What gets creative juices flowing? Well, it depends on who you ask. The science behind creativity is the same no matter who you are, but getting inspired can differ from person to person. Let’s jump right into the top 25 ways to boost creativity.
1. Leave It to Chance
What can authors plagued by writer’s block do to break through the barrier? Simply take out a favorite book, and open it to a random page. Without looking, place your finger down on the page. Use the line you’ve picked as the first line as inspiration for your new poem, story, or screenplay.
Working with other artists can also end writer’s block and boost creativity. One such collaboration is called “Exquisite Corpse.” This word game has players write two lines each on a sheet of paper, and then fold back the first line so only the second line shows when it’s passed to the next player. When the paper makes it back to the originator, read it aloud so everyone can hear the group’s wild ideas.
3. Genre Bend
Innovators don’t always start from scratch. Often, they pull from disciplines other than their own to boost creativity. Musicians, for example, might take a jazz rhythm and use it in a rock song. This completely changes the sound to create something mind-blowingly new. Let it be a lesson to always draw from unlikely sources.
4. Create and Destroy
Burning Man is the most popular artistic event in the world because it’s about creating and destroying. The infamous event lets attendees torch a large, wooden, man-shaped sculpture on the last night. You can try the same thing in your own creative space. Make something—anything—and destroy it whether you love it or hate it. You can use the experience to boost creativity on your current project.
5. Journal Daily
Writers aren’t the only creatives who benefit from daily journaling. Studies have shown that journaling is a stimulating form of self-expression. Regardless of your field, keeping a journal where you can unleash creativity without judgement can give you creative confidence. Confidence can jump start your next project.
6. Find Your Flow
What does it feel like when you find your flow? Most likely, you feel completely present in the task. You can’t be distracted. However, it might be hard to reach that state. Take note of what happens before you really hit your stride and try to recreate that moment when you need to get creative tasks done.
7. Have a Conversation
Talking things out isn’t only useful during disagreements. Saying things aloud forces you to arrange your thoughts logically. In fact, talking an idea over with a confidant can help you work around roadblocks. You may end up working out some frustrating kinks after just one conversation.
8. Clean Up a Mess
Recent findings suggest that people with messier creative spaces can boost creativity more easily. However, too much clutter can also prohibit some from concentrating. That’s why you should deliberately make a mess, and then clean it up. This might create something that lights your artistic fuse.
9. Cut It Up
Author William Burroughs used the now famous cut-up technique to write his acclaimed novel, Naked Lunch. These days, you can still use the cut-up technique to breathe new life into old creations. Just cut up random lines from your text-based project and reorganize them to form new sentences.
10. Be Open to New Experiences
Interacting with the same people, places, and things could be dulling your imagination. Going someplace new can spark your imagination because you’ll have novel experiences, like seeing a new musical act. Be sure to step far out of your comfort zone to get the best results.
11. Meet New People
Are you an extrovert? How you answer this question impacts your creativity. Extroverts are more comfortable around new people. Talking with many different types of people helps innovators become inspired. If you consider yourself an introvert, behaving like an extrovert can spark new ideas.
12. Practice Sarcasm
How can sarcasm boost creativity? You might find it funny, but research shows that engaging in a battle of sarcastic wits can start the flow of creative energy. Your brain switches from concrete to abstract, which increases creativity.
13. Set Aside Time
You can’t create if there’s no time to do it. Some people might wait to be inspired by the muse, but you can’t wait around for something that may never come. Instead, set aside the time to create each day. After a short while, your brain will know that it’s time to get inspired.
14. Make Mistakes
Don’t be so hard on yourself! Everyone has to learn this lesson, but it’s extremely important for innovators. You have to allow yourself to make mistakes so that you can learn from them. Each mistake you make helps you figure out what you don’t want and get closer to what you do want.
15. Get Moving
Physiologically, moving your body helps circulate blood to the brain, which makes you more imaginative. Take a 30 minute walk in a pleasing locale, and then return to your creative space to see what develops.
16. Be a Fly on the Wall
Go to a place filled with sights and sounds to observe, like a shopping mall or a park. Pick a place to sit where you can observe people. Eavesdrop on their conversations, watch their expressions, and tune into their body language. Being a fly on the wall gives you a perspective shift that could ignite your next big idea.
17. Stay Up Late
Some creatives stay up late so they can tune out the rest of the world’s pestering. When left with nothing but your thoughts, you have no choice but to listen. If you’re a night owl, explore your inner self to boost creativity.
18. Become One with Nature
Countless studies show that connecting with nature has multiple benefits. In fact, being in nature helps boost creativity because people stop overthinking and start just being. Being present in your surroundings help rid your mind of clutter that clogs up your creative process.
19. Set a Time Limit
Some people work better under pressure. Why not put that theory to the test? Try setting a timer during a period you’ve set aside to develop new ideas. Often, innovators pump up many ideas under the pressure of a timer, giving them so much to choose from.
20. Leave Yourself Messages
Some artists use every inch of their space to inspire. Putting up messages around your home or office that force you to explore your inner world could boost creativity. Walking past notes each day that read, “Who am I?” or “What do I want?” will jolt you into self-exploration mode.
21. Get Up Early
The quiet morning can be just as silent as the middle of the night. Getting up before sunrise helps many innovators make time for their craft. Additionally, the early morning mind is a treasure trove of dream-like ideas. If you’re an early riser, make the most of this time.
22. Work Through it
How often do you think or talk about your creative difficulties? If you said often, that might be your problem. Sometimes creatives devote too much energy to talking about a block rather than just working through it. The next time you can’t create, just do it! Learn to love the process rather than the outcome.
23. Edit and Revise
Getting started is usually the most difficult part of the creative process, so why not start where you left off? Start by reviewing what you produced in your last creative session. That way you don’t have to face a blank slate each day.
24. Exercise Grey Matter
Problem solving makes your mind stronger, faster, and more vivid. If you’re in an inspirational deficit and no amount of new tricks is going to help, switch gears and work on some brain teasers to boost creativity. Math, image, and word puzzles can exercise your mind in ways that give your creative centers a rest, while sharpening problem solving abilities.
25. Break the Rules
Rebels who think rules are made to be broken are often responsible for the most innovative creations in history. Most artistic movements, for example, developed when someone broke the rules of a previous movement. If you’re an expert in your field, you probably know all the rules. What if you threw out those rules and made something without them in mind? You might find that you’re free of restrictions that hinder your creativity.
Anyone can unlock their creative potential. For most, increasing imagination, inspiration, and originality are as simple as learning a few new techniques. Each of these 25 amazing ways to boost creativity have been proven to unlock creative power and inspire innovators to produce something great. The next time you feel uninspired, you can unleash your best creative vision with just one of these tips. Try them all out, and see which suggestions work best for you and your craft.
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