As we creep into month 8 of isolation, collective creativity and enthusiasm to innovate are running at an all-time low. I know firsthand that nothing is more frustrating than writer's block or feeling stuck creatively. That’s why I've compiled five of my best tips and tricks that help me cope with a lack of creativity some days, and cultivate creativity on others.
Spend Time in NatureI get most of my creative energy from being in nature. Whenever I’m frustrated and can’t seem to get inspired, I take a long walk or head up north. I always leave the North Shore feeling more centered, calm, and collected than when I went up. My best advice is to go into nature without intentions. You can’t go on a walk expecting to come up with something brilliant. It’s best to just let your mind wander and see what it comes up with under no pressure. When I do this, I find those are often my best ideas.
Capitalize on Energy Even if it Isn’t PlannedI often experience a burst of energy at inconvenient times. For me, on my most creative/productive/inspired days I either wake up very early with a bunch of energy and ideas, or I get this buzz of creativity right before bed. Although it can be inconvenient to have your great idea at 11 p.m., I have found that it is best to capitalize on that energy at the moment. If you try to sideline it, push it off, or try to pick it up later, it is never as good. I usually feel deflated trying to replicate that energy when it isn’t genuine. A great example of how to practice this is the Instagram feed from Kate Arends at @witanddelight_. Kate is a Minnesotan who remodels homes. Currently she is doing a complete remodel while living in the home in the Twin Cities She is very vulnerable about her creative process and fields design questions with her followers. She is also the mom of two young kids, so she demonstrates very well how to capitalize on energy and time when you have it.
Enjoy the Fruits of Other People's CreativitySometimes in creative industries there’s this notion that somehow, someone else doing something cool takes value away from what you’re trying to do. I actively combat competitive thinking by taking time to appreciate other people's creativity. I set aside time when I am feeling frustrated with my own ability to produce novel concepts to explore my friend’s pages and see what they are up to. For example, I feel like I am in a bit of a creative rut right now. But my friend Gabriella (@munaycreations) is actively producing a portrait series of BIPOC women. It’s amazing and so cool to see her work. Every time I check her page to see her progress and admire her creations, I leave feeling inspired. Watching other people be creative is sometimes all you need to get inspired yourself.
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