Recently I was asked what my top tips were to keeping the creative juices flowing. These are my top ten – do you have any to add?
1. Surround yourself with creative people. Meet new people from different walks of life. Gain insight into their perspectives on life. Strike up a conversation on the bus.
2. Start somewhere. If you create a load of rubbish for a few pages, whether it’s creative writing or sheet music, the brain loosens up and it’s easier to break through the barrier and come up with ideas. Push through that barrier.
3. Do something new. Expose yourself to new art – books, music, paintings – all the time. Look at new styles and ways of doing things by others who work in your field. Play chess. Read a book if you watch television and watch television if you read. Go outside. Sing in the shower.
4. Don’t be too precious about your work. Being inspired by ‘the muse’ is important, but if the doctor and the garbage man can do their jobs every day, then those in a creative line of work can too. Change your attitude towards your work.
5. Carry a camera with you and look for interesting things in your every day scenery. Hadn’t noticed that crack in the path before? Then it’ll do. Set a quota and force yourself to make it. Don’t go to new places to do this – force yourself to find new perspectives on old knowledge.
7. Creativity is a muscle. Exercise creativity daily – if you only need to create once a week, your muscles may have atrophied if you don’t do it just because you don’t have to.
8. Don’t judge your ideas until you have plenty to judge. Don’t be embarrassed by yourself – just write them all down! Even if you start with “pink polka-dotted lizard.”
9. Get fresh air every day, before you sit down to be creative. If you exercise afterwards you’ll get the creative burst – just too late.
10. Spend time with your children. Or someone else’s. They see things in a different way that can open up you to new ways too.