Creativity is my life.
It’s about more than just a tool to discover good ideas and bring them to life. It’s a way of thinking, a constant flow; it’s inherent in how I decorate my house, cook food and plant vegetables. It’s the backbone of my parenting, the life of dinner parties and the soul of social media.
But creativity doesn’t ever just happen for me. Now that I have a blog, a freelance writing career, and numerous book ideas, creativity is a way of life. There is always a lead up of careful thought, planning and drive required for putting it all together. And tea.
The right environment is key for me, which is why earlier this year I moved my desk from the front of the house to the back where I look out over nature in all its loveliness. But if your desk/table/creative nook faces a wall, make it a pretty wall with a poster that makes you smile. Same same. Add flowers, quotes on pretty sticky paper and a pile of brownies and that’s where the magic happens.
A warm brain usually helps, too. I crank it up with plenty of tea and reading. In the morning I start my day with a flick through a few interesting blogs. Sometimes I’ll put the morning TV on as it gives me a laugh and loosens up my tired little head. At night I read; I’m currently making my way through about 20 books. They make me a happier, cleverer, saner person. Occasionally I’ll watch the 7:30 Report (okay already it’s more like Offspring or Modern Family) but reading is good, slow-cooked pork belly for the soul and mind.
The most creative-inducing trick I have is not really that tricky. I keep a notebook handy. Real handy. I used to keep lots of them all over the house, but that wasn’t helping. Nor was the notebook app on my phone. I need pen and paper please, and one big, scribbly notebook. I’m constantly writing down little ideas, adding to these notes, ignoring them for a while, going back and fleshing out the cool ones. If they inspire me and pique my curiosity, they’re winning.
Don’t underestimate the power of a long walk, meditation, sleep-in or shower. They put the brakes on over-thinking and bring out the best of your brainy bits. I can honestly say I’ve had some pretty big AHA! moments in the shower. According to an interesting article by Leo at Buffer a shower provides not only a sweet hit of dopamine but also enough distraction and relaxation to get the juicy ideas happening. Warning: you may trip over yourself trying to get to a notebook in time to jot down those big ideas. Just saying.
And music, sweet music. There’s something about loud jazz music that rips through my writer’s block every time.