1. Interact Regularly with Other Creative Individuals
Set a monthly meeting or weekly lunch with your creative friends and discuss. When I was in college I met weekly with my best friend Courtney. We would eat lunch and discuss things. That was the time of my life that I felt most in touch with my creative self. My older sister attends a writer’s group on a regular basis and she has emphasized that it has helped her writing.
2. Keep a Personal Journal
Be authentic when you write. You don’t have to worry about impressing anyone. These are your own, candid thoughts about what’s going on in your life. Be truthful. By having a private journal to write in you can free up your mind and prepare yourself to explore what you’re really feeling. Brenda Ueland (quoted above) stated in her book If You Want To Write that “Everybody is original if he tells the truth and if he speaks from himself. But it must be from his true self not from the self he should be.”
3. Keep a Creative Journal
Keep this journal in whichever medium you prefer. Whether it’s writing down ideas, drawing, photographing, keeping a private blog – whatever it is that works for you. Carry this journal around with you (if at all possible) so that you can access it when an idea comes to mind. I keep a small pocket-sized journal in my purse so that I can grab it if a thought comes to mind.
4. Read Often
Explore all genres, join a book group, or make regular library visits. Carry a book with you at all times. If you’re not sure what to read, do online searches for top book lists, find a list of the best books published in the current year, read a book on a topic that you’ve been interested in learning more about – the options are endless.
5. Listen to Music
The music that helps me think best varies based on my mood (it can range from Elgar to Springsteen). But, I find that listening to it definitely helps activate my mind. What music gets your mind going?
6. Designate a Place Where You Can Think
This might be a desk, a room, a park, a café – really just anywhere that you can let your mind actively think and be inspired.
7. Take Pictures
You don’t have to have an incredible camera to take pictures for inspiration. A simple point and shoot or camera phone will do just fine. As a visual person, I like to print pictures that I take and either put them in my creative journal or into a photo album. If I put them in my creative journal, I like to write my thoughts next to them. I really need to get a Polaroid instant camera…
8. Take a Break
Don’t forget to let your mind rest. Don’t over exhaust your abilities and definitely don’t punish yourself if you’re either not in the mood to be creative or if you’re having a block. Make sure that you reward yourself for your creative efforts. You deserve to praise yourself for what you create or think up.
What tips have worked for you? Are there any that aren’t listed here that you would add? Comment below and share what helps boost your creativity.