Are you suffering from a writer´s block? Not one sentence you could bring on paper? Nothing seems worth capturing? Or maybe you are thinking about an interior renovation but are struggling with it? You are not even inspired to cook a meal?
(That happens to me at least once a week, and don’t ask how many wonderful cook books I have in my kitchen).
Well, if all this sounds familiar welcome to the club. I was told this is true for all of us. Who can be non-stop creative? Not me, for sure. Take it as absolutely normal, that you can´t recall creative impulse as the touch of a button. Also it seems that the more we command ourselves to be creative NOW, the more unlikely it is to happen.
Having read all this, don’t pull the blanket over your head and wait for an idea to knock at your door, I have tried both and believe me it doesn’t work. With the suitable technique we can boost our creativity and give a little fire to our thinking process. Ready?
You probably won´t believe the fact that creativity and generating ideas can be trained liked your biceps but, like your muscles finding the strategy that suits you and your lifestyle best needs endurance and practice. You might need to try a number of things until you have found what it takes to boost your creative level up to a higher level.
I have worked out, what I think are my most effective activities and trainings. It might take a while to find out what is best for you, but once you’ve got it, magic unfolds.
BOOKS AND MAGAZINES
Put down your phone and hide it somewhere far away. For me it works best if I place it in the car or upstairs. Step outside your online world for a while and grab your favourite book or a nice magazine. You might want to pop into your favourite book shop around the corner, just go ahead. Browse through, grab a few books and dive into it. We keep forgetting that this was our main inspiration source a few years ago. Looking into apps might be tempting but there is a risk of getting sucked into a wave of visuals and ideas that makes it impossible for us to focus and funnel our own thoughts and ideas.
Instead of creating one idea from A to Z a variety of images pop up in front of our inner eye and we find ourselves creating several ideas at the time. In the end the results are zero. This is a small list of books I like to look at to get inspired
Steal like an Artist- Austin Kleon
In the company of woman- Grace Bonney http://www.designsponge.com/author/grace
Wanderlust – Cam Horan https://shop.gestalten.com/wanderlust-de.html
The Kinfolk Entrepreneur Ideas for meaningful work- Nathan Williams
99 x 99 Luke Stephenson´s http://www.lukestephenson.com/
The Big Magic- Creative living beyond fear Elizabeth Gilbert
Go out. Simple as that. Go out with your dog, children, your husband or friend, you prefer going alone? Fine, as long as you make sure you leave your phone at home. Trust me, it took a while until it stopped feeling like you’re really missing something, it was rather the opposite. There´s nothing more inspiring than a good walk in the countryside, a park, at a lake or the woods. I love this quote from John Cleese
We don’t know where we get our ideas from. What we do know is that we do not get them from our Laptops
Collect branches and leaves – build a den- make a mud pie- jump a puddle- climb a tree- use leaves conkers, sticks, mud, grass ,feathers, acorns or anything else you find and create wood art.
Make a wreath- walk barefoot- feel the breeze- inhale the scent of the woods
MAKE SOMETHING WITH YOUR HANDS
This does not include typing or scrolling.
Before I start with a concept or an idea, let´s say for a clients campaign or an Instagram post idea, I start with an oversize sheet of paper or my journal and a pen and jot everything down that comes to mind. I have a big kitchen table I use for my desk and paper and pen being the only items on the table is usually how I start.
Try to include your whole body in this. Walk around, cut something out, make a collage, play with glue maybe glitter stick post-its all over the wall.
Other activities that won´t take a lot of your time and can be included into your daily routine easily could be looking at an image, listening to your favourite song, playing an instrument, doing some crafts with your children, singing a song (make sure to sing it loud) or taking a photo.
Sometimes even rather boring things can send an impulse, like ironing, sorting the washing, baking or cooking. As I mentioned before, you might have to try all of this to find out what suits you most. The artist Stanley Donwood says
Computers are alienating because they put a sheet of glass between you and whatever is happening. You never really get to touch anything that you´re doing unless you print it out
(this is taken from the book Steal like an artist, by Austin Klein, and it´s one of my favourte quotes)
MEET PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE
Pondering over a problem or task for a while? Are you looking for inspiration or trying to find an answer to something and feel stuck? That’s sounds like it´s time for your girl gang.
Invite your friends for a creative get together, have a glass of bubbly or a chai and nibbles or cook your favourite dinner for your creative task force. In short describe the question you have and add some rules if you wish, and then let them brainstorm and come out with all their thoughts.
I love hosting my friends for a meal and it was never just for my own benefit. Each guest left happily, inspired and with a new idea or stimulation.
Lastly, you may now grab your phone if you wish for and join PINTEREST for some inspiration. I love Pinterest but have set up some rules for myself while scrolling along. I set a time and make sure I define what I´m looking for in particular. (Of course there´re exceptions and I can also easily lose myself for hours in pointless scrolling but that wouldn’t be helpful, would it?)
What do you do to boost your creativity? Tell me, about the ONE thing for you that works like magic.