3 Ways You Can Be More Creative

You still think you aren’t creative or you aren’t creative enough? Even after you read “You Don’t Have to be an Artist?” Hint: everyone is creative. But, you may be out of practice. Creativity needs to be practiced, repeated, made a habit. Here are 3 ways you can be more creative.

Image of a row of lightbulbs with one lit...Creativity needs to practiced. Here are 3 ways you can be more creative.

Change Your Approach

You feel stymied. Blunted. Perhaps you feel you’ve used up all your creativity. If your creative self has spent time in a deep, dark hole you need to change your approach. Don’t expect it to spring out of the hole and work on demand. Think about it. Would you expect a mistreated dog or cat to let you waltz up to it and pet it without getting scratched or bit? Of course, you wouldn’t. You’d try coaxing the animal out. You’d re-establish trust and show it that you would be gentle.

Treat your creative self gently. Don’t allow negative self-talk. At least recognize and stop the negative self-talk. Creativity seems to make us all nervous. Watch this TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert about the fear we have around creativity.

Look for the ways you are creative and give yourself a pep talk. You fixed that thing-a-bob with a hairpin? Way to be creative! You whipped up dinner by combining two different leftovers? Look at your creative self!

Make Room for Creativity

Make a date with your creativity. Let’s say you want to be more creative with your mealtimes. A set time and place where you’ll allow for more creative thoughts.

You can’t just give someone a creativity injection. You have to create an environment for curiosity and a way to encourage people and get the best out of them.

Ken Robinson

Give yourself permission to say yes to every idea that comes into your head. Pickled steak? Yes, I could make that a meal or…I could make pickle steaks…or….you get the idea. Crazy ideas you won’t use—of course, but I’ll bet a good one will pop up when you least expect it. (By the way, I’m a terrible cook so my creativity has to really stretch there. Lol)

Feed your Creativity

To be more creative, feed your creativity a varied diet. Go to museums, concerts, nature centers, arts & crafts fairs, aquariums, or zoos. Take a class. Go window shopping for a fantasy gift. Read—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, song lyrics, plays traditional, avant-garde.

Try something new—horseback riding, skiing, fishing, something you’ve never done before. Notice how you feel when you try it and how you feel afterward.

Creativity requires input, and that’s what research is. You’re gathering material with which to build.

Gene Luen Yang

Make yourself a vessel for creativity. Read about or watch folks who inspire you with new and different ideas. James Clear is one person on line who blogs about creativity. See what he has to say about How to Unlock Your Hidden Creative Genuis.


By the way, I’m celebrating a little of my creativity. My new novel, Fellowship, is available on Amazon and most online bookstores starting today. Buy your copy today.

So, those are 3 ways you can be more creative. Have you tried any of the things listed here? Did you find one thing that worked best for you? Please share your discoveries in the comments. Next week we’ll discuss more things you can do to properly feed and care for your creativity. Until then, practice.

You Don’t Have to be an Artist

Sadly, many people seem to think they aren’t creative because they don’t make art. You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. 

Illustration of a brain with lightning coming out of it--You don't have to be an artist to be creative.

Creativity is not just for artists. It’s for business people looking for a new way to close a sale; it’s for engineers trying to solve a problem; it’s for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way. 

Twyla Tharp

Definition 

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines creativity as the ability to create and the quality of being creative. 

Notice, it does not define what you create. You don’t have to be an artist or do any particular craft. If you create a comfortable home—that’s a type of creativity. You can create a recipe by substituting one ingredient for another. Creativity comes in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

Creativity runs across many categories in life, from the arts-and-crafts project a mum or dad does with their kids, to the bestselling author’s manuscript, to the designs of the hairdresser, to the creations of the computer programming genius.

Tabatha Coffey

You Don’t Have to be Good

Unfortunately, some of us have been taught that creative mistakes were “bad” or creative play was “a waste of time.” And some of us were taught that if you don’t excel at something, you aren’t creative.

