Spring Zing: 10 Ways to Boost Your Creativity
'April is the cruellest month ...' for writers. Here's how to get your brain going.
We often misjudge the complexity of creativity, forgetting that it's a discipline and can be a challenge to maintain.
Creativity stems from what we feel. It is an exploitation of our deepest sense of self and as creative individuals, our minds constantly desire stimulation. Within our work, we commonly strive to push ourselves beyond what makes us feel at ease yet sometimes, it can be difficult to conjure an initial basis for an idea.
The hardest part of the creative process is almost always the beginning but thankfully there are numerous ways of expelling that overwhelming sense of what could be referred to as ‘creator’s block’.
With that in mind, here are 10 ways to help you boost your creative energy this spring!
1. Expand the amount of books you read and films you watch:
Exploring and analysing different texts upon a wide scale—especially varying genres of books and films—is vital when it comes down to the process of initiating new and unique ideas and concepts. As creators, we thrive from reflecting upon what inspires us, what evokes our deepest emotions and what stimulates our minds. Immersing yourself within the alternate narrative depicted within a particular book or film is also a fantastic means of escapism and reducing stress.
Enjoying and critically reflecting upon the work of others is a perfect way to transport yourself away from the distraction of reality, allowing you to clear your mind and exert your energy into your creative thought process.
2. Travel more.
Confining yourself within the same location on a constant basis has to potential to make your thoughts begin to feel static; a sensation immensely diminishing towards the strength of your imagination. In simple terms, travelling alters your outlook, expanding your perspectives regarding culture, humanity, and most importantly, life. A vast extent of creativity is derived from personal experience. Travelling presents entirely new sounds, sights and sensations, previously unbeknown to us. This wide array of newly lived experiences rejuvenates our thought-process whilst presenting us with sources of inspiration entirely unique to us as an individual, taking away that initial mentally draining process of generating ideas.
3. Collaborate with other creative disciplines.
As much as we, as creative individuals, take immense pride in our own sense of uniqueness, integrity and style—preferring to function within our own stream of thought—without pursuing opportunities to learn from other like-minded creative individuals, we greatly hinder our creativity.
Collaboration allows us to generate ideas based around multiple perspectives, which not only limits the looming possibility of errors and constraints but also stimulates and refines the process of creation, with ideas being forged from several different viewpoints.
Motivating yourself can be tough however, working closely amongst a range of creative disciplines permits you to gain inspiration from their individual methods of working, learning and creating.
4. Start an idea using a random object or concept as a basis.
If feeling at a complete loss whilst in the process of generating an idea, a clever way to boost this strenuous process is to use a simple object or concept as a catalyst. It can be as ridiculous and as abstract as you like! Research it, draw inspiration from it; give it a back story. The extent of brilliance that can stem from such a simplistic method of constructing an idea may surprise you.
5. Listen to a different genre of music.
Some people find that they work more efficiently whilst listening to music. This is indeed true, music has the power to provide us with mental stimulation and motivation, yet at times listening to the music you love can be somewhat of a distraction.
Try opting for a contrasting genre, this will maximize your creative flow without the distracting familiarity of your own music. Even better, create a playlist specifically curated to kindle your creativity.
I personally use a rather specific playlist for my writing which leads me astray from my usual taste in music. It contains a wide spectrum of genres, including everything from indie rock to classical.
This small step away from my comfort-zone helps to revitalise and focus my mind.
If you are looking for new music to boost your creativity, Falwriting has a range of carefully curated playlists over on our Spotify which are designed to focus the mind, whether that be for studying or general creativity.
6. Keep a journal of thoughts, feelings and observations.
Creativity is a natural product of our observations. What we feel, what we think and what we see translates into our creative work, even if that is completely subconsciously. To ensure that what we experience on daily basis does not go forgotten, maintaining a journal of thoughts, feelings and observations guarantees that your experiences are never lost.
7. Alter your daily routine.
Staying within your comfort-zone is often a massive creative draw-back, something of which a creative individual should avoid at all costs. Needless to say, self-improvement in all forms stems from the ability to adapt. Even if this evolves altering something within your daily routine which is so miniscule that others would struggle to detect it, a subtle change is sometimes all that is needed in order to initiate a strong creative spark.
8. Set aside time to practice and hone your craft.
This one almost goes without saying, but with any creative discipline practicing and refining your craft is the best way of seeing any signs of improvement. One way of ensuring that you optimize your level of skill within your creative discipline is to schedule time for practice. If you truly love what you do this should be really easy and this idea of setting a specific practice time gives you something to look forward to throughout your day.
9. Allow yourself to daydream.
Allow yourself to get lost in thought as daydreaming can be credited for inspiring some of the best ideas. Not only this, but it also presents us with numerous psychological benefits including: an improvement in memory, a reduction of stress levels and an enhanced ability to perform productively.
10. Reject your self-doubt.
Lastly, relaxation as well as a clear, motivated mind-set is key in terms of optimizing your levels of creativity. Self-doubt is by far a creator’s own worst critic, alluring us away from the prospect of stepping astray from any boundaries that we set for ourselves. Expelling destructive feelings of doubt, and in turn adopting a positive outlook upon your creative ability is the first step towards enhancing it as a whole.
by Amber Martin