Working in an agency like The Wonderland, creativity comes hand in hand with your job. However, when it’s important for you to think creatively on a day-to-day basis, sometimes your mind tricks you into thinking that creativity is a chore, something you have to do, a way you must force yourself to think. This can make it difficult to ‘stay’ creative. And where’s the fun in that?
So how do you keep the ideas coming? Will creativity resist the more you push, or will it come willingly given a little helping hand? Is it nature or nurture? These questions we could undoubtedly ponder on for eternity, but for this particular task we’ll leave that one here.
My thoughts are, maybe it’s a combination of different aspects of your life that keep you creative. Some people may get creative block at their desk but never at their sketchpad; others may get creative block at their kitchen worktop but never at their copywriting job. There are so many different ways we are creative every day, and I think the solution to staying creative is to remember that creativity doesn’t just mean spouting crazy ideas in a brainstorm.
So… there are a few things that I believe you can do to fuel the creative energy you have within you; and it’s all about sitting back and allowing it to shine. Which brings me to…
1. Make the time.
It’s so easy to go home and sit on the sofa and do absolutely nothing. You’re tired, you’re hungry, you’ve had a stressful day, you’ve had to tidy up, there was traffic on the way home, and quite honestly you can’t be bothered.
But where would we be if that’s what everyone did every day? It’s nice to do nothing sometimes, but devote some days in your week to doing something. Use that time to be creative – whatever you want to do, whatever your medium may be, spend at least one evening a week doing something that flexes your creative muscles. By constantly trying to be creative, you’re less likely to get stuck in a rut a couple of months down the line when you realise you haven’t done anything for a while, and now you can’t remember where to begin.
Can’t think of what to do? How about…
- Cook something new
- Paint a picture
- Write a limerick
- Make up a cocktail (mocktail or alcoholic)
- Make a thank you card
- Draw a portrait of your cat (any pet will do!)
Feel most creative just before you go to sleep? What about first thing in the morning? What do you dream about? Keep a notepad next to your bed and jot your ideas down in the wee hours, as often this is when your creative brain is let loose. Capture those thoughts!
Often we see the same places every day – we tread the same paths and drive the same routes, and your mind can come to a standstill. Take some time out of your schedule to plan a trip – it can be a 6 month trip across the world or a daytrip to a different city. You could even explore places in your local area that you haven’t seen before. Any way that you do it, allow yourself to be inspired by new surroundings. Eat new food, speak to new people, widen your peripherals and allow yourself to think a little differently. Ideas may just follow suit.
That’s right, get your physical muscles working and watch your creative muscles follow suit. Whether it be a short walk, a little bout of yoga, a full blown run or a dance around the kitchen. Whatever floats your boat – by energising your body you are livening up your mind. Some people find that their wildest thoughts come to them whilst on a run, so get those laces tied and hit the road (or living room).
5. Share your ideas.
A lot of the problems with creativity stem from people thinking their ideas aren’t good enough. The question is, what would have happened to those ideas if you had aired them in a room full of people? Someone may have picked up on a shiny piece of that idea and elaborated on it, and before you know it you would have the best idea of your life.
It can be scary at first to share any of your creative work, but getting new eyes is one of the most important steps in the creative process. Criticism can be hard to take, however your work will often come out of the other end so much better than before. Make yourself adaptable, and allow your ideas to change shape too – what’s the worst that could happen?
Overall, (cliché alert) think positively! Trying to be creative can be hard, frustrating, and just annoying – but don’t let it get you down. Take a creative block lightly, and have some fun to get yourself back in the swing of things… and before you know it you’ll have ideas coming out of your ears…
Written by Emmy
All images are via Pinterest.