Time to Rekindle the Creative Spirit, Part 3

Sunday, July 15, 2012
Tea boosts creativity! Drink up!
"Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity."~~T.S. Eliot

OK, admit it. Sometimes, you feel like you're not creating anything new, like you're recycling ideas but not giving them the tweak the ideas so desperately need. I know I feel that way sometimes. It's frustrating!

Over the past several weeks, I've given you 22 tips for maintaining creativity in two separate blog posts: Need to Rekindle the Spark? and Rekindling the Creative Spark, Part 2. Today, I'll add a final 11 ways to stay creative. You've heard a lot of these before (I know I have), so what are you waiting for?

  1. Listen to new music. I enjoy music playing in the background while I write. I like all genres of music. See my dilemma with this tip? When I'm not in the creative spirit, I'll punch a random number into our XM radio and voila! Music I may scan past. (OK, sometimes I dance around the living room, too, but it works!) Different music, different rhythm, different lyrics all combine for fresh ideas and vision.
  2. Know your roots. It's the basis for all my writing. Approach a topic by asking how it relates to you. How can you connect a piece of you to a storyline that's giving you trouble? 
  3. Imbibe tea or coffee. I'm not a coffee person, but a cup of tea refreshes my thought processes. One of the greatest gifts I received was a tea-of-the-week gift set. So many flavors to choose from, and each one inspired a different idea.
  4. Sing. This goes along with tip number one. I sing along all the time, even if I don't know the words. Something about the music stirs new inspiration.
  5. Take a break. Best advice that is difficult to initiate. When I began freelancing, I had a strict daily routine. Soon, writing became monotonous. I quickly redesigned my writing time to write for 90 minutes, take a 15 minute break. Then, it's back to writing. Getting away from the computer, getting up and moving, rejuvenates the thought process.
  6. Stop reprimanding yourself. The worst thing you can do when words aren't flowing: listen to your inner critic. Here's where she needs to be stifled and kicked to the curb.
  7. Be otherworldly. Let your imagination cut loose! Use 'what if' scenarios to pull you and your piece in a new direction.
  8. Ditch the computer. You need a break, not just to boost your creativity, but to get the blood flowing through your body! It took me a long time to compose at the keyboard, but once a week, I grab a notebook and pen and write. It's amazing how thoughts travel from brain to fingertip.
  9. Freewrite. When I taught English, if students couldn't come up with something during their journal time, I'd ask them to write, "I cannot think of anything to write" over and over until the ideas developed.  Trust me, it didn't take too long.
  10. Invest in a notebook. It's such a basic premise - a writer needs a notebook. Pack one in your purse or keep it in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Inspiration can strike any time, so be prepared to record your thoughts.
  11. Make lists. A to-do list, a honey-do list, a grocery list, a list of ideas. One word can lead to a sentence, which can lead to a full-fledged idea.

Feeling stuck? Any of these tips will unplug the brain and offer a form of brain gain. And, anxiety won't get you down.

by LuAnn Schindler. Read more of her work at her website


Sioux Roslawski said...

LuAnn--When I'm writing, or trying to write, I drink lots of water. Lots of water means I have to get up lots to void. Just the act of having to get up occasionally sometimes jogs my brain and gets the ideas flowing.

Taking a break to doodle--to zentangle--also helps. Mindless drawing will loosen up the block sometimes as well.

BECKY said...

Hi LuAnn ~ I LOVE your ideas! I do all of them, but not all at the same time! :D

As far as listening to music goes, I love to listen to 1960s Oldies sometimes because I'm writing my memoir. But it has to be at a low volume otherwise I'd be typing what I'm singing along to! I also have one particular CD of piano music that really works for me. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great list to spark your creativity....Thanks for sharing. :)

Lisa Hayes said...

All wonderful suggestions, especially the Freewrite. Thanks!

Susan Ekins said...

LuAnn, Thank you for all three sets of creativity tips. Long ago, I took a Creativity class at a community college. I haven't seen that class on their schedule since that time or I would take it again. I much appreciate your tips!

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