11 Tips for Finding Your Creative Spark

Don’t you love it when your creative side comes out? Creativity brings us benefits that go far beyond artistic expression:

Being a creative person can help you to be a better, and higher paid employee, a better problem solver and an all around more effective person in anything you choose to do.

Even if you don’t think of yourself as an especially creative person, you’ll be glad to know that it’s there within you just waiting for you to use it.

Creativity can be expressed in many different ways. Plus, there are many techniques you can use to develop and nurture your natural creativity.

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” ― Pablo Picasso

Like many people, you may think that you’re either creative or you’re not. That is a myth. If you long to be more creative, then go for it.

Here are ten tips you can use to become a new, more creative you:

1. Think of yourself as creative. We all have the spark of creativity inside us; it’s just a matter of fanning that flame to keep it alive, as well as knowing where your particular brand of creativity is best applied.

● The first step is to know that you’re creative. Think positively about this and work to see your creative side whenever possible.

2. Think creatively. If there are two solutions to a problem, try them both. Try out your new ideas, even if they seem a little outlandish at first. These fresh, outside the box, perspectives can lead to huge breakthroughs.

● Telling yourself that you’re creative is only the beginning; try to think creatively whenever possible.

3. Put your new ideas into action. Don’t worry what other people will think. By trying out your creative ideas, even if you don’t succeed at first, you’ll learn something and give your creativity a chance to flourish.

● Don’t be afraid to try new things.

4. Don’t over-think things; just go ahead and do it! Rather than thinking of all the reasons NOT to do something, think positively and take a risk. If you have always wanted to try writing or painting, just get it on paper (or canvas, as the case may be) immediately.

● Let your creative impulses run wild.

5. Be inspired! Pay a visit to a museum, take in a play, try going somewhere you’ve never been or seeing something you’ve never seen.

Inspiration sparks creativity.

6. Make time for your creative outlets. We’re all busy these days. Be sure to schedule some time for your creative pursuits. Put yourself in front of your instrument, your computer, or whatever your medium may be for a few hours each week and let your creativity come out.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

7. Enjoy yourself. Make your creative endeavor a joy, not a chore. This will ensure the continued flow of creative energies.

8. Play creative games. This is a fun way to foster creativity! Get together with friends and play charades or another game where success hinges on being expressive and coming up with creative ways to communicate.

9. Try a new creative medium. If you have chosen a creative medium, try mixing it up when you get into a rut. If you write, try playing music. If you’re a dancer, try painting – you get the idea.

● Shake things up to get some new ideas and perspectives.

10. Take a break. If you’re stuck for ideas, don’t sit there in your workspace staring at the walls. Even the most creative people need to take some time off. This can allow a blocked well of creativity to flow again.

• Get outside for a bit to recharge your creative energies.

11. Meditate. A 2014 study from Leiden University found that certain meditation techniques can promote creative thinking, even if you have never meditated before. not all forms of meditation have the same effect on creativity. Test persons performed better in divergent thinking (= thinking up as many possible solutions for a given problem) after Open Monitoring meditation (= being receptive to every thought and sensation). The researchers did not see this effect on divergent thinking after Focused Attention meditation (=focusing on a particular thought or object.)

Remember to be patient when nurturing your creativity. This shouldn’t be a stressful activity.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” ― Jim Jarmusch

Make a habit of enjoying these techniques every day and one day soon you just may discover that you’re one of the most creative people out there.

Photo: Daniela Vladimirova