Originality can feel like the holy grail. When I was little, I won competition by drawing an futuristic underwater city. Looking back though, it was entirely imagined from The Little Mermaid. I had a little limited imagination but endless optimism – and it was enough to win a Blue Peter badge!
Being inspired by others isn’t such a bad thing in itself, but I’ve realised that for me to be at my most creative, innovative and out-of-the-box, I’m suffocated by a wall of memory that stops my from exploring other options.
You see the desperation to achieve and compete everywhere – even in the blogging world.
And yet, lately it’s as if a switch in my head has been flicked. I’m still knackered and fretful and busy, but I’ve had one idea each day this week that I’ve thought had mileage to tell my boss about.
Confidence to share your thoughts is one thing, but I pretty much entirely credit my new found creativity with caring about it less. Ironic, isn’t it?
So, here are some things I have found have improved my creativity. If you’re feeling a little lack-lustre in the lightbulb department, I really hope this will help…
Relish your snooze time. I am a big sleeper. I love sleep. I love napping and I know how valuable that extra five minutes in bed is, to my boyfriend’s utter disgust. When you’re in that hazy, semi-awake state, you’re in and out of dreams and able to think outside of the box with lifelike scenarios. We've all been there when you wake up absolutely convinced a dream was real!
Swim, run, bike. Now technically this isn’t a tip of mine as I find running too hard to concentrate on anything else. Saying that, any activity which you can zone out in (my best ideas come during long commutes and baths, weirdly) is fruitful for thinking off tangents. Exercise releases happy hormones too, yeah!
Take a break from the screen. I’ve been blogging less lately and have been taking serious time out from social media, which has, conversely, made a huge positive impact on my readership. Proof well thought out posts do better than hastily knocked together regular ones, right?
Scribble and read. Getting out of your world helps you conjure up new ones. My friends who read the most are genuinely the most creative of my group. Having a notepad on hand is also a tried and tested method to sift out the dud thoughts. I was always taught to write everything down and never discount an idea, because a stinker might lead to a wonderful one!
Don’t worry. Above all else, try not to get yourself worked up if an idea just isn’t arriving. Often, your subconscious works out stuff while you’re not even realising, so sleeping on it or going with your gut can be invaluable. I reckon a lot of it is about training your brain, so the more you practise thinking up weird ideas, the better you’ll be when you actually need those gems of consciousness.
So there you are – nothing scientific but it has definitely worked for me. My writing has improved, my ideas have improved, heck – even my sleep has improved.
I’d be really interested to hear how you come up with ideas, be it for work, blogging or just to surprise your mates. Variety is the spice of life and if it makes you happier and more fulfilled to use your noggin for fun stuff, that can’t be a bad thing!