mental toughness

10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity

Writer’s block is caused by a lack of inspiration or creative spark that involves temporary loss of ability to begin or continue writing. We have all experienced it at least one time or another in our lifetime, some of us more then others. Before I wrote this post I stared at the computer screen for who knows how long trying to come up with something to share with the world. So I did some searching, and I came across this article, “10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity.”

I know you are thinking, “Why does jump starting my creativity matter to me?” To put it plainly, because money is just an idea, to increase or generate streams of income, it all starts with being creative! So…the more creative you are, the more ideas you come up with, the more ideas you come up with, the more opportunity you have to generate money.

See below for a post from “dumblittleman” on 10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity:

Many of us want to be more creative. If you’re a blogger, you are searching for a killer idea for your next post. If you work in marketing or advertising, you’ll be trying to come up with that brilliant concept that will bring in a swarm of customers. If you have a creative hobby, like painting or writing, you want the next piece to be a masterpiece.

Sometimes, we might feel as though we’re “just not very creative”. Other people seem to have better ideas and bigger projects. The truth is that there are plenty of ways to help yourself become more creative. Here are ten of my favorites:

1. Read Widely and Deeply
Whatever field you’re in, reading can only help. Go to the library and check out some good books – and don’t make all of them ones in your area of expertise. Why not get a novel you’d never normally read, or a book about a topic you have no knowledge on? This can jump-start your brain into working more creatively as you try to assimilate the new information based on what you already know from your own field.

2. Try New Activities
Another way to get your brain in gear is to try something totally new. Whether it’s salsa dancing, pottery or a medieval reenactment, taking up a new hobby can help shake things up and encourage you to think laterally. For example, you might be inspired to write an article using your new interest as a metaphor for something in your main field of work.

3. Talk To Strangers
Children are warned about “stranger danger”, but as adults, we shouldn’t be too afraid of talking to new people. We naturally associate with people who are like ourselves – the same income bracket, the same dress sense, the same career or industry – and this can stifle our creativity by making us feel that “everyone’s just the same”. Branch out. Chat to someone you don’t know in the cafeteria. Say “hi” to the person next to you in line at the coffee shop.

4. Reject Your First Ten Ideas
One great way to generate ideas, if you’re stuck for inspiration, is to sit down with a blank piece of paper (or a blank document on your computer) and list at least twenty ideas. Reject the first ten: they’ll almost always be too “normal” and bland. You have to get through these easy ideas in order to be really creative. If you’re writing a short story for a competition on “murder” for instance, the first ten ideas you have will be the ones that judges see time and time again.

5. Experiment: Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
We’re often wary of trying new ways of working or new activities because we’re afraid we’ll fail. But there’s no shame in failure – after all, as a baby, you failed countless times at walking, talking and potty training… but you’re an expert in all of those areas now! The path to success often requires trying out a lot of ways which don’t work.

“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” –Thomas Edison

6. Make Connections: Link Two Projects
Do you have a stack of half-finished sketches or half-written short stories languishing in a drawer? One very effective way to reignite your enthusiasm is to combine two different projects. Take a character from one of your short stories and insert him into the plot of a different one. Mix that fantasy dreamscape sketch with the steampunk idea. Take an idea from that zany game you were designing and put it with the brainteaser series that you had planned.

7. Take An Unusual Perspective
If you’re working on a long-term creative piece, like a blog or a novel, it’s easy to get stale. Try adopting an unusual perspective. You might write a scene in your novel from the point of view of an inanimate object, or through the eyes of a character whose state of mind has been altered by alcohol or drugs. You could try writing a post on your blog from someone else’s perspective. For me, one of the most memorable posts on Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger is “5 Things You Should Know About My Dad the ProBlogger”, purportedly from the viewpoint of his (at the time) one-year-old son:

“You see my Dad reads more than he writes. I think he does this because his writing gets better after reading what others say and because it means he’s learning more about his topics.”

8. Do Your Chores
This might sound like odd advice – after all, chores aren’t exactly creative. But physical activities like vacuuming, washing the dishes or scrubbing the floors leave your mind free to wander – and it’s surprising how many ideas can occur to you when you’re not sitting staring at your desk.

9. Use A Different Medium
If you’re a writer, try drawing for a change. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw – use stick figures – but this can help jolt you out of your comfort zone, allowing you to approach a problem in a new way. If you’re a painter, try making up a tune and words for a song. If you’re a graphic designer, use modeling clay or create a collage. Don’t limit your creativity to just one medium.

10. Daydream: Keep Asking “What If…?”
The final, and most important tip for enhancing your creativity, is to daydream. Stare into space. Let your thoughts drift. Think about your project when you’re going to sleep at night – unusual thoughts often crop up in that half-awake, half-asleep state. Don’t try to force or rush creativity; give yourself time to let your ideas simmer away in the back of your mind.

Which of those ideas work for you? What tips would you add to the above list?


Discussion

4 comments for “10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity”

  1. […] Maven IG var varsarray=[]; varsarray[0]=’10649′; if(!token) {var token=’0′} else {var […]

    Posted by 10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity | Money Is Just An Idea - ezineaerticles | February 22, 2009, 3:10 am
  2. Cool creative exercises. Any ideas/exercises to try when commuting? I spend two hours a day on a train to and from work with the following tools at my disposal: a blackberry, newspaper, and an ipod. This seems like precious ‘daydreaming’ time, however what are some thought activities that could spur my session? Thanks!

    Posted by Jennie | February 23, 2009, 6:19 pm
  3. First off, thank you for the comment. One activities you could do is bring a book, a piece of paper, and a pen with you on your next commute to work. Now, depending on what subject matter you are trying to have creative new ideas for will determine what you will jot down. First, read a chapter out of the book, and then write down how they topic in the chapter relates to the subject matter you are thinking about. It works best if the book and the subject matter are totally different, so it forces your to make creative connections.

    Posted by RedMaven | February 23, 2009, 9:16 pm
  4. Awesome! I spend most of my day creatively daydreaming (much to the dismay of my employer), but I enjoy it, and I figure if I get one or two good ideas out of a week of thinking creatively, it’s worth it. I will have to try some of your other suggestions.

    Posted by Jon | February 26, 2009, 10:58 pm

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