For years I thought creativity belonged exclusively to artists, writers and musicians and longed to be part of such a creative elite. Wow, was I wrong. Now that I’m older and wiser (hopefully) I know that we all have the ability to be creative in any part of our lives that we choose.
Creativity is a major component of staying emotionally balanced, finding joy in small things, and boosting self-esteem. Think of creativity like a vitamin supplement. We can exist without it but are healthier and have more energy with it.
Here are my top ways for making creativity happen:
Change your perspective
Seeing things from a different point of view sounds good in theory but is harder to do than it sounds. A great way to enable a change in perspective is to actually see something out of the ordinary.
But while we’d all love to follow in the footsteps of Eat Pray Love, few of us have the funds to take a trip to Italy, India, or Bali. Here’s how to do it on the cheap:
- Buy a piece of art that appeals to you on an emotional level. It can be as simple as a art postcard from a museum, a batik fabric from an art fair, or a poster that has an clever or inspirational image. Put it where you’ll see it frequently.
- Read a couple of magazines on topics that you don’t usually read. I find that my husband’s watch magazines are unique and different sources of inspiration. Read history, crafts, photography, cooking—anything that you don’t normally read.
- Get a book on industrial design. The images and ideas in books such as Creative Workshop by David Sherwin or Logo Design Love by David Airey stretch your mind. Leaf through your book now and then, asking yourself why certain images resonate, what made your linger on that page, what can you apply to your own environment. Start thinking critically.
Inspiration from the experts
A lot of experts in different industries think about creativity a lot more than most of us and happily share their ideas across social media platforms. If you’re on Twitter, once a week search for #creative and/or #design. You’ll be amazed at all the ideas you find and how you can apply them to any task or problem you are trying to solve.
A few links to check out:
- The lifehacker.com website is the king of creativity ideas, including this one on–you guessed it–9 ideas for boosting creativity by Gregory Ciotti.
- Jonathan Gunston of bestsellerlabs.com writes about coping with writer’s block with great ideas for moving beyond “stuck” that are relevant for everybody, not just writers.
- I ran across a blog post at destination-innovation.com talking about what not to say when you hear a new idea at work. The advice works at home, too.
- Gretchen Rubin’s happiness-project.com blog and related books are full of thoughtful yet fun ideas for boosting happiness, which contain big doses of creativity-boosting ideas as well.
I’m probably not the first one to say that getting the blood flowing will help generate new ideas.
- Take a walk to gain a fresh perspective both by boosting endorphins and making your eyes focus on something new.
- Swimming in a pool creates a rhythm without being hard on your feet while a beach swim is a feast for the senses—the sound of waves, the grit of sand, the smell of coconut oil. I always get new ideas while water walking.
- Stretching is amazingly underrated. Yoga is a good time investment but so is just simply stretching at home. Dr. Mehmet Oz has a wonderful website with stretching videos and instructions.
As the writer of the Emilia Cruz mystery series I can always use more ideas for boosting creativity. Do you have a tip to share?
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