But you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t even have to be good. Let go of that. You are creative. 

What is Creativity?

Creativity comes from curiosity, from taking two ideas and rubbing them together to get something different. 

Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.

Earl Nightingale

It’s the bedtime story you make up to please your child. 

The fact is that creativity is everywhere. It’s just about the way that you look at things.

Ginevra Elkann
image of paint brushes with different colors of paint on them, you don't have to be an artist

It’s the way you fixed the broken chair or even in the lie you told to get out of going to your mother-in-law’s for dinner. (No, I’m not condoning telling lies, I’m pointing out that it takes some creativity to put together a convincing lie—or even an unconvincing one.)

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.

Mary Lou Cook

It’s the color scheme in your home or the model added something to when you built it or its the crazy lego house you built with your niece or nephew.

Image & Quote "True Play is creativity." John Lasseter image is of dad holding little girl while he holds a sparkler--you don't have to be an artist

There is a Fountain of Youth: It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

Sophia Loren

You Are Creative

Still feeling uncreative? Read my post “Do Things from Your Soul” to help you find your passion and enthusiasm. And be here next week to read more about the care and feeding of creativity.

Remember, you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. You don’t have to be perfect or even good. You ARE creative. Recognize your creativity. Honor it. And you’ll learn how creative you are.

In a World of Peril, Create

I had intended to blog about Halloween quotes and traditions this week, but the recent tragedies in the U.S. changed my mind. People are hurting and grieving and scared. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate Halloween. It means that many people are overwhelmed at this horrid turn of events. I’m overwhelmed. But there’s a way to beat back the overwhelming emotions. In a world of peril, create. Create love, create art, create a pie (pumpkin anyone?), create hope.

LOVE

Love is evident everywhere in this time of grief and fear. It was in the police officers who got shot trying to stop the violence. It’s in the grieving loved ones feel. Shared sorrow is borne out of love of your fellow man. Vowing to support those who are being persecuted, hunted, and harmed—is a form of love.

This doesn’t mean don’t be angry. Hate what happened. Hate the fear and abuse and hatred. But if you choose to hate a single person or group of persons you are no different than the people who killed or tried to kill people they hate. Hate begets hate.

Take comfort in the outpouring of love. Give love. Love the helpers, the grieving, the victims. Support and comfort them. Giving love will give you a measure of comfort, too.

BELIEVE

Despite the horrific actions of a few, I believe Anne Frank was right. The majority of people are really good at heart. Believe in the goodness of others. Don’t put yourself into harm’s way, but don’t “shelter in place” forever. Don’t give up! Let the good people in. Notice and nurture the good people around you. Believe in hope.

CREATE

Why? Destruction and creation are yin and yang. Creating something will swing the balance away from destruction. Sometimes destruction can be a good thing such as destroying an unsafe bridge. Destruction often is a bad thing, but good things come out of it. People helping other people. Rebuilding a better, stronger place. In a world of peril, create.

I am a writer, so I create stories out of words. I have friends who create art. Other friends knit, sew clothing and costumes, make music, turn iron into beautiful signs and wall hangings, create heavenly food, or make jewelry. Some people create a healthy body. There are people who create a happy family, build buildings, put a jigsaw puzzle together, and so many more creative activities. Your creation doesn’t need to be large or extravagant or perfect. Whatever your special creative talent is, use it now. Balance your world. For when you balance your part of the world you restore a little hope. And hope becomes a beacon for others.

Out of Love

So when the destructive forces of the world overwhelm you, when in a world of peril, create. Be a beacon of hope, create something out of love. Out of love, be the change you want to see happen. Create it. Make your world, and mine, a better place.

Energize Your Imagination: Be a Child

Everyone tires eventually. The details of life and the repetitiveness of routines dull our senses. Still, we push aside imagination and play for more important, more adult duties. And that is a disservice to our selves. We need reminders. Being an adult doesn’t mean you have to ONLY be an adult. Energize your imagination: be a child.

