Sometimes Creativity doesn't care that you have a life. Sometimes it will lash you helplessly to its mast, the sirens of your daily chores crying out to you from a sea of to-do lists and agendas. As you pass, you might see the noiseless wail of dishes in need of doing, or the scream of a textbook wanting to be read. But, you don't hear them. Creativity has plugged your ears so full of wax that all you can do is hunker down, weather the storm, and paint and paint and paint.*
Unfortunately (fortunately?), being kidnapped by your own Creativity can be a difficult feat to pull off. Sometimes you just don't want to draw, or write, or paint, or do whatever else it is that marks you as a creative individual. Other times, Creativity simply stands you up. You wait for hours for that wayward mongrel to call you, but the phone just never rings.
Today, my goal is to give that fickle Creativity a reason to kidnap you. The secret? He's a jealous lover. Invite his old rival, Inspiration, over, and he's sure to show up in no time.
Simple Ways to Clear the Cobwebs and Get Inspired:
Go outside. I said “simple” didn't I? No, really. Get out there! It's barely even Fall. Go soak up some sun, take a long walk, find a park and eat a picnic lunch. Nature is full of pretty things that will make your mind do somersaults. Seriously, being outside makes you happier (even Science says so), and walking not only increases your brain's spatial awareness, it makes your brain bigger! There's a reason Frost's path diverged in a yellow wood. He was in one!
Listen to music. Music listening boosts brain function and generates emotion. I can't think of a better combination to start conceptualizing great things. This is my personal go-to solution when I feel burnt out. I plug in the iPod, find a cafe, and draw whatever comes out. Sometimes I come up with a funny phrase. Other times I come up with a whole new character.
Pencil in some relaxation time. Chill out. If you were supposed to have a date with Creativity on Tuesday, but he never showed, you're probably a little frustrated. You need to get him off your mind. So read a novel, browse through a book of paintings, or watch a visually stunning movie. Whatever you do, make sure you do it in a terrycloth robe with a mug of green tea.
Have a long conversation with an engaging friend. Yes. Preferably with your warm beverage of choice. Invite your smartest, funniest, most interesting friend to come sit and shoot the breeze with you. Often, a good chat with great mind will unlock whatever block you've put yourself in.
Go to an inspiring place. A museum. The zoo. The city library. Heck, a local dive. The Waffle House. Go someplace you might not usually go. Walk and admire. Sit and listen. Bring a book or notebook. Just get out of your comfort zone for an afternoon and see what happens. Often, you'll be surprised at what you find.
And, there you have it. The ingredients for my Love Potion #9. Drink a swig of this, and you'll be dancing with Creativity in no time.
What about you? What are your tips on clearing the cobwebs?
*this is my second Greek mythology reference this month