5 Ways to To Jump-Start Your Creativity

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One of the toughest things about being a creative is being consistent. There are times when I feel like ideas flow through me and pour out of me with ease. I write and the perfect words just come out of nowhere, beautifully. I can come up with a concept and will be able to execute it in no time. And it is during those times when I feel like I'm truly meant to make a living being a creative. But then the time comes when I feel like I'm stuck. I fall into a creative rut and I struggle to pull myself out of it. None of my ideas "stick." And as soon as I find one that does, it becomes such a hassle to bring it to life that I want to leave it all on the proverbial "cutting-room floor." 

Am I the only one who has fallen into this trap before? I'm sure I'm not the only one. Perhaps you've had your own moments of  writer's block. Maybe you've been looking for creative clarity lately. You could be reading this right now and nodding your head in agreement because that uninspired feeling has been playing you close these days. If you've answered yes to any of the above questions, this post is for you: read more to discover ways to jump-start your creative process sooner than later.

1. READ SOMETHING INSPIRING. If you've been here for a while, you know I'm an avid reader. So, it should come as no surprise that my first suggestion would be to reach for a book, right? Oftentimes, allowing your mind to travel across new words, new worlds, and new information will spark creative ideas, depending on your books of choices. As a habitual mood-reader, I always make my reading choices based on how I'm feeling in that moment. If I'm stressed, I find it hard to absorb informative and self-help reads, so I'll reach for a fictional escape. If I'm bored with my usual routines, I'll grab reads about finding purpose, spirituality, gaining skills, and financial literacy. Either way, when I'm looking to be inspired, having the right books on my nightstand helps me to focus on new information AND productivity, hence birthing those new creative ideas I mentioned. To learn more about what I've been reading, click here and here.

2. TURN THE MUSIC UP. When is the last time you did a deep listen to an album and felt so inspired? I listened to JID's latest album, The Forever Story, over the weekend, and it threw my mind into a frenzy! I was just listening to Janelle Monae's The ArchAndroid since it had been a while, and it was as if I were hearing it for the first time! The power of thought-provoking lyrics, beautiful melodies, soul-stirring vocals, and even heart-wrenching confessions on wax can be so inspiring. Whether you hear a bar you can relate to or sis sings chords that could have been ripped from a chapter of your life, experiencing music grants us permission to embody those shared emotions. And usually, that kind of permission inspires us creatives to share parts of ourselves as well. So, go queue up some of your favorite songs from high school and see what kinds of feelings surface for you. Indulge in a genre of music you rarely listen to and see if listening so something different inspires a creative spark!

3. PLAY PODCASTS IN YOUR SPARE TIME. As a creative, how many podcasts are you subscribed to? I will admit to being to being subscribed to many, spanning from subjects like arts, music, and culture, down to business, health, and of course, some black nerd stuff. And when I do make the time to listen to them as I'm moving throughout the day, I'm usually inspired. Visit Apple Music or Spotify today and tune into to your favorite podcast for at least 30 minutes. I hope it inspires you to create something dope!

4. JUST WRITE. OR DRAW. OR PAINT. OR PICK UP YOUR INSTRUMENT WITH NO PRESSURE TO CREATE THE NEXT BIG THING. When is the last time you just put the pen to paper without any expectations? Like, the last time you allowed yourself to let the words flow through you without the intention of making it SOMETHING? When is the last time you just used your medium of choice to push whatever was in you, out of your system without the the urgency to edit? I believe that more often than not, the pressure to create often causes us creatives to quit before we even start. I've often went days or weeks without writing in the past because I felt as though I didn't have anything important to say (or anything people hadn't already heard before). But since reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (thanks, Gabby!!!) and writing morning pages each week, I've allowed myself to just write for the sake of writing. Getting whatever is on my mind or heart out on paper without a particular goal has been so freeing. It has even helped me to come up with writing points to expand on later. Perhaps this will also help you to jump-start your new writing project!

5. LEARN SOMETHING NEW.  If you have a bit of time to spare, learning something new can be the catalyst you need to begin creating again. Website like Skillshare and Coursera allow you to learn an array of subjects online (some even offering certificates) to expand your creative mindset. Perhaps you'd like to begin your freelance copywriting career or create your own graphics for your blog. Getting a membership to an online learning community gives you the tools you need to add to your creative toolkit.

So how do you jump-start your creative process? Do you start your day with podcasts + music (with your cup of tea) that illuminate your mind? Do you read the latest self-help and productivity books in hopes to keep your creative flame lit? Hopefully, these suggestions help you fuel your creativity and inspire you in some way this week. In the meantime, I'm wishing you all the inspiration and hoping you find the creative beauty in everything you experience!

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Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash
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