a hard day’s work has been completed.
The reality, however, is that these are frequently the very activities that your mind needs in order to allow your own creative river to begin to flow. In the same way that properly refueling your body will allow you to improve your fitness performance, providing your creative brain with the fuel it needs will allow it to perform at its most creative best. Keep in mind, however, that there is a very thin line that separates mindful consumption from excessive consumption. More will be said about this in the following point.
Include periods of calm and utter stillness throughout your day.
The creative process is often thought of as a flurry of activity, with ideas coming fast and furious. However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, many of the world’s most creative people have periods of calm and utter stillness throughout their day. This allows them to clear their mind and focus on their work.
If you’re struggling to be creative, try incorporating some periods of calm and stillness into your day. You can do this by meditating, taking a walk in nature, or simply sitting in silence for a few minutes. Doing so will help you to quiet your mind and tap into your creativity.
In the world that we live in today, where there is so much to do and see, it is relatively simple to avoid ever feeling bored. The fact that businesses like social media and entertainment can keep our attention at all times brings in money and helps those businesses grow. And while the parts of our brain that are driven by the desire for rewards thrive when they are constantly stimulated, environments like that are lethal to creative thought. It requires space to be able to breathe properly.
When you overstuff your brain with meaningless consumption, beyond what it is designed to take in, you will begin to lose yourself in the process. It is far too easy to use things like social media or a busy schedule as a means of evading uncomfortable feelings or experiences. However, in order to create art that is going to resonate with the experience of another person, you need to feel all of your feelings to their fullest. To be able to write about life, one must first have genuine experience in that life’s subject matter. A life that has been lived to its fullest potential is reflected in truly good art.
Shake it up
Imagination is limitless; the possibilities are infinite. And I have realized that it is not essential to excel at anything to engage in it. There’s no requirement that you treat this as a hobby or a second job. Imagination for its own sake is also acceptable. I’ve recently discovered that I get a lot of satisfaction from playing guitar and baking. And the great thing is, when I truly allow myself to explore these new avenues of creativity with no expectations other than having fun, the inspiration for writing comes rushing back.
So, push yourself out of your mental rut and into something new. Experimenting with different approaches to your creative process is a great way to boost your overall inventiveness.
Surely by now you’ve realized that the harder you try to make yourself creative, the more it seems to evade you. You can’t force your imagination to serve your needs. So, change your strategy. Enjoy yourself. Allow there to be illumination. Treat creativity as an end in itself rather than a means to an end. Most of the time, the most impressive pieces of art are ones that weren’t made with the goal of being masterpieces. They were written because the authors were interested in and excited about the subject. They were conceived in a state of pure pleasure and elation, rather than a sense of obligation. Your most influential creation will be the one you made just for fun, because it was a source of pure joy and flowed easily from you. It wasn’t designed to make you famous or alter the world. Because YOU wanted to see it in the world, it was created. That right there is genuine inventiveness.
Have fun with everything that’s happening; even the times when you feel disconnected, because you should see them as chances to develop your creative skills. It’s not fair to force yourself to be creative; art should be appreciated. Don’t feel obligated to produce anything other than what truly inspires you. It will improve your life and the lives of those around you.