A while back, I lost my creative groove. It happened when I was cranking out the second draft of a mystery novel. I’d sit down to write, stare at the page, and . . .
This went on for days, until I finally resorted to trying out some, ‘Guaranteed to Ignite Your Creativity Tips’ from a web site.
One day, I was at the grocery store, focused on filling my list and making a speedy exit. I pulled my cart over to grab some green peppers, and a surge of energy passed through me. A voice from somewhere deep inside said, “Look at those beautiful orange and red peppers! Get a couple of those too!”
“At that price? No way!” I dismissed the idea, as I bagged the green ones and headed towards the checkout lane.
I was halfway home before I realized what had happened.
Creativity had spoken to me, and I’d squashed it like a bug.
The truth is, most of us treat creativity like it’s an old coat to slip on when its time to write a blog post. Then, when we’re done with it, we shrug it off and dump it into a corner.
In reality, creativity is part of who we are. When we treat it badly, it’s elusive and shy, but when we honor it and weave its threads throughout the fabric of our lives, it’s automatically with us when we sit down to write.
Fortunately, there are many easy ways to strengthen our creative spirits, and I’ve shared some of them below. Just remember that these aren’t straws to grab out of a hat when you’re in a creative bind. No, these ideas and practices are meant to be tested and tweaked as part of a broader creative life:
- Have play dates. No one wants to work all the time, and creativity is no exception. Rather than trying to cram creativity into blogs posts all of the time, give it regular play time by journaling or free writing with no outcome in mind.
- Tune into tunes Rather than just listening to whatever is popular, open up to the wide world of musical options. Pay attention to everything that draws you, including things like a beautiful guitar or the wild dreadlocks of a reggae artist. Your creative spirit just may be nudging you to sign up for guitar lessons or sending a message that it’s time to let your physical or creative hair grow wild.
- Honor the temple. Make your body worthy of your creative spirit. Try eating a lighter plant-based diet, upping your water intake, and getting regular physical exercise for a few weeks and watch your creativity grow.
- Get outdoors. I don’t understand the connection between creativity and nature, but it’s strong and undeniable. When I sit under a canopy of stars on a dark night, stare into the glowing embers of a campfire, or feel autumn leaves crunching under my feet, my creative spirit practically bursts from my body. Feed your creativity regularly by getting outdoors and engaging all your senses to soak up the experience.
- Let it rest. I rest my creativity by doing ‘non-creative’ tasks like weeding the garden, cleaning house, or folding laundry. The funny thing is, when I do these mundane chores, creativity acts like a kid who doesn’t want to take a nap by popping up with all sorts of innovative blogging ideas.
- Kick the clutter. Creativity generally does best in uncluttered mental and physical spaces. Although I fall off the wagon regularly, I always get a creativity boost when I spend regular time in meditation, as well as when I devote time each day to uncluttering our home.
- Make stuff. When I make things with my hands–whether I’m baking bread, laying tile, or building a bookcase–creativity fires on all cylinders. As I include more of these activities in my daily life, creativity stays in the foreground of life rather than hiding in the shadows.
- Color your world. Color is the language of creativity. When I bring colorful flowers into my work space, wear a bright red shirt, or enjoy lush green summer scenery, my creative voice grows louder. Listen to your creative voice when it sends you hints about its favorite colors, and be sure to add these shades and hues to your surroundings.
- Shake things up. Our creative spirits easily grow restless and bored. Stimulate your creativity by varying post length and style, taking different routes when running errands, and challenging yourself to learn new skills.
Getting your creative groove back definitely makes blogging a whole lot easier, but there’s so much more to it than that. When we invite creativity into all life areas, everything looks and feels so much more vibrant and rich that life starts to feel like one big canvass we can paint any way we choose.
And really, that’s what it is.
Your turn: How do you get your creative groove back?
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