I know we're already over a month into the 'new year' but it's never too late to begin a healthy habit and turn over a new leaf.
Here's to hoping we can all have a more and better and bigger creative year in 2016!
I actually compiled this list for myself and thought I'd share it, because it does seem quite helpful. Enjoy!
1. Turn the TV off. Not only does the media pollute fresh ideas, but TV is a distraction that requires little brain activity. Opt for reading or doing a word puzzle instead. If you’re looking to relax, just have a think session and write down a few new ideas.
2. Read more books. Actually, you should read more in general. I try to read lots of books pertaining to my general creative interests: journaling, art journaling, and poetry writing. Not only will you gain some fresh, new insight from another artist/writer, but you’ll more than likely feel as if you are talking to an old friend or mentor as you read along.
3. Do something different often. When it comes to interests, places to eat, things to read, places to visit, people you talk to, hobbies you enjoy… go outside your comfort zone every now and then. You don’t have to do anything huge, like board a plane to another country (though I’m sure if you have the money and means, it wouldn’t hurt!). New experiences and atmospheres is a healthy way to inspire new ideas.
4. Begin a new creative project. Perhaps a sketch book, art journal, a themed writing journal, or a blog. Try to make time to work on your project at least a couple of times a week. Don’t stress yourself out about it either, rather, it should be a relaxing thing you do. Something you allow for yourself, time to renew and realize your medium, learn more about yourself, observe the world around you, and perhaps even connect with others. My current project is a moon-themed writing journal inspired by The Writers Retreat Kit by Judy Reeves. I’ve even eloquently decorated the black cover of my notebook to resemble a sky, full with moon and stars. I try to make a few minutes each night to write poems, stories, prose, and observations inspired by/or about the moon.
5. Schedule a weekly ‘artists date’ with yourself and your projects/mediums. Created by artist and writer Julia Cameron, an artist’s date can be considered as a play session with yourself to work and play in whatever medium or style you wish. The idea is to give your inner child the free time and encouragement to resurface. A few ideas for artists dates are: eating ice cream while coloring in a coloring book, baking cookies and drawing, or having a lunch date alone with your journal.
6. Go out and see the world. Oftentimes all we need in order to break through writer’s block, or brainstorm some new ideas, is a good change of scenery. Take a drive, go on a one-day road trip, visit a local art gallery or antique shop, or try a new restaurant.
7. Give yourself a breather. The brain needs downtime in order to generate new ideas and absorb information. Take a break from working on your writings and projects for at least one day every week. This will give your brain a break and allow your creative juices to simmer below the surface for a bit.
8. Organize your work space and clear out the clutter. I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve been inspired to begin a new project, but once the desk is cleared and the materials are finally found, I’ve exhausted and frustrated myself with having to clean up first. If your work space is already clean and clear, you can dive straight into a new project without delay or wasted energy.
9. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s true that you can be your own worst critic. Instead of talking down to yourself, try encouraging yourself.
10. Set realistic goals. Perhaps instead of aiming to write 1200 words a day, you can just aim to merely ‘write’ every day. Oftentimes when I set unrealistic goals, I find that I become easily discouraged and am more apt to procrastinate and sometimes give up on the goal altogether. Just take short steps and be encouraged with what progress you do make. Remember, life is busy, you can always work again tomorrow!