Thursday, May 26, 2011

12 Fantastic Ways to Bring More Creativity Into Your Life

(Personal Photo)

Everybody gets caught up in their day-to-day lives, even creative people. And, it’s easy to forget that you need to nurture your creativity. Making simple changes to your daily routine can bring lots of creativity into your life. Here are 12 things you can do:

1. Write morning pages.

I can’t take credit for this idea. I got it from reading The Artist’s Way {affiliate link}, and it’s something that the author, Julia Cameron, demands that you do. Julia insists that writing whatever thoughts are in your head first thing in the morning will help you deal with your inner critic and inspire creativity. And, she’s right.
Set aside 20 minutes in the morning when you first wake up to write down your stream of consciousness. Write down anything that comes to mind, and continue to write until you’ve filled up three pages. At first, you might feel silly. But, as you continue to do this morning after morning, you’ll see a huge difference in how it impacts your day.

2. Take pictures.

Carry a small point-and-shoot camera with you, and take pictures of things that inspire you. When you’re on a walk, take a picture of the wildflowers. When you’re at a local café sipping hot chocolate with your children, take a picture of their smiling faces, the marshmallows, and the stack of coffee mugs.
Collect and edit the really good pictures. Discard the rest. Doing this on a regular basis will help you observe the loveliness of everyday things—which will inspire your work, no matter what creative medium you use.

3. Plan creative time.

Want to know the secret of successful artists, writers, photographers, and other creative entrepreneurs? They plan creative time. They don’t wait until they’re hit by a creative muse. Instead, they work on creative projects every day, even when they don’t feel inspired.
If you want to have a successful creative business, you need to work on your craft each day. Don’t make excuses.

4. Go on an artist’s date.

All creative people need to constantly refill their creative tanks, and I love the idea of taking your artist on a date. Just you and your artist—which if you haven’t caught on, are the same person. Again, I got this idea from The Artist’s Way.
Each week you should set aside one to two hours to take your artist on a date. You could go to a movie, scour the magazine rack at your local bookstore, go antiquing, enjoy a gourmet meal by yourself, or go hunting through your local dollar store. You must go alone, because you’ll be more observant if you do.
When you’re on your artist date, take in your surroundings and allow yourself to play creatively.

5. Learn a new skill.

If you’re a creative entrepreneur, you probably have at least one thing that you’re really good at whether it be painting, knitting, writing, or something else. But, if you want to push yourself creatively, get out of your comfort zone and learn a new skill.
If you’re a mixed media artist, take a beginner’s knitting class. If you’re a jewelry artist, learn a new cooking technique. When you push yourself, it’ll help your creative business. You might be surprised what you can take from a different niche and apply it to your own.

6. Live in the moment.

When you’re thinking about the past or the future, you’re not plugged into the present moment. When you’re fully engaged in the present, you’ll do your very best creative work.
Stop living for yesterday or tomorrow, and instead, live for today. When you find your mind drifting, focus your attention on your body and your current surroundings. Come back to the current moment.

7. Make a to-do list.

I know that I don’t fully engage in my creative work when I’m thinking about the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, the blog post I need to write, or the emails I need to send. The way I get around this is that I keep a daily to-do list. This frees me up creatively, because I don’t have to keep this information stored in my brain or constantly remind myself of what I need to do.

8. Engage your right brain.

Before you dive into your next creative project, engage your right brain with a right-brained activity. This will stimulate the part of your brain that needs to be actively engaged for you to be super creative.

9. Start a creativity swipe file.

I run across blog posts, pictures, creative tutorials, and quotes that inspire me on a daily basis. Whenever I do, I save it to the “creative pick-me-up” folder on my desktop. Just saving something inspiring gives me creative juice. But, I also use that folder to get inspiration when I’m running low.
Open up a new folder on your desktop, name it, and start adding things that spark your creative fire.

10. Set up a creative workspace.

You want to be inspired by the place where you do your creative work, so spend one day at least twice a year enhancing and changing up your creative space.
In my art studio, I have a really big inspiration board where I hang magazine pages, pictures, and color combinations that light me up. I only have to glance at it to get my creative juices flowing.

11. Start asking, “What if?”

Instead of hoping someone else will come up with a solution for your problems, get creative. Ask yourself “what if” questions.
For instance, if you wish that you could afford eco-friendly paint, ask, “what if I could make my own eco-friendly paint?”
This kind of thinking will lead to lots of creative problem solving.

12. Do something you’ve always wanted to do.

What are you waiting for? We constantly put off pleasure and fun until we have more money, more time, more resources. Stop making excuses for why you can’t do what you’ve always wanted to do. Instead, figure out how to do it.
If you’ve always wanted to go to Greece, could you cut back on your monthly expenses over the next year to save enough to go to Greece? If you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook delicious Italian food, can you find an inexpensive, local cooking class to take?
Think about how doing something you’ve always wanted to do would make you feel. Happy? Stress-free? Excited? Invigorated? All of these feelings lead to creativity and will help you fill up your creative tank.

Original article here.


  1. Thank you for this wonderful post! I loved reading it! :)

  2. i love the tip of taking a point & shoot camera along with you. i've been doing that A LOT more, and i'm totally enjoying it. i find it allows me to be more creative on a more regular basis. i also save creative ideas & blogs on my computer it really does help me when i need to go back later.

  3. I love your photo! It' so inspiring! I've always felt at home in the woods. Painting there only makes sense!

  4. Yay! :) putting a star on this post! thanks for sharing this Rachael!

  5. Oooh yes! I saved this post to my creative swipe file (that's pinterest for me ;o) )
    thank you!!


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