7 Tips on How to Find Your Creative Spirit Again

7 tips on how to find your creative spirit

Creativity. A must have for us, no? Whether you’re a novelist, blogger, sculptor or baker—or with anything you’re truly invested in doing—we need that creative muse to inspire us and enrich our work.

And how frustrating when that very creativity flies for the summer to Brazil.

We all have that happen, no? When you just can’t find that spark to save your stinkin’ life.

And we all also know that getting angry about it doesn’t help one blessed thing.

So, how do we find that creative spirit again?

Here are 7 ways:

1

Take the pressure off

A key lies in the opening here—the must have. How often do we feel pressured to produce? Often, no? We all have busy lives, in addition to whatever we are creating. And unless you’re retired, sometimes it’s even tough to find the time to carve out for your creative endeavor. Even if it has to be done.

And that’s an inspiration killer if ever there was one.

Maybe your boss is breathing down your neck. Maybe a deadline looms. All those “outer” circumstances aren’t going to change.

So, focus on the thing itself—keep your eye single—rather than the deadline. It won’t make the deadline go away, but it will free you up, at least for a time. And often, just a few minutes will light the spark.

Find your creative spirit again by taking the pressure off.

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2

Change Your Attitude about the Task Itself

You can also change your mind about how you work. Which will change your mind as you do it.

Before you begin, see the project going well. Visualize yourself enjoying the time as you produce what you produce. Make it your intent to have fun with it.

This sounds simplistic and too easy. But I promise—if you do this every time, a switch in your brain will flick and creativity will shine forth so much more easily.

3

Change Your Mind, Period.

Take all of those “I can’t,” “I don’t know,” “I’m overwhelmed” thoughts and instead put in their position, “What if . . .?”

If you stay in a place of feeling overwhelmed, or stumped, or doubting whether you can do something, and instead ask open-ended questions, you’re much more likely to have solutions bubbling up from your intuition.

And that’s where creativity lives.

“What if” questions open the door new ideas.

As Einstein said, “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination.”
4

Get Your Monkey Mind out of the way.

Okay, so sometimes your mind is on a continuous reel you just can’t seem to stop. And it’s really hard to focus on a creative endeavor when you have fifty-four other necessary tasks running through your mind.

So, you need a way to derail that circular train.

Meditate. Even if for 15 minutes. Go for a walk. Soak in a tub. Do anything that quiets the mind, again, even if only for a short time.

The bigger the project, the more time you may need to spend on this quieting process. I counsel my editing clients, once they send manuscripts to me, and in between major revisions, to go stare at the water, go hike a mountain. It takes a while to get all those characters and plot lines out of your head.

But getting them out causes you to return with fresh eyes.

5

Practice Free Form of whatever You Do.

If a writer, sit in stream of consciousness, penning as you go. A Western painter I know will do watercolor abstracts in between. A friend who’s a renowned sculptor will make simple pots and ashtrays now and then—you know, the kind we made in elementary school!

Just do something in your field you that takes no thought, and let it flow.

6

Learn a new skill.

Anything new. Take up basket weaving or speaking Spanish. This again jumpstarts the brain.

Don’t have time to learn Spanish before that report or blog or short story is due? Make a new recipe. Learn a new yoga move.

The point is, it doesn’t matter what the thing is, just that you haven’t done it before.

7

Be Fed by the Creativity of Others.

I can be in the most creatively arid place in the world, and read a great novel and inspiration just surges. To a lesser extent, movies do this for me as well. As does visiting the museum. Or watching a glassblower at work.

It doesn’t really matter what sort of art you’re perusing. The point is to engage the right side of the brain—the one in charge of feelings, perceptions—rather than the left hemisphere, which carries out logic.

It’s that right side where your creativity lives, and where it thrives.

All of these have in common taking your mind out of its rut, which unburies creativity from the mud and mire. And that’s the point, no? Because creativity really didn’t fly to Brazil—it’s still there, ready to flourish again in the light.

You just have to find that light.

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.”

  Dr. Seuss

How do you woo your creative muse?

This Post Has 51 Comments

  1. Those are all great ways to find the spark. These tips will help lots of people.

  2. This is great. I am going going to this some of these today to get me motivated to write my post for next week. I love the free form writing tip. It worked for me before but I haven’t done it in a while. Thanks for sharing.

    1. There you go, Sabrina! And your blogs are always so information packed.

  3. Love this post! I am working through this now. My creative friends are always such an inspiration to me

    1. I love drawing inspiration from my creative friends, too, Andrea!

  4. Great tips Susan.

    I have a client who is trying to convince me that she does not have a creative bone in her body any longer. Her mood is often dark, but I know that our mood is instantly improved by doing something creative and we need to feed our creativity regularly and consistently. Business owners especially need to juice up my creativity so that they can feel energized every day, create programs that feed them as well as transform their clients, and move out of mediocrity into excellence.

  5. This is such solid advice! A few of these things I’ve done this week to help me stop procrastination and get spurred to get things done before traveling.

