Whether you’re a creative type or note, we all have our creative outlets. Which means we all, from time to time, will suffer creative slumps. Here’s five ways to encourage the discovery of your creative side.
1. Wake up before everyone. Yes, I mean 5am. Or 6am. And no, not every day. But, yes, that means try to go to bed a little earlier. You’ll find you think much more clearly and you’ll lessen that “lack of productivity” guilt as the day wears on. You’ll often spark an idea in those golden morning hours. It’s a very natural transition to continue the imaginative process post-dream…particularly with that lazy morning brain.
2. Write down every idea you have for a few days. You’re WAY more creatively active than you give yourself credit for. That includes you, accountants, production assistants, and anyone “working for the man”. Keep a pen on your person. Text yourself. Write on a napkin. In a notepad. In your laptop. Email yourself. Tell a friend your idea. It’s kind of fun even if you never do anything with those ideas. And bets are, you’ve already let too many slip by.
3. Surround yourself with people. You need breaks from creativity and humans are fantastically inspiring in the most wonderful ways. It takes the observance of a singular human interaction to recognize the beginnings of an entire feature film or book or photograph or painting or poem or anything creative for that matter.
4. Try ten minutes of free-flow writing with PEN and paper. Truly free. NOT on a computer. Do not restrict yourself. Do not judge yourself. Do not correct grammatical mistakes. Do not cross out words. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if you can hardly read it. You’ll appreciate that fact when you read it back over. Write, literally everything, as you think it for ten minutes. Try to keep up with yourself. You’re really good at thinking. You’ve been doing it your whole life. People laugh at this sometimes, but when you start dumping your thoughts onto paper, you really start to learn about yourself. It’s sometimes jarring, but always revealing. By emptying some space in your head you make comfortable room for some of that creative work you’ve been pining for.
5. Seek out and reach out to people who already do what you wish to be doing. Read that again if it didn’t make sense. There are many out there who would love to be validated in their work by helping “the grasshopper” finder his or her legs. You’d be amazed at how true this statement is. For every person who protects their work and processes with an arrogant diligence, there are ten more who can’t wait to share in a collaborative and creative experience. And remember, your challenges and questions for a mentor create an environment of mutual benefit.
6. Get your ass into nature. Seriously. The natural order of the animal and plant kingdoms will force a bit of perspective when you’re standing at the base of a 100ft tall tree. It’s nice to center yourself in a quiet place, but even nicer when you realize there is life all around you, all the time.
Go. See. Do. Be.