I’ve been in a creative slump lately.
I am so busy with working that I have forgotten the need to stop and smell the roses. It’s a trap that is easy to fall into as creative women. We feel the need to be moving and working towards our goals constantly. But then somewhere in the middle, we forget to feed our creative souls.
What you have to remember is that creativity is the use of the imagination. It is used mostly in artistic works. You don’t have to “born” with creativity or function solely out of you right-brain to tap into your creative powers. In fact, a 2014 study by Kaufman reported that 72% of people have creative insights in the shower. Why? There is something about isolation that helps to engage your creativity.
You can’t stand in the shower all day waiting for creative thoughts to pop into your brain, towel off, and write them down before they spiral down the drain. The solution - intentional activities that help to engage your creativity.
Here are a few.
Do Something New
Go to a movie, a new amusement park, or a short weekend getaway. Start a new hobby or class for the sole purpose of trying something new.
It doesn’t have to be a big elaborate new adventure, just new. Being creative means feeding your soul with new ideas, sights, smells, and flavors. You can’t do this in the same office, studio, or space. You need to move about and experience new things.
Boy, nothing gets my creative juices flowing quite like collaborating with someone new. It doesn’t even have to be a creative endeavor. Volunteering at a common mission or even having a chat over coffee to help a friend with a relationship problem gets your mind thinking about your history and future. It brings up memories and new thoughts that can quickly become poems, writing prompts, or stories.
Take some time out to help someone. Engage fully and then sit down to journal afterward.
Pitch a Tent in the Darkness
Sometimes, being in these creative slumps allows you to connect with your past failures. You may not like those old emotions, but there is creativity in these dark times. Maybe you are at the point in your book where the heroine falls into a deep depression, well nothing will help your readers feel this deep depression quite like experiencing your own.
You don’t want to live in this dark place, visit it and pour out how you are feeling in your novel, artwork, or other creative projects. There is something about sadness and solitude that helps connect you with your creative self.
Find a new workspace
Staring at the same walls every day gets boring and can dampen your creative energy. Get outside. Find a new workspace where you can set up camp for the day. Talk to other creatives who are there. Look for a new local coffee shop and try a new drink or scone. Remember, your writing will be best when you are experiencing new things.
Date Your Creativity
If you need to connect with your creative side, I suggest reading, “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan. This book will help you to connect with your creativity. One of their suggestions that I have used many times is the “artists date.”
The idea is simple really, date yourself! Set up a time every week (or as often as possible in your schedule). During your dates, experience something new and then watch your creativity flourish. I have grabbed lunch at a new deli, gone to a park, enjoyed my food and journaled for a full hour - alone. These dates can be divine!
Forget about creating something new. Just create. Print out a page from an adult coloring book and color. Draw a picture. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can at least doodle and then throw the paper away.
There is just something about drawing, coloring, or sculpting that engages your right brain and helps with creativity. You can even ask your kids to help you with this project - multitasking at its best!
There are many ways to engage your creative self. Most people recognize that their biggest barrier to creativity is themselves. So, don’t allow you to get in your own way of greatness - practice these simple creativity boosters today.