Eight more ways to rekindle that creative flame
By Jessica Brodie You know the feeling… you’re sailing on that creative high, everything’s fantastic, you’re churning out work left and right, and then sluuuuuuurp. All of a sudden (insert slo-mo music here) the energy is wiiiiiinding downnnn to zilch.
You’re tapped out.
Never fear: in addition to my previous blog post offering Eight Fun Ways to Spice Up your Creative Mojo, here I offer Eight More Ways to Rekindle the Writing Flame:
1. Redecorate Redecorating your space—whether that’s your home office, your desk, your bedroom, or your entire home—quite literally changes your perspective on your current situation. This doesn’t have to be pricey. You can embrace some feng shui by rearranging furniture and realigning your inner and outer harmony, or splash on a fresh new coat of paint—or go all-out and update everything. Sometimes a view-shift does the trick. Try switching your desk so it faces the window instead of the wall (or, if the window is distracting, face the wall!). Pressed for time? Even the simple act of decluttering can make all the difference
2. Walk a prayer labyrinth There’s something soothing about repetitive motion, and what better way to recharge than to take a stroll through a prayer labyrinth or prayer garden. You can lose yourself in the action while reaping the benefits of endorphin-release. If you can’t find an actual labyrinth nearby, a walk through a quiet, reflective space like a local rose garden, playground, nature center, or cemetery can be just as effective.
3. Shuffle your music Whether you’re a fan of Beyonce, Adele, or Casting Crowns doesn’t matter—what does matter is switching up your playlist from time to time. Sound is a powerful sensory trigger, and when you swap your typical music style for something completely different, you talk to your brain in a whole new way. Go on a hunt for a new artist, or just change your Pandora station. Go for something really out-of-the-ordinary, like Brazilian or Indian music. If you’re a hip-hop fan, try classical. If you’re into country, meander into bluegrass or funk. Even some new tunes for an hour will shift you into high gear.
4. Hit the open road Go for a drive! Driving through a scenic area or new part of town can spark a lot of creativity. I get my best story ideas on road trips, whether I’m the driver or the passenger—even when I have a car full of kids with me. I don’t know whether it’s the new sights or just the options that open when I see the horizon in the distance. If a car isn’t an option, try a train or bus. Key: Stay off your phone, and be sure to watch the world around you.
5. Alone time Have a date with yourself! Plan a solo night in (as long as you can convince your housemates to head out for the evening). Splurge on a healthy gourmet meal or get some good takeout. Stream or rent a movie you have been wanting to see. Take a bath, paint your toenails, and read a magazine if that’s your thing. Or head out for the afternoon—try a fun little bistro, check out an art museum, go antiquing, play laser tag… whatever suits your interests. Enjoy some time getting to know YOU again.
6. Fitness flip-flop Another way to shake things up is to try a different fitness experience. If you’re a runner, experiment with yoga. If you like CrossFit, take a barre or Zumba class. If you walk laps with a pal, try a bike ride or a solitary run. And if your favorite exercise looks a lot like sitting on the couch flipping channels, well, any sort of fitness fun will do. Our bodies can get into an exercise rut sometimes, even if we’re terrific athletes. Changing it up for a few days or a week will make us stronger physically and mentally.
7. Explore a new hobby Indulging in a new interest can also spur creativity. You don’t need to go gung-ho and invest in pricey equipment. Just try something new: Sign up for an evening painting class at the local arts and crafts shop. Pick up a crossword puzzle or Sudoku book, or get some colored pencils and one of those adult coloring books. Buy a puzzle. Have a friend teach you to knit. Take a walk in the park with your iPhone and snap some flower photos. Chances are good that diving into something new, mundane or not, will spark inspiration in no time.
8. Clean Yes, it’s boring, but there’s a reason it’s an easy go-to for so many. Cleaning your house (whether vacuuming, scrubbing the shower, or just picking up here and there) is a way to figuratively and literally get rid of that smelly, cluttery, overwhelming mess and start fresh. If I’m troubled and just can’t put my finger on why, or stuck writing a crucial scene, you can bet I’ll don those trusty purple gloves, grab my sponge and some spray, and go to town on some dishes or the kids’ toilet (yuck). In no time I have order again—in the form of a newly clean kitchen or bathroom, and best of all, in my brain. Just be careful not to go too far down the cleanliness rabbit hole. Do it as quickly as possible and be done… then wash up and jump right back into your creative project.
Comment below, or email me and let me know if any of these (or my previous eight) work for you. Other suggestions also welcome!