7 Tips to Enhance Your Creativity
Creativity, what a beautiful word. And how necessary it can be! Our creative skills are present in all of our projects, in a smaller or greater way. Whether you are an entrepreneur, an artist, writer, photographer, a professional entertainer mom, or simply an everyday instagramer, we’re sure you get a little bit frustrated on those days where miss creativity goes missing. You know, when you’re handling one of those projects that you’d gracefully turn into a piece of cake, but for some reason in this moment you’re totally blocked and can’t think of Anything.
Do you think that maybe those whimsical ups and downs on the creative process are related to your period? Or that, at least, inspiration can be affected for better or for worse by our menstrual cycle? We are sure that this is true, but also believe that in a big part it depends on every woman. On how our hormones affect us during our cycle, on our personality and motivations, and how we are affected by our period.
The specific way in which our menstrual cycle affects our creative process and inspiration would be as hard to measure as a woman’s mind complexity and its corners. We wouldn’t dare trying to fit this into a statistic.
What we are going to do is give you 7 tips on how to enhance your creativity in those days in which your mood swings, anxiety or menstrual cramps are making your life a tiny bit more complicated:
1) Have fun!
If you believe creativity will come forced by pressure… you are quite mistaken. You will have to learn to have fun and take care of yourself, to turn into a free spirit. Taking some breaks at work to have fun is part of your duty to attract inspiration and keep a fresh perspective. If you are on one of those days, or phases, of mental blocking look for activities that make you happy and that help you kick negativity out the window. Go dancing or to have a drink at a little patio, you’ll see how this can do wonders short term. Also, try to ask for advice in unexpected places. There are many occasions when inspiration can be found through a conversation with someone that isn’t even remotely related to your field.
2) Go out for a walk
Did you know that moving will activate different areas of your brain? It seems like a good way to fight against that mental blocking, and also by getting away from your computer you’ll let your mind rest. Any simple plan outdoors will be just fine, there’s no need for you to plan a whole trip to a lake two hours away from home, a short walk in the park will do for you to feed your creative muscle.
3) Propose many options
Obsessing about finding THE perfect solution is in most occasions what triggers that blocking. Many times there isn’t that one single idea, and when there is you’ll most likely not find it by insisting on it without opening your mind. If we momentaneously leave aside that perfectionist in us and write down all the ideas that come to our mind, no matter how “bad” or mediocre they seem, we’ll be helping our mind unblock during that brainstorming.
For example, the artist Martha Rich suggests designers to choose one idea (an object, for example) and draw it in 50 different ways. This is how varied interpretations arise, and different perspectives, and the brain stops thinking in excess. It is possible that among these ideas you’ll find the definitive one, or that from those there are better ones that come up.
4) Make notes
Taking notes constantly will only work in your advantage. It is possible that during very random moments interesting ideas come to your mind, you’ll feel confident that you’ll remember them later, and then you won’t. It’s happened to all of us. But nowadays that’s not an excuse, considering we have a smartphone in our hands pretty much 24/7 it’s very easy to write down anything that comes to our mind, anything that crosses our path and inspires us. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did it later when you look for it.
5) Read, read and read
Reading about subjects that interest you or that are directly related to your job will obviously give you endless benefits, but it is also recommendable to vary sometimes. Leaving your comfort zone and reading something unrelated to the subjects you usually read about can help you ignite your creative spark.
In fact, the artist Jessica Hagy proposes a trick that we found really cool. It consists on “opening a book”. As simple as that. Choosing just any book and opening it by a random page, reading a sentence in that page and mixing that idea with another one from another book. As Hagy says, “each book has the seed of a million stories. Each sentence can produce a storm of ideas. Mix ideas from books: a thought from Esopo and a line from Chomsky, or a fragment of an IKEA catalog blended with a piece of a Kerouac dialogue”.
The theory behind this original idea is that making a constant mixture of ideas forces the mind to make connections and ends up taking you to “a new place, a place that nobody has ever visited before”.
6) Change your canvas, your task… or even your identity
The idea is that, if you are looking at your computer’s screen and you find yourself in the middle of a creative blocking period, you should turn it off and grab a paper and a pen. Or vice-versa. A new canvas can help you find a new perspective. If this doesn’t work, change your task. There are moments in which the present time is simply not the best one for the task we’re working on, and moving on to another one is totally okay. Open a new document and start working on something else, you’ll have enough time to come back to what you were doing, with a fresher mind.
But, if you want us to go a little bit more extreme, and changing your canvas or your task didn’t work this time: how about pretending you are somebody else for a few minutes? This is an idea that the artist Marc Johns proposes. He suggests to “stop thinking as a designer, writer or whatever you are for a minute. Pretend you’re a baker. Pretend you’re a contractor that fixes elevators. A pilot. A salesman. How do these people see the world?”
7) Do not compare yourself to others
Please don’t fall into this tempting habit. A flower was also a seed someday in the past, and a snow fleek has little to do with a rainbow, but there is beauty in both of them. Comparing yourself to other artists or creators is as useless as it is frustrating. Whatever you are, do it for you. Depending on getting more or less likes on social media will only add an absurd pressure that will show in your results. Relax and do things like when you were a little girl, to enjoy them. Rediscover the pleasure of creating just because.