Recently, I’ve fallen into this trap of always adulting. I’m a caregiver, responsible for all the household stuff, and caring for my dogs. I’ve been preparing for the publishing and launch of my novel. And I’m taking a short online course. In all the doing, I’ve not written new fiction for a month. And that made me cranky.

My online class challenged me to do a video and publish it on my site. That reminded me that a friend had recommended a free website called Lumen5. I checked out the website and decided I’d do my assignment on it. But I hit a creative wall. What do I make the video about? I decided to use an old post

This video, more accurately slideshow, is a re-imagination of the post called, Be a Child. It was a timely reminder for me.

BE A CHILD

It wasn’t difficult, but learning how the program worked and what worked as a video took a few hours. It was fun. And replaying these quotes reminded me how important it was to play, imagine, have a sense of wonder, believe in the heroic, and see the world through the eyes of a child. I’ve decided. I’m going to spend some time this week coloring in my coloring books, playing games, and finding the wonder in the world around me.

I hope you enjoyed the show. Would you like to see more of this type of video? Are there particular subjects or ideas you’d like me to explore? Chime in the comments below and let me know. And remember to energize your imagination: be a child. Have fun!

Creativity in a Time of Chaos

There have been many studies that say that creativity flourishes at the edge of chaos. Typically these articles refer to fostering creativity in school children. What if you aren’t a school child? What if you’re a creative trying to find your creativity in a time of chaos?

There have been many studies that say that creativity flourishes at the edge of chaos. Typically these articles refer to fostering creativity in school children. What if you aren’t a school child? What if you’re a creative trying to find your creativity in a time of chaos?

When you, the creative person, or your loved one has a chronic medical condition, you live on the edge of chaos every day. Every upset in routine can send you over the edge and into the chasm that is overwhelming chaos. Perhaps you’re moving to a new house or you’re mother-in-law just moved in. Whatever the cause, something has introduced chaos into your life. Creativity in a time of chaos can seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be. (It should be obvious, but a life-threatening crisis is a whole ’nuther beast and is NOT part of this discussion.)

When Chaos Hits

Surprised by a chaotic situation, some of us go into an “all hands on deck” mode in which the creative handles and tries to do EVERYTHING. Some of us go into an anxiety-ridden brain-freeze and can’t do anything. So what should a creative do?

When chaos replaces your routine, there are things you can do to allow time and space for creativity.

Turn the Negative Positive

First, are you thinking of this crisis, this chaotic situation, in a negative way? What if your negativity IS the problem? What if the chaos is an opportunity for something greater to happen? Re-shape your thoughts. Instead of, oh, no, now I’ll never get it done, rephrase it as a positive. It doesn’t have to be a Pollyanna statement, but something like, it’ll be a challenge but I can figure this out.

Recognize that the chaos is external and keep it there. Don’t let it define you or stop you. If you believe you can’t escape it, re-frame that thought. What would happen if you did escape it for five minutes? For longer?

Be your own best friend

A part of you may like the adrenaline rush that chaos brings. Forgive yourself for that and/or for not being able to do and be all things. Give yourself permission to delegate or to re-negotiate deadlines.

Set smaller achievable goals

You’ll feel much better you feel when you spend even a mere ten minutes of creativity.

Find the silence

The silence being whatever you need to have for your creative space. Perhaps you need to get up earlier or stay up later. Or,  a new ritual to put yourself into the creative frame of mind. Light a candle, listen to music or enjoy a fragrance that puts you in that place.

Exercise

Stress reduces the endorphins that help you feel happier. Exercise will increase those.

Recognize your courage

It can take great courage, discipline, and self-awareness to see through the chaos in your life. Congratulate yourself for what you do accomplish, even the non-creative things. Reward yourself for your courage and discipline. You deserve it.

Creativity in a time of chaos IS possible. Remember, creativity flourishes on the edge of chaos. So even when you’re deep in chaos, you only have to get up to the edge. And there, great things can happen.