Creativity is like a muscle. It needs to be trained to stay active and strong.
As with muscles, if the training is always the same and you are not careful to introduce new challenges, the exercise starts to be less and less effective.
If you find yourself at a dead end, if you have writer’s block, try one of these tricks:
1. The brainstorm (*) to J.K. Rowling: legend has it that before “giving birth” to the lode that is the Harry Potter saga, author J.K. Rowling jotted down ideas on paper napkins. Here, it doesn’t matter if the story is true or not, what matters is that it is an excellent exercise to record ideas that we consider very important. Have you ever seen how difficult and irritating it is to try to write down anything on napkin paper? It’s not an easy surface to use. Which implies that it has to be a special idea to be worth the effort.
2. Have 10 Ideas a Day: It’s the standard exercise for the “creative” muscles and it’s our favorite. Every day write down 10 ideas that you think are fun to do. It doesn’t matter how much time it would have to spend or how much it would entail in terms of budget, or even if they are feasible – let your mind wander and let it believe that anything is possible.
3.Work on what makes an idea impossible to work. It’s the inverted approach to creativity. When you’re in a meeting and you get to the “Let’s make a list of our best ideas” part, if you have a block, try going the other way. Do a survey of “Everything I’m sure won’t work”. It’s funny how doing this often leads us to the brilliant and enlightened conclusion: “This idea is so crazy it might actually work!”
4.Using your non-dominant hand try to write a text, no matter the content, it can be a poem or a short story. During the process you will be so frustrated by taking so long to jot down an idea (and by the way the writing gets sloppy) that your subconscious will begin to eliminate excess words in order to be able to explain your intentions in the purest form, without beating around the bush and flourishes. The result? A shot and very incisive text. Just the “cream”.
5. As you write, read aloud. When we are sitting silently writing the brain starts to wander and work against us. Say it out loud. Listen. Feel. Play with it and use it to your advange. Who usually resort to this strategy are the writers. The sound of our voice is an excellent unlocking mechanism.
6.Read. So simple yet so despised, the habit of reading. How many don’t try to be creative in a vacuum? Sitting alone in a room, tapping a pen on the tabletop, waiting for a shower of inspiration… It won’t happen. Find out about everything that has been written about the dilemma at hand, read about how others have dealt with it, consult works, learn the story behind whatever it is that you have to solve. Read and the answer will reveal itself.
7. Do a tech detox. Here’s another despised habit and very rarely adopted for the challenge it entails, but the results speak for themselves. Next time your creative river runs dry, enjoy a Saturday, wake up early and “unplug”. Keep your cell phone in a drawer. Do not open the laptop. Spend the day disconnected from the digital world and whenever you feel the temptation or if you get bored, leave. Stroll or read. By the end of the day your head will be full of ideas.
8. Go get feedback on social media. That’s what they are for – for us to communicate. Instead of spending 3 months banging your head against walls looking for the “perfect idea” start by testing and sharing things on social media and see how others respond to them. Interaction is the best tool.
9. Again a brainstorm, but now face an audience. We all have a friend that we like to share everything with. If you’re feeling frustrated with a topic, invite that friend into a conversation, have a notebook handy, sit down and say, “Listen, I have to think about this out loud. Let me try to explain my idea and then tell me what you think.” When you have finished presenting your idea, it is very likely that you have already solved many problems on your own.
Be a consistent creative! Finally, the secret hidden behind a creative brain is…exercise that muscle daily, only then can you keep it strong and well “toned”.
(*) brainstorm |breinestórme|
Technique for developing new ideas or solving problems, based on a discussion in which several people make many suggestions so that the best ones are chosen or a fusion of them.
“brainstorm”, in Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa