Thursday, September 10, 2009

Igniting your Creativity

As the days begin to shorten and the childlike excitement of summer begins to fade, often times our creativity begins to drain as well. But just because cool weather tends to bring with it a sleepy pace and less time for fun (read: leaf raking, snow shoveling, earlier bedtimes, energy lost to shivering) does not mean your creative endeavors must also cease. Here's a few, relatively easy ways to ignite your creative fire when all you want to do is park it on the couch with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

photo by Sarah Cates, Cates Imaging

1. Read

Read, read anything you can get your hands on - so long as it isn't work-related. Diversifying your reading is a great way to improve as a writer, expand your mind, and turn on the faucet of creative thoughts. Reading helps us to use our imaginations as we picture scenes in our minds, create faces and voices for each of the characters, and try to predict what might happen next. Even if you've opted to read something less fictional, the act of using our brain to read something out of the norm is a big flex to those cranial muscles. Result? A more creative you, ready to fire synapses, make connections, and come up with original thoughts at a moments notice.

2. Exercise

Exercising enables us to get excess, fidgety energy out of our system while providing us with a less distracting, slow-burning energy which lasts for hours afterwords. Exercising also gets blood pumping through both our muscles, and our brain, making it an ideal way to prepare our body and mind for a creative session; be it creating music, writing a story, or thinking about a new business plan. Exercise is also a great way to clear some of the day-to-day mental clutter that prevents us from moving onto extraordinary thoughts.

3. Listen to Children

When you listen to a child, you never know what might come out of their mouth next. Children have easy access to imaginations and creativity stores (not to mention a whole lot of love) that most of us have learned to stop-up over the years. Speaking with children - and truly listening - can help us to re-open the connection to our more creative, less censored selves.

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