Doing anything creative is (and should always be) a pure joy to the person who is engaged in it, and for those of us working in a creative field such as writing or book cover design, it makes the project you’re working on that much more enjoyable.
But creativity, to some degree, is like a muscle, the more you use it, the better/stronger it becomes. So, the key in growing your creativity is in using it more, sound easy right?
Okay, but what about those who suffer from writer’s block? They are trying to use their creativity but harder they try the further away it seems to get, sitting at a laptop for hours without anything to show is no fun.
However, there are things you can do to try and get your creative flow back and beat blocks you may have, here are some ideas that can help.
1 – Relax
The worst thing about any block is focusing on it, the more you think of how much you can’t do something the more stress you place upon yourself and the less likely you are to be able to overcome it. So, if you are not feeling creative right now, don’t panic, take a break from it and get some distance from the process, if you need to put it to one side for a couple of days, do just that.
2 – Relax even more
Say the word meditation and many people think of monks with shaved heads, sitting in the Lotus position, saying ‘ohmmmnnn’ repeatedly, and all while sat on a mountain top in Tibet, but for most people who do meditate this is very far from reality.
Meditation is something that anyone can do and has proven benefits to both health and creativity, it helps to relax, destress and boost your creativity, you don’t have to spend hours each day doing it (as little as 15 mins per day will help) and there are no side-effects.
Even if you are skeptical, try it for a week and be open, there are no costs involved and it really doesn't take up much of your time either, the hardest part is in sitting still for a while and trying to clear your mind of any thought, as I said, it’s really not that taxing.
However, if you have never done it before, here’s a very simple guide.
Only start to meditate when it is completely safe for you to do so, when it is, either sit or lie down and completely relax your body, next, focus on your breathing, count to four on each inward breath and then count to four on each breath out, the focus should be on your breathing (this is done in order for you to clear your mind), keep focusing on you breathing and when a thought does pop in to your mind (as it will), acknowledge it and simply let it go, then refocus on your breathing once more. It’s best to start of meditating for 5 mins, then gradually work up to 10min, 15min, 30min (start off slowly as this should not feel like a chore). If it helps, you can also find lots of guided meditations on YouTube that are really helpful too.
3 – Read and get inspired
If you are trying to write a new book and a block is hampering you, read more of what you love (and make sure it’s from great authors), when you read well written books, you’ll find that they help with inspiration. It’s the same with art and design, look at your favorite artists/designers and lose yourself in their work, you will usually find inspiration.
4 – Get moving
Writing and most forms of art are created while sat down, or at least not moving very much at all, however, when you get your blood pumping and increase your rate of breathing, the rush of blood through your body helps to stimulate your brain and thinking process. If you are looking for a quick boost, getting some exercise really helps.
5 – Go for a walk
Not as energetic as running or most form of cardio, but a walk can have a massive impact for the better with your creativity. Even if it’s just a quick walk around your block or to the nearest park, it helps to clear the mind and refocus you. Personally, I find walking anywhere there is a lot of nature around me a huge boost to my creativity.
6 – Just create anything
For some, the hardest part is starting, so just start, it doesn't have to be good, you just need to do something. If you are writing, commit to a day or session where you just write anything that comes to mind, you won’t use it, but you’ll just write something. The same goes for anything artistic too, just create without intent to use, you’ll be surprised at how liberating it truly is.
7 – Grab your headphones
Music has given so much inspiration to so many people, it connects to something deep within us and helps to bring out that creativity we’re looking for. So, find the tracks that mean something to you and turn the volume up!
8 – Look with fresh eyes
One thing that artists do is in looking for the art within any given scene, so, right now look around the room you’re in and find the art, it could be the way the light is coming in through a window, or the way a lamp is positioned on a table, the options are truly endless, but only if you take time to look and be creative with the way you take in the scene.
If you are writing, then grab a dictionary or any other book, flick randomly through the pages and then stop, pick any random word or sentence and write something with it. The more you do this, the stronger your creative thinking becomes, it’s also amazing at just how much art and inspiration has been right in front of your eyes.
Book cover designers.
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