Creativity can be hard to ignite, sometimes you will be more creative when you are thinking about being creative and then when it comes down to the actual creative act your brain goes dead.
If this happens to you don’t worry, it’s quite normal and it leads me onto my first technique for inspiring creativity.
This is usually the hardest part of the creative process. You can sit and stare at the blank page all you like, but it will never become full unless you fill it.
Whatever creative process you are trying to start, just start doing it. I find in my writing I sometimes delete the first few paragraphs once I get flowing.
If you have to do something badly to get it started, then do it badly and just keep going until your inner genius comes out.
Doing Something Else
Those of you who get your creative juices flowing on a regular basis will know, sometimes you just can’t get started or you can get started but cannot produce anything good.
If this is the case do something else, put some music on, watch a documentary or engage in something that you feel like doing. This can sometimes spark your creativity, but even if it doesn’t you are doing something you love so it’s a win/win situation.
Stimulate Your Mind
Sometimes you just need a little brain stimulation to get yourself going! Do a puzzle, try some Sudoku, a crossword or an online quiz or test. Just do something that gets you thinking outside of the task that you are trying to complete.
The best revelations usually come when we are not thinking about our projects, so take half an hour out and it may spark your creative side.
Ask Yourself Questions
Questions are great for stimulating creativity, as you have to answer them. If I say to you ‘what colour is the sky?’, you can try to fight it all you want, but you will always answer blue.
As human beings we like a conclusion, it is the way our brains our wired. Just think-Game Of Thrones, The Sopranos and even Keeping Up With The Kardashians-these programs are so successful because they keep you in suspense and keep asking questions that never give you an answer. So you tune in next week, get the answer and then get asked another 5 questions.
If you ask yourself constructive questions you can stimulate good responses and get your creativity pumping. Find my 21 Empowering Questions here.
Visualisation is excellent for getting started. Take 5 or 10 minutes out of your day to imagine yourself doing what you want to do before you do it.
What I like to do is sit down and imagine myself sitting there, and then fast-forward the image in my mind and vividly imagine myself completing the task. Adding in the emotional feelings associated.
Athletes, performers and lots of other highly successful people do this, and the good thing about visualisation is that it is open to anyone and it won’t cost you anything but a few minutes a day.
Meditation is like a resetting of the mind and the more you practice the deeper you will go. Take 5 or 10 minutes out a day to meditate and you will get the hang of it in no time.
Meditation is not only good for creativity, but it will also help you in many other areas of life. It gives you a connection to something meaningful, some call it God, other Allah, others Buddha, some just plain science, but for some people (like myself) it’s just a feeling of connectedness to humanity.
I do think exercise has its place in a routine, but specifically for creativity I think jogging is best.
If you have a problem that you cannot solve, go for a jog. If that doesn’t work just keep jogging until it does.
Jogging is a great way to get your brain juices like dopamine and serotonin flowing and is also good for your health, so even if it doesn’t stimulate your creativity you will still get in shape in the process.
I do not read a lot of fiction books. But when it comes to sparking creativity a good fiction book will get your mind working creatively.
The good thing about reading a story style book is that you need to use your imagination. When the author is describing the setting, the look of the person in the story, their clothes and feelings, you have to immerse yourself in the story and use your creative faculty to engage in the story.
Other types of reading can also help, lets say you are lacking motivation and you read a book that is motivating it can have a great impact. But for me (and I am sure it is different for many others), I like to read a good fiction book for creativity.
The downfall of this is you end up reading your book all day instead of working, so try limiting yourself to a chapter or 2.