Whether you want to write, draw or take photos, here are ways to get creative.
- IGNORE YOUR INNER CRITIC!
When you’re inner critic comes along, simply say, “Thank you, but no thank you,’ and carry on creating. DO NOT AIM TO MAKE SOMETHING PERFECT! There is no such thing as perfect creativity – each project is unique. Just enjoy the process.
- GO FOR A WALK, TAKE NOTE
Go for a stroll and see what inspires you – an interesting building, the light in the trees, combinations of bright colours etc. Note down ideas, in your mind or in a notepad/sketchbook.
And doing exercise boosts good moods, which in turn supports creativity, which in turn supports good moods…and so on…!
- CREATE A PLACE TO CREATE
Find a place you feel comfortable and inspired. If you need a fresh perspective try a different room, a different part of the room, or in the park, or even sit on or under your desk if need be!
- FREE WRITING
Free writing means just that – writing freely and continuously without hindrance. You write what comes to mind. In my case, free writing often brings about a combination of the day’s gripes and random gobbledygook followed by useful, creative ideas for art or writing. You can form a sort of conversation with yourself, like a diary but freer in nature. In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recommends writing three ‘morning pages’ every day. But go with what works for you – if you feel very anxious consider whether this would be a helpful or unhelpful activity at this time.
- LISTEN TO MUSIC
Listen to different types of music and see how it affects your inspiration. Where does the music take you? What landscape does it conjure? If you feel blue or stuck, try a neutral or upbeat tune? Does classical musical help you make something powerful?! When I’m writing I opt for music with no or few vocals so lyrics don’t interfere with my thoughts. Royksopp‘s electronic music works for me!
You can peruse the planet’s music on Radio Garden. I also listen a lot to New York’s jazz station, Cladrite Radio, which has tunes from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Just click on Radio Garden’s green dots to try different stations around the world!
- INVENT A CHARACTER
Invent someone to draw, paint or write about.
- TAKE INSPIRATION FROM NATURE
Take inspiration from the seasons. Draw leaves, trees or flowers. Create a seasonal picture or greetings card for someone.
Depict something that draws attention to the importance of nature, which so needs our attention right now. Which leads me to…
- REUSE, RECYCLE – SET CONSTRAINTS
Having constraints can boost creativity and save resources. One source of stress for many in modern, online life is we have too much choice… buying choices, freelance choices… and so on!) So, increasingly I lay down constraints, not buying new tools and materials. You can use what you have at home, be it cardboard, old pens or random assortments of materials. You might just come up with something more interesting while being environmentally friendlier.
- TRY SOMETHING NEW
If you’re stuck, maybe let your project lie fallow. Rejuvenate. If you usually take photos, try gardening. If you usually paint, try creative writing. If you usually draw, decorate cakes.
What have others been creating lately? Read blogs and ask friends what they do for hobbies.
Or maybe TAKE A BREAK from trying to create stuff and make time for leisure. Stepping aside can clear your mind and refill the imagination. And downtime is important! Talking of which…
- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Creativity can make us feel better, which can make us more creative, which can make us feel better…
For me this ‘taking care’ list might include eating well, doing exercise, meditation, making time for myself, reading, paying attention to loved ones or being in touch with people on the phone/internet even if I can’t see them in person at the moment. We all have to REMIND ourselves to allow time for things that nourish us!