Writer’s block is a writer’s Achilles heel and worst nightmare. We have days where we can write until dawn, and then we have days where even formulating a single sentence is challenging. This is especially difficult to deal with when there is an impending deadline.
If you find yourself struggling to stay motivated and get creative, we understand your struggle. Building creativity when you are in a funk is one of the hardest tasks to overcome.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of 10 proven tips that will get the creative juices flowing and have you writing in no time. Read on to learn more!
1. Take Risks
Part of being creative is taking a risk – they go hand-in-hand most of the time. If you’re feeling out of creative juices, it might be time to think outside the box and try something new or something you aren’t skilled in.
Taking risks helps advance your creative abilities even if they don’t always lead to success. You’ll build new skills and ideas that will benefit you in the future; plus, you’ll be more creative than ever.
2. Keep a Creativity Journal
A spark of creativity or inspiration doesn’t always happen at the most opportune time. This is why keeping a creativity journal will help you log those moments for later use when you are feeling drained.
Not only will it help you stay creative in the future but it gives you an opportunity to look back and reflect on your past accomplishments. If keeping a physical journal doesn’t seem like a good fit, check out some online journal apps that might work better for your lifestyle.
3. Challenge Yourself
Each writer has a certain niche they excel at whether its nonfiction writing, content writing, or creative writing. Oftentimes we become complacent with doing what we are good at and we stop exploring or trying to learn new skills.
Challenging yourself to work on something you aren’t good at or start a new project. This will spark new creative juices you may not have even realized where there. Some ways to do this are thinking outside the box or using new tools you haven’t before.
4. Try the Six Hats Technique
If you’ve run into a problem with a project or don’t know where to go next, consider using the “six hats” technique. This technique helps you look at a problem from six different perspectives; by doing so it produces new ideas you may not have considered before. In other words, it expands your point of view.
Each of the six hats has a different meaning and are driven to make you look at the situation or problem from an emotional, objective, negative, positive, alternative, and broad point of view.
When trying to solve a problem, consider “wearing” one, a combination, or all the six hats to find a solution. Looking at it from new, unique perspectives may kickstart some creative thought and not only help you with your project but inspire you to start a new one.
5. Create Alternate Scenarios
In addition to using the six hats technique, consider alternate scenarios. When writing a book or even for a work project, use the “what if…” question to see what other outcomes could entail. This is a good technique to use even before beginning a project to see which path is best to take.
What would happen if your main character left her significant other at the altar instead of going through with the wedding? What if you used a rewards system instead of a consequence system at work? The possibilities are endless.
6. Look for Inspiration
We mentioned early when discussing a creative journal that inspiration may strike at any time. But, what if you went looking for inspiration instead of waiting for it to come to you? Reading a book, listening to music, visiting a museum, or even having a social event with friends will stimulate your mind and get you thinking creatively.
If you don’t get inspired by looking at or reading other people’s work, start a new project of your own. It doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be anything serious! Sketch a fruit basket, crochet a scarf, play with LEGOs… inspiration is found even in the smallest of actions.
Need to get inspired from a work perspective? Research why competitors are excelling or consider why you like a certain company over another. What are they doing right?
Seeing how other businesses are thriving will inspire you and get your creative juices flowing to succeed just as much, if not more.
7. Take a Break
You’ve been working hard and your mind is almost drained. Help yourself get creative again by taking a break and stepping back. It’s good to allow yourself some time away from a project to help you clear your head and refocus.
Just like when inspiration strikes when you least expect it (have we mentioned that before?), some of your best ideas will come when you aren’t trying to work. Some people think best when they are in the shower or even while you’re asleep.
Unplug, relax, and enjoy some you-time with the faith that once you do, you’re brain will get where it needs to be.
8. Allow Yourself to Fail
We briefly mentioned this earlier when talking about taking risks to get more creative. Allowing yourself the opportunity to fail opens more creative doors than you may realize. Conquering your fear of failure will help you succeed in the long run.
If you have a new idea but aren’t sure it will work or how it will be welcomed, take the risk. Be open to constructive criticism and know that even if you do fail you might generate new ideas and inspiration from the experience. It gives you the opportunity to be better the next time.
9. Do What You Love
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. If we’ve heard this quote once, we’ve heard it a million times. Let’s be honest: it’s much easier said than done to just do what you love. Or is it?
People get inspired and creative when they are doing something they love, and most times they also go hand-in-hand. Though you may not love your work, you can love some past successful projects. Look back over projects where you excelled or notes from a class you took.
Reminding yourself why you fell in love with the work in the first place and looking at past projects will get your creative juices flowing and kick-start a brand new idea.
10. Create a Mind Map
Similar to brainstorming but much more fun, creating a mind map is an amazing way to connect ideas, look for answers to questions, and spark inspiration. Start by writing down a keyword or central topic. Link ideas or related words around the central idea and soon you’ll find yourself with a mind map.
If you’re a visual person, this is a perfect technique to use for branching ideas and sparking inspiration and creativity. You can also do this as a visual first draft for a new project. Map the steps from start to finish; this will also show you alternate paths to take or any potential problems.
It seems overwhelming at first, but building creativity is an easy and fun process once you find what works for you. If you’re a visual person, creating a mind map will help you visualize where you are and where you want to be.
If you’re easily overwhelmed, taking a break to give yourself time to refocus will help stimulate your brain. Looking at a situation from multiple points of view will give you a new perspective on a project or problem.
As long as your sparking that creativity, it doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it. To find out other tips on inspiration and creativity, check out our blog. For more information or if you have questions, contact us.