We all want to have those moments of creative genius that allow us to give our best work to the world. Sometimes the perfect “aha” moment comes, and were inspired to create something spectacular. The joy of watching people benefit from our creativity is truly special.
But sometimes it’s hard to get into a creative zone. One day the juices are flowing and the ideas are coming like waves on ocean, and another, we have nothing, and our creativity is like a dry creek.
So how can we get into creative zone and make things happen when the juices just are flowing? Here are five ways to stimulate your creativity when you’re feeling uninspired.
Change your environment
Sometimes what we make boils down to where we are. If you’re in an environment that doesn’t make you feel inspired, free, safe, and ready to create, it may simply be time to pack things up and go somewhere else. For some, it might be a busy, bustling coffee shop. For others, it might be a path in the woods or a quiet cabin overlooking the ocean.
Wherever you are, try out different environments in which to work, think, and plan. If music gets you going, take some headphones along. If what you need is peace and quiet, avoid places with a lot of people or activity. The bottom line is, keep searching for your perfect creative environment. If one environment doesn’t work, another environment probably will. But be sure to not let yourself stay stuck in one place for too long if it’s not helping you produce results.
Study those who inspire you
One of the best ways to get into a creative zone when you’re feeling uninspired is to dig in to the work of those who inspire you most. Read a great book, watch a great film, listen to a great speech, or do whatever you’d enjoy doing. As you take the time to dig into other people’s creations, meaning really studying them, it will begin to unlock confidence in your own creative process. Look at the details that make great creators great. Of those details, what can you emulate? What are some techniques you notice they use that you could try?
It can be overwhelming and intimidating to study the works of masters. But at the same time, this is one of the quickest ways to develop an instinct for quality and greatness in your own creative process. It also helps you to break out of the shell of feeling uninspired.
Keep creating… constantly
Another great way to get your creative juices flowing is to simply… Create! So many of us struggle with perfectionism and assume that we shouldn’t create something until we know it’s going to be great. But for every great thing that the Masters of any field have created, there are 10,000 sketches and rough drafts and discarded ideas sitting in a trashcan. Just because you don’t see the trials and errors of those who inspire you doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Don’t compare your everyday life to someone else’s highlight reel!
The truth is, creativity and inspiration is much more a matter of quantity than it is quality. You simply need to keep creating and trying out different things in order to arrive at great work. It’s delusional to think that the great ones get everything right on their first try. No one is held to that standard, and you definitely shouldn’t hold yourself to that standard, either. Keep writing. Keep speaking. Keep drawing. Whatever you want to create, keep doing it. That’s where your best work will come from.
Getting into a different environment is great for creativity, and traveling to new places enhances this effect many times over. You don’t have to fly across the world or blow your bank account on a lavish trip. Sometimes, just a quick day trip where going somewhere an hour away can be enough to reset your creativity and put you in a different frame of mind. Doing the same thing over and over again in terms of your daily lifestyle can cause you to feel uninspired sometimes, and travel is a great way to break this routine.
Think of the times you’ve been inspired in your own life. How often were they because of experiences you had? Come to think of it, some of the best memories human beings can generate are in the context of places they’ve gone and experiences they’ve had. Of all the experiences you remember most in your own life, how many of them occurred where you live? The truth is, there’s a certain power that travel has to inspire the mind.
Do what makes you happy
If you learn to see creativity as a chore, you’ll never truly get into a creative zone. But if you combine being creative with doing the things that make you happy, your mind will learn to associate creativity with fun. If a great meal makes you happy, then take your computer to the table and try writing in between bites. If walking outside or hanging out with friends makes you feel happy, create while you do that. It doesn’t have to be logistically complicated, but you want to spend so much time in your life doing things that make you happy that opportunities to create happen naturally during, before, or after those times. The more timing you spend doing what you love to do, the more freedom you will feel to create and produce the things you want to create and produce.
So, get creating, and be fearless. Forget about perfectionism: it’s never helped anyone. Enjoy life, create whatever and whenever you want, and do it as much as you can. Change your environment, talk to people who inspire you, and spend time doing what you love this year. You have something to offer the world!