Even though some of us may not be as closely tied to it as others, I know everyone – everyone in the entire world – has a creative side. The only thing is that we don’t see all creativity as creativity. Art is creative, writing is creative, music is creative, inventing is creative, science is creative, maths is creative, philosophy is creative. A gazillion things that aren’t necessarily thought of as creative in our modern society take up creative energy to be done, and I think they deserve to be known as such. That’s not why I’m here though, the real reason I’m going to rant on about creativity today is to catch that spark, that teeny tiny particle of light you need for all your wonderful ideas to flow out like a river. Creativity is a delicate thing, and I myself am constantly looking for ways to get it, to catch that spark and work, work, work, because I know it’s simply not always at my disposal. These are some of my favourite ways.
Spending time with likeminded people.
As some of you may know, I went to Blogcademy in June and it was downright amazing. Not just the class, but the creative atmosphere that was in the room, the feeling of all the women (there were only women there in this case) wanting to work for what they loved most, what they wanted most out of life and we were all willing to do whatever it would take to get to out goal. It was a feeling I may not get many more times in life, which is why I value that weekend so much. Being in one room with people who want exactly what you want, who are interested in what you’re interested in and who want to work as hard as you do, that’s something really special. On Sunday I came home with glittery ears, a bag full of pretty things, notebooks full of inspirational notes and a head full of ideas, and to this day I still use all of it regularly.
Film and TV.
When I’m pretty much completely out of ideas the one thing I like to do is put on the TV, a series or a film and keep a notebook and pen on hand. Even when it has nothing to do with the subject that your creative side loves most, it’s a wonderful way to get ideas. Simply, the thing is that there are so many subjects that people talk about, there are different colours flashing on your screen (which we all react differently to), images that come flashing by, music in the background that might give you an idea, words that make us think of something valuable. It seems unlikely at first, but my best ideas have come from doing this and I do it regularly because it works.
All in all, I work best when I’m listening to some old school classical tunes (Grieg, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, YES!), it sets the mood for amazing things, but when you’re not sure what your working for (bear in mind: all this comes from a writer, so that’s what I use all this for, it may not all work for other creative outlets), lyrics sometimes do the trick.
I’ve had a couple of instances where I was listening to a song, singing along and typing something completely different (which is weird, because that means that your brain is signalling different words out of your body at the same time; I’m amazed), and sometimes it’s rad.
Think of your subject deeply and just go with whatever your hands decide to do with it, they’re the leader and all you have to do is follow. This is an amazing and very strange experience, but it works.
Opposite of deep thought is clearing the mind. A clean slate in that room upstairs sometimes makes for the best ideas though, because your brain won’t be as filled up with outside vibrations, which means the real you is coming out 100%.
And then something completely different, not thinking about what you want to do at all, taking your mind to a whole another place and seeing where it decides to take you instead. I think distraction is the most interesting way of being creative, because your mind then decides to build something from something completely different, which is pretty fucking amazing. to all the brains out there: you are awesome.
Being away from your regular workspace.
Even though some of your most amazing work might’ve been made there, sometimes you need to be somewhere else in order to come up with something new. If you’d always work in the same space, your work will end up being kind of the same every time and that’s not what you want. Go to a cafe, take a stroll, hang out with someone new, travel to a world unknown through a book, actually go on holiday, just go for it.
Doing something new will activate something new in your brain, which will then lead to new ideas, it’s that simple.
Taking time to just be you.
Even though inspiration from the outside world can be very useful and important, sometimes being 100% yourself is the best gift you can give yourself, for the content you’ll produce is 100% you. Uniqueness is one of the most important things in modern life.
Hearing others talk about their work, the work they’ve done in order to get that work done and what they’ll do in the future to continue doing that work is such a drive to keep doing what you’re doing and to improve yourself every minute of every day.
Something I’m really (really, really, really, really) looking forward to is Liz Gilbert’s new book Big Magic: Living Creatively Beyond Fear. Liz is an inspiration to me in every aspect of life, she’s one of my favourite people to read, listen to and watch and I love every single thing she does. Her new book is about creativity, about stopping to be fearful about manifesting your own creativity and about starting to live a life that honours that creativity. The book comes out on September 22nd and well, I’m beyond excited. Magic Lessons, the podcast that comes with it has been my mental juice for the past weeks and listening to it pumps me up every time.
Now, honey, it’s time to get up, get supplies and make, because the world needs whatever is hidden inside you.
Creative sparks of fire,