So, you’re at another dead end. After days of typing away, researching and coming up with the most exciting material you can find, your mind draws a blank. You think you have the best idea, but when you shoot for the stars, you fall short.
In a world where communication is rampant in all places that have Internet connections, it is increasingly difficult to come up with new and inspiring ideas.
You turn on your computer to start looking for the ultimate idea, which is the first thing that you’re doing wrong.
Turn off your computer
I know it sounds crazy, but try it. The more you browse online, the more you'll find processed ideas and information that thousands — if not millions — of other people have already used. You need a new set of eyes: your own.
Also, there is another drawback to the computers and other devices: Not only does the screen tire your eyes and make your head ache, it also overwhelms your senses, as you are constantly drawn to other images that blink and glow all over the page.
This makes it hard for you to follow through with a decent train of thought and to concentrate. Although it will be hard to get used to other methods that don’t include looking for information online, it will become easier with time, as you’ll find ideas and information in the most unexpected places.
I am aware that not only are writers creative, but they also do something that keeps their creative juices flowing: They write. By writing something down, you turn abstract ideas into logic, something that makes sense.
When you write, be as specific and comprehensible as possible so that when you reread it a few days later, you will remember what you meant and will be able to trace your own steps.
You can also try free writing: Write the first thing that pops into your head for a preset amount of time. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation; just write and amazing things will start to happen.
Rest as much as you can
Back in the day, bohemian artists stayed up all night partying and would end up with amazing masterpieces.
Keep in mind that some of these great artists already had some success, were being paid for their next installments, had some serious trust-fund backing, or were broke and unhappy and their works weren’t deemed to be successful until after their deaths.
As most of us need to have a day job to back up our aspiring artist careers, keep in mind that you should save your strength to keep those ideas flowing.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Trial and error is the foundation of every human experience and learning process. Why should the process of creation be any different?
If you are too scared of running into some speed bumps along the way, you won’t be able to test your potential and you’ll end up playing it safe. You learn how to overcome mistakes by making them.
Break the rules
Maybe your father always wanted you to be a lawyer or your mother always wanted you to be a doctor. You didn’t want to be either, so you hopped on the first plane to India and spent the rest of the year there volunteering for an NGO.
What you actually do doesn’t need to be this extreme, but breaking the mold of what you thought was “normal” is a very big step to become empowered, confident and more willing to try something new.
Whether it’s a break in the chain of command, the cycle you were in or the way you see the world, you will learn how to look around with new eyes, which will bring about new insight and new goals.
You need not be anyone else’s version of perfect; just find what’s perfect for you, what makes you want to sing every day and what makes you feel as excited as you were on Christmas morning as a child.
Break as many rules as you can throughout your life (as long as it doesn't lead you to jail) and find inspiration for any projects you want to pursue.
Nothing is worthwhile if you can’t find the time to laugh and enjoy yourself.
You don’t need to be so focused and driven all the time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so stop trying to reinvent history. Take the pressure off yourself, allow your mind to wander and focus on as many trivial things as you want.
Go out with some friends (the kookier, the better), enjoy gardens, the smell of books or each other’s company. Sing in the shower whenever you can and dance whenever you hear music.
Finish what you started
It sounds simple, but it really isn't. It’s quite easy for creative people to get caught up with fresh ideas and avoid harder projects. One can end up with millions of un-ended stories, unfinished paintings and lyric-less melodies because he or she thinks the muse calls from elsewhere.
Creativity, as everything else, takes time to develop and to master. It also requires practice. You can be creative by nature, but if you don’t practice your talent, it will never be more than just that: talent.
If you don’t force yourself to finish what you start, you won’t know your own creative process, where you struggle, where you excel and how to plan your workload accordingly. Your muse will be fickle and will leave you hanging most of the times, believe me.
Force yourself to depend only on your work and your process to be the most creative you.
Photo via We Heart It