    1. Yep, they work great for procrastination too, Liz. I do that at times as well.

  6. Like you, I know that creativity is always there, Susan. Sometimes it just need a bit of a hiatus or a change of scenery to encourage it to emerge again. Being open to the world around me, always seem to stimulate me. Today, something I saw on line, felt like it aligned with a documentary I saw last week, and already the ideas for a new post are percolating. I’ve learned to also trust the process. Especially having immersed myself in therapeutic art. The soul always speaks through the art and I find great inspiration there. It’s important that people know that creativity is not reserved for the few, it is part of who we are as human beings. Thanks for sharing your tips, as I know they’ll really resonate with everyone who wants to reignite their creative juices!

    1. Oh-so true, Beverley! We’re all creative beings. And like you, being open to the world inspires me as well. We can find that anywhere, no?

  7. Great tips in this post, Susan. Creativity is a fickle friend who doesn’t like to be forced and taking a break usually works for me. Sometimes it works to change one creative activity, like writing, with another, like art or craft. Other times a long walk helps clear my head.

    1. Those are great ways to re-start creativity, Tamuria! Creativity really is always there, but as you say, she can be a fickle friend!

  8. I love the idea of learning a new skill! Such great suggestions.

    1. Learning something new tricks the old noggin, doesn’t it, Neely! And that sure can get you going.

  9. Love all of these tips, especially number 2. The task is always the same but the attitude is what makes it positive or negative.

  10. No pressure makes such difference! Henceforth I write whenever I can and not just when I need to so I always have a stock for when I’m not feeling creative

  11. I really find my creative spirit when I surround myself with like-minded invidivuals. I love to surround myself in a creative environment. It’s my happy place!

    1. That reminds me of the saying that we’re like the three people we keep closest to us, Jennifer. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is such a great key!

  12. My favorite way to be creative is scrapbooking. When I start I always like a very easy project or something I had already planned out, it makes it easier to start.

    1. What a cool thing to do, Karen! I love that. And starting with something–whatever it is–is a fabulous tool!

  13. Taking the pressure off yourself is very important. Sometimes we are our own worst critics and are too hard on ourselves.

    1. That is so very true. When that internal critic takes over, the creative muse just heads south!

  14. Learning a new skill is a great tip! You can’t help but be enthusiastic to a new skill or hobby. Taking a photography class has been on my list to tackle. I just have to find a good class to take!

    1. Learning something new really spurs on your enthusiasm, doesn’t it, Sandra. And you just hit me on the photography. I’ve been wanting to delve back in for a while, so your idea just caused a surge within me. Thank you!

  15. These sound like good suggestions for the creative or people in a mind block. I can think of a few people that would appreciate this.

    1. “Mind block.” What a great description! Love that.

  16. All of the above works. Trying to force creativity does not work so I leave the task I’ attempting & read or cook or have a stimulating conversation. It hasn’t flown the coop- just took a rest.

    1. Absolutely, Roz. It’s always there, just waiting for us to get out of our own way 🙂

  17. Such great tips! And I believe I have tried them all, singly or in concert, at one time or another. What often works best for me is stepping away and focusing on something else. Anything else. But nature seems to be the best spark for me.

    1. I’m with you, Jackie. Being in nature is a great way for me to focus on something else too. It just works for me 🙂

  18. My creativity has been stifled lately. I see a few ways here that I can get fix that.

    1. Every little bit helps, no? Sending you tons of creativity!

  19. Great piece. Being around creative people WHO THINK I’M CREATIVE also helps. When I look at films of the Walt Disney Imagineers, and the comedians and artists at Hallmark, I noticed that they also truly enjoyed each others creative outputs – there was no competition. They were just like cops at the bar after a rough shift – egging each other on and having fun while mutually respecting each other. Maybe we should form a Creation Pub?

    1. Love that idea, Joan! Being around creative folks really works, and I’m so blessed to be surrounded by them!

  20. Those are truely the best ways to find the spark. These tips help me alot – thank you so much.

  21. Great list!!!! I always gain more creativity being around other creative people. I swear it spreads!

  22. Loved these fantastic ideas to getting your creative spirit back Susan!!! Have jotted them down so when I need some inspiration, I will know where to go 🙂 Great share !

    1. We all need to get that creativity revved up now and then, don’t we Joan!

  23. I think the biggest thing for most people is talking themselves out of things or being their worst enemy! GREAT tips Susan, thank you so much for the reminder!

    1. So true, Kristen–aren’t we good at talking ourselves out of things!

  24. I do #5 and #7 when I get stuck! It can be frustrating, but one or both of those usually help be break through…

  25. I find the idea of “free form” works best for me. I can feel the space between my ears being absolutely blank and I’m okay with that. Then I just sit and the ideas between to flow. I write them down and when the flow ends, I put everything away. Then, the next day I come back to read them. I’m always quite amazed how they are better thoughts than the ones I try to create under pressure.

    1. Perfect description of that process, Joyce! And doesn’t it work beautifully!

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