If you’re stuck on a creative project right now, don’t despair. It happens to all of us. As writers, whether we’re working on a memoir, a novel, or a dissertation exploring isotope separation, there’s bound to be moments where we will need an extra boost to spur the creative process.
We interviewed some writers and artists, and here are three strategies for keeping the creative juices flowing.
Some writers work well with a routine, so creating a daily process can help focus your thoughts and initiate the flow of creativity. Many writers prefer a specific writing program such as Word or Scrivener, because the appearance of the application helps them switch their thoughts to writing.
For others, shaking up the usual routine is a great way to stimulate creative brain activity. If you’re getting nowhere staring at your computer screen, perhaps switch to longhand for a 15 minutes. Change your work environment and go write at a favorite café or a nook at a local park.
Look beyond your own project to find inspiration. For writers, listening to music often spurs creative thoughts. Depending on your project, create a playlist that relaxes or revs up your energy. Investigating art, books, and films beyond your usual selection is another great way to spark new ideas. Check out an experimental musical or watch a documentary about a random topic.
Inspiration exists all around us. Taking a walk, people watching, or speaking to a trusted friend are all fantastic ways to stimulate ideas that can lead to creative solutions.
Fall in love again
Every creative project begins with love: the love of an idea, the love of an expression, or just the love of creation. Recall the excitement you felt when you began. What did you love about this idea? What excited you? Reconnect to the positive emotions that spurred your creative thoughts in the beginning, when the words and ideas were pouring out so quickly, you had a hard time capturing it all.
Take a moment to remember why loved this idea, this novel, this project. And when you fall in love with your project again, your mind awakens and new possibilities are born.
Whichever method you choose to feed your creative muse, don’t take too much time away from your writing project. Often, simple forward motion and progress in a project is all it takes to unlock more creativity.