Thursday, July 12, 2012

40 Ways to Stay Creative

This week five people have asked me how I stay creative. One was a soon to be junior in high school which made me particularly sad. Someone had really crushed her creative drive. Most of the people started by saying something like, "I'm not creative like you," or ""I'm not creative." I didn't have a quick answer so I decided to make a list (no particular order, just how things popped into my head) and share it. I'm hoping you'll share your ideas too because I am sure that this is not a complete list.

1.  Make lists.
2.  Stop trying to be perfect.
3.  Carry a notebook everywhere and use it! (Don't forget to have a pen too.)
4.  Step away from your computer.
5.  Watch a foreign film.
6.  Clean your workspace.
7.  Collaborate.
8.  Surround yourself with creative people.
9.  Keep a journal or two or three.
10. Join an exchange/trade group.
11. Take a class outside your field.
12. Go somewhere new.
13. Play. Don't think of creating as "work."
15. Finish something.
16. Do something that scares you.
17. Be open.
18. Shut off your T.V.
19. Doodle.
20. Make mistakes. Lots of them.
21. Start a blog.
22. Teach someone something you love to do.
23. Make something useful. (My thing seems to be making tote bags.)
24. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
25. Stop comparing yourself and/or your work against others. There will always be someone doing something better than you.
26. Do something silly.
27. Make do. Use the supplies you have on hand or limit what you allow yourself to use.
28. Say "what if?" and act on your answer.
29. Research something that interests you.
30. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see what you can accomplish.
31. Work in a medium that is less familiar to you.
32. Be kind to yourself.
33. Take your camera with you everywhere. Take pictures. Lots of them!
34. Remember that we are cycling beings. There will be highs and lows.
35. Have fun!
36. Show up.
37. Creative things with a friend(s).
38. Go on a retreat.
39. Release a past hurt.
40. Go with the flow!

By the way, the photo is of some African bracelets that I purchased to help women earn a living. They became stretched out and I was no longer wearing them. Last night I was thinking about circles and balls when the idea came to me to see if I could create a ball with the bracelets. It was an interesting exercise and made me think. Of course, my husband of all people asked me what I was going to do with it. I think that may be the most frustrating question I continue to encounter. Really what does it matter?


  1. Take a walk, rain or shine, winter or summer.

  2. Make a list of things you want to accomplish. Evaluate if you need help. . . class? call a friend? read a book?
    Set a goal and achieve it -- no matter the size of the goal.
    Reward yourself.


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