Creativity can sometimes be elusive. For stretches of time, it may be abundant, pouring into every aspect of your life. Then, just as quickly, it can feel as though you're wandering through a desert, and you can't muster up even the tiniest creative thought. As you try to grab at it, it flits away, leaving frustration and panic in its place. For many people, stress and pressure create the perfect environment to squelch creativity. In order to lure it back, you may have to try some different tactics to stretch yourself. As Henri Matisse said, "Creativity takes courage."
Learn Something New
Learning something new may help spark creativity. When you're trying and practicing something unfamiliar, you're creating new neural connections and strengthening existing pathways in your brain. It can inspire a fresh view on other projects. Also, relaxing while you're enjoying something different maybe what's needed to stimulate your imagination. The enjoyment of absorbing yourself in learning a new skill may prompt some exciting ideas.
Wander to Find Wonder
One of the best ways to stimulate ideas is to go for a walk, using all your senses to process what you're experiencing. Hiking in the countryside surrounds you with natural inspiration. A walk in the city immerses you in interactions with people, bright lights, and stimulation. Outdoor exercise also helps to encourage creativity as it relieves stress. Switch off your technology and focus on the moment in a different environment.
Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People
Join a group of like-minded people where you can discuss ideas and find support for your craft. If you can't find one in your area or online, recruit members, and create one yourself. Start a writer's circle, a social art group, or a book club - you may be surprised to find out that other creatives are struggling too and would welcome some new input and encouragement.
Seek out your inner child by thinking back to something you enjoyed during your childhood and trying it again. It may be something as simple as jumping on a trampoline, coloring pictures, playing with modeling clay, or reading a favorite children's book. Adults may bury creativity as a response to the fear of being judged, but young children embrace their imagination through play, which stimulates creativity.
Find New Inspiration
Seek out inspiration by listening to different music, reading new material, and following artists in genres and mediums that you've never explored before. If you usually listen to classical music, try rock. If you prefer crime novels, read a romance for a change. Broaden your tastes and views. It's easy to get stuck in the things we've enjoyed through our lives, instead of learning to appreciate something new.
Boredom stimulates creativity as you allow your mind to wander and daydream. It's essential to schedule a time to do nothing. Turn off your screens and simply watch the world go by for a few minutes or do something mundane that requires no concentration. Reflection may result in some surprising thoughts and ideas.
Write down your thoughts, dreams, and anxieties, without judging what you're writing. In Julia Cameron's renowned book "The Artist's Way," she encourages readers to write "morning pages." These three pages, written in longhand, consist of a stream- of- consciousness writing, which helps you remove your inner judge, quieten your mind, and find focus.
Creative flow works differently for everyone, but most people will experience a block at some point in their lives. In stressful times, when the world feels like an uncertain place, it can be challenging to find inspiration and focus. Try these methods to unblock the creative genius inside of you.