Creativity. It’s so incredibly important to me as a writer. As a child, it came to me very naturally. Most children like to create – it doesn’t matter if it’s making a mud pie or building a block tower – those are forms of creating. As children, we have hours to devote to our imagination, to create, to explore the world around us.
But life happens. And we grow up. And most of us become a lot more logical and focused and busy. And being logical and focused and busy can be good, but losing creativity isn’t. Creativity is important to everyone, not just the artists, although of course, we use different types of creativity from each other.
There are some people (like me) whose imagination hasn’t faded as I grow older – which is really good because I’m a writer and need an imagination that works well. But! That doesn’t mean my creativity is always functioning well. Do you know what’s cool, though? I’ve found ways to spark my creativity. To make the creative part of my brain work even when I’ve fallen into a rut of un-inspired-ness.
- Start work in a clean environment. As a kid my room was a huge mess about 93% of the time. Nowadays I keep my office/bedroom swept, neat, and put in order. I have friends who tease me about how I rush around putting everything away before I sit down to write or read, and it’s true. Having clutter around makes my brain feel cluttered and I can’t focus.
- Find one of the creative arts to inspire you. For me, it’s listening to music. There’s nothing like listening to a beautiful piece of piano music to kick my brain into gear and help the writing begin flowing from my fingers. (Movie soundtracks are the best for this.) But hey! If music doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. Read a great book. Look at a breathtaking watercolor. Invest in a detailed drawing and gaze at everything the artist did to make it come alive.
- Do something that is creative. My most creative place other than in my office is when I’m in the kitchen. It’s so much fun to make new foods and see what herbs and spices throw my tastebuds into a flurry of delight. Generally, if I’m not feeling creative and I go and work in the kitchen for a while, my mind recalibrates and I’m back in my muse.
- Go on a long walk or run. Y’all. This works wonders. Other forms of exercise might work as well, but I generally opt for a walk/run. Listening to inspiring music while walking only makes it better. And, although a treadmill does work, being out in the fresh air helps so much more.
- Find some little kids and play with them, or if you don’t want to play with them, just watch them play. I hang out with my best friend’s little girl sometimes and her creativity and imagination make me happy. If you don’t have any little kids in your life, then find an artist – musician, painter, even a cook – and spend some time studying how they go about their work. It is truly inspiring.
What are some ways you spark your creativity?