Creativity’s Knocking: Stop Working to Let Her In
If you’re struggling to come up with a creative idea, maybe you’ll try some fancy techniques designed to facilitate creative thoughts. But, in reality, what you might need is a good old-fashioned break.
After all, how many new titles can blog writers come up with each day without a list of unoriginal ideas and a frazzled brain? At some point, your brain says, “Enough!” Even if you have strict deadlines, try to find 10 minutes or a half hour here and there for a break. Set your alarm so you can truly relax and then you’ll be able to get back to work on time.
Take a Quality Break
Give yourself a real break where you truly calm and clear your mind, or truly enjoy yourself — not the kind where you check Facebook, your email, or your smartphone, only ending up more scatterbrained and certainly not more creative.
There are different types of breaks that can help you recover your creativity. These are a few to try:
Let Yourself Brainstorm
Are there times when creative ideas come into your mind, but you quash them down because you have work to do? Instead, let your mind wander for a while instead of getting right back to work. Jot down your ideas for times when you’re not as creative.
Also, set aside blocks of time where you allow yourself to freely think and brainstorm. Don’t watch TV or give into other distractions, but instead sit, journal, or take a walk and let yourself think creatively. If you need help, try working on a writing piece just for fun that has no rules and no deadlines.
Rest Your Mind
Sometimes your mind is frazzled and it just needs to be left alone. During these times, take a real break where you completely rest your mind. Indulge in a nap, lose yourself in nature, exercise or do an activity you really enjoy.
Meditation is a tool that can help you rest your mind and can also improve your focus. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and turn your attention inward. Let go of the world around you and let your inner dialogue float away. Use tactics like focusing on your breathing or gazing at a candle flame; listen to a guided meditation if you need the extra push.
Tap Into Your Creative Side
Do a creative activity that’s not writing and that doesn’t require much thinking. Draw, paint, take some photos, make jewelry, play with clay, bake and decorate a cake, or choose whatever creative activity makes you smile.
Choose an activity you enjoy instead of something that might frustrate you. During the activity, you’ll be focusing on something intricate, clearing your mind, and giving your brain a break from thinking. You’ll also tap into the creative side of your brain.
During one of your breaks, a creative idea for your writing might come to you. If not, you’ll be more likely to think clearer after refreshing your brain. So the next time you’re struggling for a creative idea, stop! Back away from your desk! And let yourself play.
Sharon T is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.