(That hopefully aren’t like every other blog’s ideas whose author boasts about their creativity)
My psyche demands a certain amount of creativity from me. Whenever I find myself stuck in a routine or drowning in non-fiction textbooks, I begin to get this feeling of restlessness. It’s the feeling of needing to get the hell out of Dodge – that instinctual, artistic desire to drive off into the sunset, aviators on, music blasting, and hair whipping in the wind; heading out to live the life of a tumbleweed, living off of nothing but joy and artistic fumes.
I’ll blame this all on the fact that I am a writer and college is a bit of a time suck. Therefore, I decided to take a few moments to sit down and think of easy-peasy ways to sprinkle in a few drops of creativity every now and then. However, just because you’re not a writer or an artist, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need a bit of creative juice, too. A dash of creativity is necessary for everyone on occasion. So whether you are creating literary works to rival Shakespeare, making art that trumps Picasso, composing music that makes Beethoven sound like static, or just rifling your way through the stifling swamp that is suburbia – take note.
1. Keep a Record
Notice that I do not say Journal. The idea of keeping a journal is so glamorous. “Oh, I’m going to write down everything that happens to me for every day of my life!” Yeah, that’s great. And yay for those who actually do. But how many of us can really keep that up for more than a week? Instead of a journal, I propose keeping a record of something. For example, on my calendar, I write three (or more) positive things that happen to me every day. It’s quick, simple, reminds me of the beauty in life, and requires a crap-ton of creativity on days when “everything went wrong” and I feel horrible.
2. Make Up Dialogue
Anyone who hasn’t done this is missing out. Go to a crowded area (preferably with a friend so you can act it out better) and watch people interact. Then, simply fill in what they’re saying yourselves. Not only is this hilarious, but making up stories is an extremely easy way to be creative, whether you actually write them or not.
3. Play Dress Up
No, not like when you were a kid. You know how some days you wear a leather jacket and a pair of skinny jeans, and it just makes you feel like a total badass? No? Is that just me? Whatever you want to wear, focus on how it makes you feel. For authors, pick a character and choose an outfit inspired by him or her. For artists, take some scissors and fabric paint to a pair of jeans. For everyone, put together a new combination of clothes that make you feel like a rock star, and then go out in the world and act like one.
4. Do the “Creative Everyday Challenge”
- Think my ideas suck? Fine, take your own over to this website and post about all the creative things you do every day. (Or just read the comments for more suggestions)
5. Break Your Routine
Always eat Multigrain Cheerios for breakfast? Yeah, me too. Why not shake it up and go for those Lucky Charms? Or better yet, skip cereal and eat some damn bacon (or Tofurkey Bacon, whatever). My point is that even breaking one tiny aspect of your routine, especially in the morning, sets the tone for the entire day to be different. And what better way to spur creativity than by switching things up and opening yourself up to new experiences?
This one is especially great for those college kids, like me, when we actually have time on our hands. My friend and I walked a few blocks from campus to a playground. We took pictures, climbed up slides, and played on the swingset. This little exploration of ours was not only childishly fun, but it was a great study break/stress reliever and gave us a bit of exercise. Little explorations like that put you in a new environment with a different feel – one of newness and sometimes intrigue – which can help get those creative juices flowing.
7. Compliment Someone
No, I do not mean tell someone that you like his/her shoes. Think of something about that person that is unique to them. Not only will this brighten his or her day, but thinking of a specific, interesting detail to compliment requires some care and creativity on your part.
8. Make Connections
This could also be seen as being a bit metaphoric, depending on how you do it. As you go about your daily life, try to link the things that happen to you to other things – historical events, feelings, songs, paintings, or that dumb reality show you wasted an hour of your life on last night. Whatever it is, try to connect aspects of yourself and your life to things outside of yourself – or significant things that happened to you before. For example, sometimes I have moments where I hear someone say a phrase or I catch a whiff of a certain smell, and it reminds me of a feeling or event from my past. These connections not only force you to think creatively, but they can also give you a wider, more aware perspective on the world around you.
This one seems so decisively simple, but is so often overlooked. Artists, writers, and other creative people have a reputation for being “emotional,” right? Well, why not take the hint and feel something? If you want to cry, drown yourself. If you’re happy, break out into dance spontaneously. Why not? Fully feeling your emotions is the perfect way to cleanse yourself and create new sorts of energy.
10. Make a bucket list
More detail on this to come, but seriously. I know that making a list of goals doesn’t exactly seem creative. I mean, making plans is kind of the opposite of artistic spontaneity. But actually, brainstorming things that you are passionate about is a great way to think about what is important to you and how you can do it. And coming up with ways to actually accomplish these goals can require an extensive amount of creativity.