Life sometimes can get in the way of your hopes and dreams. So, if you’re a creative person who hasn’t been feeling inspired of late due to the never-ending list of daily commitments and chores that seem to take priority over your own creative dreams, let today be the day that you finally recommit to living a creative life.
As we all know, stress and time constraints can stifle our creativity. But did you know that creative stimulation can distract us from feelings of stress and anxiety by engaging and focusing our minds on the creative work at hand? That’s right, by engaging in the creative process, rather than ignoring new ideas and creative inspiration when it strikes, we’ll actually feel less stressed.
What Are Some Fun Ways To Get Your Creativity Back?
The good news is that there are a lot of valuable resources and helpful tips and tricks out there to help you get your creativity back. However, the bad news is that the only person truly stopping your creative juices from flowing is you. So, if you want to be creative again, you can be as long as you give yourself permission to do so.
Of course, we understand that getting started is sometimes the hardest part. So, if you’ve been wondering, how can you get back in touch with your creative side? We’ve got you covered with five ways to feel creative again.
1. Become Inspired By Other Creative Thinkers
If you’re lacking motivation or having trouble getting into any kind of creative flow, treat yourself to a book or two on creativity and learn from some of the most inspiring creative thinkers on the planet. Books like The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Light the Dark: Writers On Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process edited by Joe Fassler, or Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day might be just what you need to get back on track creatively.
Here’s a list of 15 Books About Creativity To Get You Out Of A Creative Rut, if you’re interested in exploring more options.
2. Write ‘Morning Pages’ and Take Yourself On ‘Artist Dates’
In Julia Cameron’s bestselling book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, she writes that there are two pivotal tools in creative recovery: the morning pages and the artist date. Morning pages are ‘three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.’ When written consistently, morning pages will help you find your creativity. There’s no wrong way to do morning pages, but the only rule is that they’re for ‘your eyes only.’ So, don’t show your morning pages to anyone else.
The artist date is a block of time each week that’s ‘set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.’ It’s basically a play date that you preplan and schedule for yourself, not allowing anyone else to join you. As Cameron writes in The Artist’s Way: If you think this sounds stupid or that you will never be able to afford the time, identify this reaction as resistance. You cannot afford not to find time for artist dates.’
So, pick up a copy of The Artist’s Way to work through and commit to writing your daily morning pages and going on weekly artist dates. Adding morning pages and artist dates to your creative process will help with your productivity, too.
3. Allow Yourself To Be A Beginner Again
One of the most challenging parts of living a creative life is showing up each and every day, especially when you’re comparing yourself and your work to the masters in your field. Obviously, no one sets out to be a bad writer, artist, or a musician, but it also takes time to perfect your craft. By comparing yourself to the greats, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice and actually creating a creative block (whether you realize it or not).
To help combat this feeling of impostor syndrome, focus only on your work and allow yourself to be a beginner again. This will free you up artistically, help to silence your inner critic, and maybe even let you have fun again. So, if you’re a painter, go to a local store, pick up a watercolor paint set and some paper, and allow yourself to paint just for fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself to paint a scene that’s as beautiful as one that Claude Monet would create, or think that your self-portrait needs to be as skilled as Frida Kahlo’s.
Allow yourself to enjoy being a beginner again and try to remember what it was that drew you to painting (or your preferred art form) in the first place. And since this painting (or work of art) is only for you, it’s not to be shown or judged by any of your family or friends. That’s because the last thing we want is a ‘blocked creative’ giving you unwarranted criticism that can mess with your creative flow.
4. Build A Bliss Station
Austin Kleon is a New York Times bestselling author of three illustrated books about creativity in the digital age: Steal Like An Artist, Show Your Work!, and Keep Going. In Keep Going, he writes about how ‘silence and solitude are crucial’ for artists, but also notes that it’s almost impossible to find silence and solitude in the modern world that we live in. That’s why he recommends building a ‘bliss station’ like Joseph Campbell wrote about in The Power of Myth.
According to Campbell, your bliss station should be ‘a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.’ While Campbell admits that ‘at first you may find that nothing happens there.’ He says that eventually something will happen as long as you have a sacred place and actually use it.
To motivate yourself to regularly show up at your bliss station, make it a place that you want to spend time in. You can include pictures of your family and friends, works of art that inspire you, or even keep it pretty basic and simple. It’s also important to block off time each day (or week) to allow yourself to do uninterrupted creative work in your bliss station.
5. Make A Collage
If you’re still feeling stuck creatively, make a collage. Seriously, there’s something magical that happens whenever you gather up old magazines or newspapers, turn through the pages, rip out images or words that reflect your life or interests, and make a collage on either a piece of paper or cardboard. By making a collage without any conscious plan or design, it will stimulate your subconscious and your creativity, while allowing your creative spirit to have a non-ambitious outlet for expression.
In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recommends thinking of your collage ‘as a form of pictorial autobiography.’ She recommends including images and words that relate to your past, present, future, and your dreams, or that you’re simply attracted to. Then arrange the images or words in a way that pleases you, stapling, gluing, or taping the images down on a piece of paper or cardboard.
When it comes to living a creative life, let your curiosity guide you and keep showing up no matter what. And if you’re ever in doubt and not sure what to do next, we here at Purely Inspired believe you should “Do What Makes You Feel Good.”
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