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9 Ways To Stay Creative

Being creative is fairly important when you're a writer, you need to be able to come up with interesting and exciting plot lines and sometimes you can feel like you don't know where the next idea will come from. Creativity is like magic, you never know where it comes from or how it works, but there are certain things you can do to help you stay creative.




1. Walks



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Going for a walk, getting outdoors in the fresh (and sometimes freezing) air can blow away the cobwebs in your mind. If you feel like you're stuck in a rut and need to shed new light on an idea going for a walk can really help. I cannot tell you the number of times I've been able to work out a problem with my book when I've been out on a walk, somehow the solution just comes to me. Maybe it's the fresh air, maybe it's getting away from the usual place of work, or maybe it's being around nature, but whatever it is walking is not only good for your health but can help you stay creative.




2. Reading


One of the things that can help you stay creative is stepping away from your own creation and jumping into a fictional world someone else has created. Reading is a brilliant way to take a break from your work and perhaps give you some inspiration. I always enjoy reading, escaping into another world and seeing the chaos or watching (or reading) a detective solve a puzzle. Whether it's fantasy, romance, or crime fiction, reading a book will give you a break and let your mind wander.






I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking

Albert Einstein






3. Watch TV or Movies


Watching your favourite TV shows or movies is another way to escape and give your brain a break - thereby helping you stay creative. Watch Jim and Pam's romance blossom in The Office, smile as Columbo says to the suspect "just one more thing...", or sing along to the songs in Moulin Rouge. Whatever it is that you enjoy watching the most set aside some time for it. Laugh, sing, and relax, and let your mind take a break. Staying creative is easy when you can feed your mind such brilliant source material.




4. Laugh With Your Family


Something can be said for simply letting your cares go and having fun with your family. Again it's about taking a break and stepping away from the blockage or whatever it is you're struggling with. You could play board games, tell each other jokes, or just tease one another, but as long as you're laughing and having fun it doesn't really matter what you do. Laughing can do wonders for your creativity, it's like the taking in of breaths to laugh breathes life into your creative mind. I've done this so many times, where I'm laughing with my family and then all of a sudden I have to write down an idea that came to me.




5. Do Chores


Routine and monotony while sometimes stifling creativity can actually help too. If you spend your days trying to be creative then taking a break to do boring chores or get on with a regular routine can help. More often than not my best ideas strike when I'm washing dishes or loading the washing machine. Changing bedding, vacuuming, even dusting, gives me the head space to think. I don't think about my ideas intentionally either, I think about the chore and what needs doing. There's something about routine or monotony that sparks the subconscious and inspires creativity.






One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.

Friedrich Nietzsche 





6. Inspiring Podcasts


Podcasts are a great way to take in new information as well as finding inspiration. I love listening to 7 Good Minutes and Grammar Girl but there are so many wonderful podcasts out there it would take me forever to list them all. I don't just listen to writing podcasts either, there's The Office Ladies, They Walk Among Us, and others. Listening to someone else's voice talk about topics you're interested in can spark your imagination and help you stay creative.




7. Listen to Music


There is nothing quite like playing music as loud as you can and letting it in. Whether you sit there and listen or dance about the room while listening it can do wonders for your creativity. Singing along can help too. It could be to do with enjoying yourself, it could be because when you're singing you're taking in more oxygen and this could help kick-start your brain. Either way I find listening to music inspirational and it really helps me stay creative.




8. Spend Time on a Hobby



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Hobbies are a good way, again, to give your mind a break. I think this is why I've been enjoying doing my cross-stitch again. I spend an hour or two following instructions and sewing crosses on a piece of fabric. It's similar to the monotony of routine in that my mind wanders but I think it's also to do with not looking at screens and stepping away from technology. Staying creative is about giving your mind the opportunity to breathe.




9.  Unplug


Technology can sometimes swallow you whole. One moment you're thinking "I'll take a minute to check Facebook" and three hours later you're still mindlessly scrolling. Add to that the games, Messenger, and other social media sites, and you could end up spending the day wasting time on technology. Taking time to 'unplug', to step away from the social media sites or the games, can give your brain a break from the nonsense and it allows you to see the world, inspiring creativity. 


So there you have it, 9 ways to stay creative - and they're all things I use often to stay creative.


What do you do to stay creative?

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