Is your creativity gauge on low? Running on fumes? Want to know how to re-fuel? Read on.
- Be a child
Over the years, one of the biggest and best lessons I’ve learnt from my children is how to play and imagine.
To children, there is a universe of magic and adventure to be found in the most mundane of places – a back yard, a staircase, or under the kitchen table. A leaf falling from a branch overhead is a flying fairy carpet. There are dragons disguised as clouds in the sky. Even the space under their bed is a hiding place for magical beasties.
When we grow up and succumb to the daily grind, we often forget to look at the ‘what ifs’ that surround us, but if we can just look through the eyes of the child that we once were, the world can suddenly seem more vivid and alive.
2. Try a different artistic skill
If you’re struggling to find joy in your writing, try your hand at a different area of creativity. Don’t worry. There’s no need to be a master/mistress at whatever it is. Just have a go for the joy of it.
Paint or draw. Learn the art of Origami. Make jewellery. Cook. Throw a pot.
For a short while, put the writing aside and commit to an altogether different kind of artistry.
3. Be fearless
This is something else that I’ve learnt from my children. When they were little, they were fearless. They didn’t care if they got a dance move wrong, as long as they enjoyed themselves. They painted and sang just to have fun. They climbed without a thought of falling. They didn’t worry about succeeding, simply enjoying the ‘doing’.
Fear and self doubt so often prevent us from even beginning something. We doubt our skills. We worry that nobody will take us seriously. We become paralysed by our own negative thoughts.
Write first for yourself and your own enjoyment. Be fearless. Just do it.
Yes, I know, that doesn’t sound very creative, but if you want a reason to catch up on cleaning your house or doing your filing, here it is.
When you’ve come to a standstill creatively, leave the keyboard (or pen and pad) and do something mundane and reasonably mindless instead.
Diverting your brain like this allows your mind to consider whatever you need to figure out. It works in the same way as those inspiration strikes just before you fall asleep or when you’re in the shower.
5. Watch the people going by
Firstly, no stalking or binoculars please, but if you can take the time to get away from the house to a location where you can innocently and easily watch people going about their lives, you may uncover some real inspiration.
It might be a coffee shop, a stroll down your local high street, or a visit to a noisy market. Wherever it is, ask yourselves questions about the people you see. Where are they going? Are they married or a parent? Who might they be meeting? Who might they be avoiding?
Even the most normal and smallest of interactions can inspire a storyline.
If you can’t get those creative fluids flowing where you are, go somewhere else. It could be as small a move as to the next room where there’s better light, or a planned trip to the park.
It’s amazing how changing your location can give you a completely different perspective on your writing.
7. Change the way you write
If you’re typing, pick up a pen and pad. If you’re writing with a pen and pad, dictate onto your phone.
Each mode of writing (keyboard, handwriting, voice) makes our brain work differently, and sometimes that difference is all we need to re-boot our imagination.