“Do whatever brings you to life, then, follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert
This article will be a little different, much like an open letter to creativity. But fear not, I’ll be giving you some handy tips on how to spark your creativity even when you’re not feeling inspired.
Creativity, you tricky thing…
I’m a songwriter, a writer, an artist at heart and I’ve always looked at creativity with a longing gaze, asking myself how and why it found me in the first place, hoping it would stick around long enough for me to write the best song of my life or the most thrilling blog post to inspire thousands.
Creativity doesn’t always come when I want her to and we, honestly, have an on and off relationship.
Both a destructive and fortunate one.
I respect her from the moon and back and even though she doesn’t always show up exactly when I want her to, I appreciate her time and cherish her while I can.
The thought of never knowing when she’ll hit me up can very easily stress the heck out of me because I know she (aka creativity) can decide to leave at any moment.
The ball is completely in her court.
Over time though, I’ve learned that it doesn’t necessarily have to be like this, not at least all the time.
I used to think that by showing up and pushing hard – inspiration would come flying.
This has not been the case.
I’ve wanted to give birth to an idea so bad that I’ve screamed into pillows, at myself and at my computer.
Creativity doesn’t operate that way, she doesn’t show up if you stress, scream your loudest or if you’re as frustrated as you’ve ever been.
Inspiration comes when you’ve opened yourself to creativity.
In other words, when your body is at peace and when your mind is open to any amazingly good idea that is waiting to find you.
Oh, the frustration
It’s totally frustrating when you’ve set aside time to create, whether it be, art, music or writing a book and inspiration is not showing her face.
You’ve booked the train ticket to take you deep into the woods, to the cabin and your safe space, where you will do nothing but to dedicate yourself entirely to creativity, and she STILL doesn’t show up.
You also do everything in your power to make her magically appear.
The lesson I’ve learned is that she won’t ever come over if you yell at her.
I mean, who would want to hang out with a stressed-out, bitter and frustrated creative? Not me and not Ms. Creativity either.
I cannot know for sure why this is, I mean I’ve never been able to have an open one on one conversation with creativity.
It doesn’t really work like that.
However, I’ve listed a few things that may entice creativity to come around more easily and hopefully she will stick around for a while, so you can start to create whatever it is you dream of creating.
Now, on to the good stuff!
When you open your mind to creativity, she listens.
Free your mind from chaos and everything else that’s going on in your life and focus on your breathing.
5 minutes a day is better than nothing at all.
To tell you the truth, it’s been hard for me to start meditating, I’ve struggled with it and I’ve always wanted to start. Ironically, the thought of sitting completely still in a room with my own thoughts has left me feeling stressed.
BUT! This year, 2019, I made a pact with myself that I will meditate for at least 5 minutes a day, increase the minutes gradually over time and then.. I’d be on my way.
I’m at 10 minutes now, hoping to make it to 40 minutes by the end of this year. If I can do it, so can you. Plus, it helps with everything anxiety in addition to opening the doors for creativity.
Let’s get real.
You’ve got 5 minutes to be alone, be completely quiet and focus on your breathing. If you don’t have five minutes, we’ve got a much bigger problem on our hands.
It’s called a meditation PRACTICE for a reason. Start today and it will change your life and help boost your creativity.
Ms. Creativity doesn’t care much for a mind that’s full of useless information and endless limited thoughts that do not support you. Declutter your brain and she’s more likely to show up.
Since you’re now devoting 5 minutes of your day to meditation, you can also dedicate another five minutes to practice the art of visualization.
Visualize your ideal future, the book you want to write is now finished and a best-seller, the business you started is now thriving, the songs you want to write are hits.
Imagine you’ve reached all your unthinkable goals. And then, pay close attention to the following.
- How does it feel?
- What does a day in your life look like?
- What clothes do you wear?
- Where do you live?
- What does your house look like?
The truth is, your brain can’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy. And if you start to feel, smell and imagine your ideal future NOW, you are much more likely to manifest your thoughts and make them a reality.
You will perceive things differently, see opportunities rather than obstacles.
1. If you wish to become a millionaire, act and think like a millionaire would, not as a person who wishes she was.
- What does a millionaire think about?
- How does a day in the life look?
- How does a millionaire #girlboss feel?
- What does she wear?
- Where does she live?
2. Let’s say you want to be an author and write a best selling novel. Get in the mind of a best-selling writer.
- What does she think about?
- How does she write?
- Where does she write?
- And so on.
Get in the right mindset and inspiration is more likely to show up, whether it is career or creativity related. It’s all about the mindset and the things you tell yourself.
Plus, if you practice this way of thinking you are also upping your confidence game. Yay! 🙂
This is all backed by science by the way – so you can read more on the topic if you go here.
Journaling, doodling and drawing freely to spark inspiration is my favorite methods for sending an oh-so-subtle but effective invite to creativity.
You can have brilliant underlying ideas camping out at the surface, and somehow, these ideas come to life when you put them onto a piece of paper, in writing or by drawing.
I challenge you:
Every morning, wake up 10 minutes earlier and spend this time journaling. Write whatever comes to mind. Don’t think, just write, no need for spellchecks or proper sentences.
Just write for the heck of it.
This will help free your mind and bring forth any underlying creative ideas that are lurking in your unconscious mind. It will open up your world to sparkling ideas and new possibilities.
Tip: check out morning pages, to read more about the benefits behind writing for the heck of it.
Visual Mood Board
Oh, how we absolutely adore hanging out on Pinterest to find inspiration. Agree?
Pinterest is just perfect for accumulating ideas, getting the right inspiration and motivation you so dearly desire.
(Psst.. come hang out with me on Pinterest why don’t cha!)
Create Pinterest boards with images and pins that inspire you and keep adding to them.
Come back to your mood boards whenever you need to, and get a new doze of inspiration to get you in your creative zone. I love Pinterest for everything inspo!
Go for a stroll
Whenever I feel stuck or uninspired I turn to nature and fresh air.
This literally helps clear the air (in my mind).
If you’re working on your computer all day, a little crisp air and taking a break from the screen will do you good.
So, the next time you’re feeling a little unmotivated and feel that creativity has failed you, go outside, dive into the fresh air, listen to nature sounds or your favorite inspiring podcast.
In my world, taking a walk outside is honestly a form of meditation.
BROWSE THE WWW
Sometimes we need to get out of our own minds.
The internet can serve as a bad beast disguised as a distraction, but occasionally it can absolutely help gain inspiration, new perspectives and collect new ideas.
Do a little research, consume knowledge like your favorite beverage and get information on a specific topic that can help boost creativity.
Spend some time on YouTube, watch TED Talks, read blog posts, go nuts on Pinterest and make sure you are only following people who inspire you on social media.
It can be a good idea to set a timer, so you don’t spend more time browsing than necessary; just long enough to spark something in you. 30 minutes should do it. If you don’t limit yourself, you’ll find yourself binging YouTube videos at 3 am in the morning.
Haven’t we all been there?
Note: Try staying away from Facebook – the distraction devil himself.
BEFORE YOU GO
I sincerely hope these tips will help boost your creativity and that you too, can start to have a, as Ms. Elizabeth Gilbert states, an affair with creativity when you most need it. By the way, if you haven’t read her book, Big Magic, do it now.
Dear creativity, I hope you know how much you mean to me, and I hope you will continue to come over, whenever you please.
My door is always open.