The daily grind often gets in the way of creativity and makes it difficult to engage with artistic pursuits. Maybe you’re trying to write a novel, or you always wanted to become a better guitar player, if only you had the time to practice—stresses and responsibilities just keep getting in the way. Here’s the great news: you don’t have to quit your day job to boost your creativity, or to engage in artistic pursuits. Small changes can make a big difference to your creative energy, inspiring your photography, music, writing, or cooking. Here are a few ways to boost your creativity this week.
Believe That You Are Creative
One of the biggest predictors of creative output is the extent to which you believe you are a creative person. You’ll often hear people say things like “I play music but I’m not really a musician.” You need to leave that way of thinking behind. Acknowledge yourself as someone who contributes to the world creatively, and you’ll find more drive and energy to do so.
This doesn’t mean we should all start believing we have the abilities of world class performers, but rather that our creative pursuits are worthwhile at any level. Practicing the piano for an hour never had a negative effect on anyone (unless they were forced to do so). Playing music, writing, any kind of creative expression is good for the soul, and that’s reason enough to give it time.
Meditation allows you to set your stresses, worries, and responsibilities aside for a while, freeing up your mind to think innovatively and liberating you to start creating. You’ll be in the right mindset for engaging creatively with your craft after a meditation session, so try to set aside five or 10 minutes every day for meditation.
Put Time Aside
You need to set aside time for yourself to create. It’s common to avoid your creative pursuits because you don’t feel motivated at that particular moment, but you need to flex your skills as a creator to get the energy flow going. Sit down for half an hour a couple of times a week to work on your music or writing or whatever it might be, even if it feels unnatural at first.
Listen to Music
Music is a source of inspiration for many creative people. Try listening to music and channeling your creativity with respect to the rhythms and lyrics you’re hearing. Playing music that accompanied your artistry in the past will often reignite those feelings, so pop on songs that you worked to at times of higher creative power.
Go Out Alone
When you aren’t working or socializing or spending time with family, you’re probably attached to social media and your smartphone. Take a walk or go to an art gallery alone, and leave your phone behind. Without the usual daily distractions, you’ll find your creativity starts to flow naturally as you are inspired by the things around you. This is what artists know they need to do—keep the mind free and open and away from 24/7 distractions.
Talk to Creative People
You are the product of the people you spend the most time with. By talking to other creative people, even if they aren’t interested in the same craft as you, you’ll be able to feed off their energy and become motivated to pursue your own ideas. These inspiring people will benefit from your energy too, so these creative friendships can be highly rewarding for everyone involved.
What if you don’t know any creative types? Have you ever seen a class full of kindergarteners? They’re always painting, telling stories, inventing characters, singing—they are a bunch of little artists. It’s only as we grow up and learn to function inside the lines that our creativity diminishes—so speak to some of your friends and find out if they have latent creative interests. Maybe you could form a writing group, or sign up for a painting class together. In other words, your friends don’t have to be professional artists to be basis of a rich creative community.
Your creative energy might be sapped or hiding from you, but these tips will help you to rekindle the creative fire and hone your craft.