5 Tips to be More Creative
If you don’t consider yourself talented in a traditional art such as painting, sculpture, photography, music or dance, you may not think of yourself as creative. The truth is, we’re all born with the capacity for creativity, but it’s often something we move away from as we get older.
Renewing your creative spirit can benefit your life in many ways. As well as being relaxing and enjoyable, research tells us that being creative is good for your health and wellbeing. It improves the ability to think intuitively, stimulates your capacity to think more openly and enhances your ability to resolve work and personal problems in different ways.
Over the next week, express your creativity through one (or more) of the following exercises.
1. Journal in the mornings
In Julia Cameron’s much-loved book, The Artist’s Way (first published in 1992), she recommends a daily practice called ‘morning pages’. The idea is that, upon waking, you write three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing. This is to be done by hand, it’s not meant to be for anyone else to read (and in fact, you can throw the pages away once you’re done) and maybe most importantly, it’s not meant to be good writing. It’s just writing.
The benefit of morning pages is they help you to make contact with your thoughts, they enable you to recognise the voice of the inner critic and ultimately, they will lead you to the creative voice within.
2. Instead of television, try something new
Unless you’re selective about the programs you choose to watch, television can be a mind-numbing and empty experience. Spend a week without any television and use the time to do a creative activity you’ve always wanted to try or would like to get back to.
3. Enjoy a creative outing
Set aside a couple of hours this week for a creative outing. Creative outings don’t need to be huge adventures, but they do need to be an activity outside the home and ideally, they should involve doing or seeing something new or different.
For example, see a band or an orchestra playing music you don’t usually listen to; take photographs of a part of your city you visit regularly but don’t really ‘see’; visit a new restaurant or cafe; see a film that’s a different genre to the films you generally see; take a walk in nature in an area you’ve not been to before or take up a new hobby or interest.
4. Make time to daydream
Set aside 30 minutes each day this week to daydream. Find a quiet space and completely disconnect from the world. Turn off your computer and phone and, if possible, lie down or put your feet up. Just allow your thoughts to wander. There’s no purpose to daydreaming, it’s simply about giving your brain the opportunity for rest. During these times you’re likely to have your most intuitive, inspired thoughts (but the key is not to try to force this, instead just practice switching off).
5. Do something you’re not particularly good at
Fear of failing or looking foolish is generally what stops people from being creative. Choose a creative activity that you feel drawn to, but don’t have a natural talent for. For me, this is painting or drawing. You might choose photography, writing, cooking, singing, sculpting or anything else you can think of. Gather the props and tools you need and spend some time immersed in the activity knowing that when you are finished you can throw away the end product. Participate in the activity from a place of playfulness, joy and freedom. Be bold and courageous – remember, no one needs to see your art, it’s an exercise in expression and it’s not about the outcome.