In our completely plugged in, crazy connected, modern day society, it can be difficult to stay creative. The noise in our heads from all of the stuff is louder than the purr from our heart that moves us to create. Before some of you are tempted to check out on me–remember, everyone is creative. It doesn’t matter who you are, there is an innate something within humans that sparks us to make things, to think of things, to pull things out of nothing. We are able to plan great events, cook great meals, tell great stories, solve huge and tiny problems. This is a skill and gift unique to humans, not given to any other creature on Earth.
Now, it isn’t always easy to think creatively. We can get dry, we can get lazy. We can grow weary of looking at the same problem begging for a solution. But, wait! Try these simple ideas before you give up.
1. READ. Read fiction. Read often. Reading transports you to another place, another time, in someone else’s thoughts or shoes. Hear someone else’s voice for awhile, see life through someone else’s eyes. First, it allows your mind a bit of quiet. Reading forces you to not multitask…it is the ultimate slow leisure. One thing at a time, one word at a time. Secondly, reading may spark a thought based on a completely different point of view than you normally see.
2. SLEEP. You need to rest your mind. Also, sleep has been proven to help you solve problems better and more easily and think more clearly. If you aren’t sleeping well, you will likely find at least a slight decrease in your output creatively–either in your pace or your quality.
3. BRANCH OUT. Try a new craft. Write with your left hand. Taste a new food. Listen to something inspiring–but totally unrelated to your field of interest. See a movie or a concert. Do something out of your ordinary.
4. TALK IT OUT. Ask others what they’ve been doing creatively. Listen to the new ways they are solving the problems in their lives.
5. CREATE. Even if it’s junk. Even if you hate it. Even if it isn’t the going the way you want or coming easily. Just create. No one has to see it, no one has to read it.
Creativity isn’t just painting. It isn’t just writing. It isn’t just composing a song. Creativity could be meal-planning for your family, planning a vacation with your girlfriends, planning your wedding.
Creativity is essentially problem solving at it’s core (and most fun!). Staying creative allows you to move through life more easily, because you readily see solutions and answers that others may not see.