Who wants more ideas? Who needs a brilliant thought? Who could stand a new insight? A fresh perspective? A story idea?
Who needs more creativity?
I know I do! I just wish I could turn on good ideas like I turn on the tap. It’s too bad our muse only shows up at inconvenient times or not at all.
I believe, however, that creativity can be encouraged. We can play with our own minds in such a way that can help solve problems and get good ideas. Here’s a long list of ways to be more creative. Try some! And leave a comment if you got them to work!
1. Get Yourself In A Good Mood. This study suggests that listening to happy music or finding positive stimulus can relax your brain enough to solve a problem.
2. Go For A Long Walk Like The Poets Did. What worked for writers of the classics could work for you!
3. Read creative works. Don’t settle for the typical fare, find books that are completely unique and pay attention to what the author did. I’m currently reading The Intuitionist and the author did a brilliant job creating a world where elevator inspectors were the most respected roles of society. Elevator inspectors? For the life of me, I can’t figure out why he would come up with that. I could get frustrated with the book and give up on it, concluding that this type of creativity is kooky, or I could be challenged. Could I come up with something that unique and interesting? Check out this Goodreads list of creative books, they’re heavy on fantasy, but they could give you some great ideas.
4. Sit and observe. It’s hard enough to find 10 minutes to write in a day, but if you can, take a few minutes and observe the world around you. Put yourself in a public setting so you can people watch and then free write about everything you see. Practice this and your creativity will be strengthened and you’ll start seeing things you haven’t seen before. This excellent article gives practical tips on how to be more observant and deduce facts from the world around you.
5. Push your metaphors as far as you possibly can when you write. If you use a common simile such as “busy as a bee” then spend ten minutes getting into the specifics of what that looks like. Through a free write, perhaps, you’ll have a fresher image of what we mean when we say, “busy as a bee”. This will clearer and it will also spurn your creativity.
6. Read slower. Sit with a book from a great classic writer. (My choice would be Flannery O’Connor) and instead of reading the sentences, savor them. Sip them, as you would a glass of wine at a tasting. Pay attention to the nuance. Make notes of what you notice. Train your literary palate to recognize things so that when it’s your turn to write, you’ll be able to tap into your subconscious and write more creatively.
7. Write in short spurts and then do something mindless. You may have heard this before: set your timer for 10 minutes and write. Then, when the timer dings, go do something mindless, like wash the dishes or prepare a meal. Your brain will use the “down time” to recharge so when you return to the creative activity, you’ll be energized and more successful. This is backed up scientifically. Check out this very helpful article from 99U.
8. Do some math. This isn’t a joke. If you want to be more creative, get your left brain involved as much as your right brain. Spend a few minutes with something logical and analytical, like Sudoku or 1024. This will get those creative juices flowing. Because according to this article, the “math” we do is really problem solving. The more exercise your brain gets in one discipline, the more it will help the others.
9. Want more? Inc.com has 9 Ways To Become More Creative in the Next 10 Minutes.
10. Creativity Post has 101 Tips On How To Be More Creative.