Image: Jason Briscoe
Do you ever feel stressed, overwhelmed, or boxed in? Developing your creativity is a great way to break up the monotony of your daily routines, release frustration or find more peace in your life.
In your search for your creative spark, you may discover talents you didn't realize you possessed, new activities that bring fun and excitement into your life, and new ways to relax and rejuvenate.
Try these ideas for developing your own creative outlet:
1. Delve into activities you know you like. What have you enjoyed doing in the past? Have you noticed that you have a knack for drawing, writing, painting, sewing, or making jewelry? Try some of the same things that have allowed you to be creative in the past.
• If you aren't sure about a particular creative outlet, start small. Avoid buying everything you need to really explore the new skill until you're certain that you've found something you'd like to stick with.
2. Take a class. If you can't easily think of a creative outlet on your own, consider taking a class, seminar, or workshop. You can try a variety of different creative arts from basket weaving to painting, from photography to belly dance.
• Check your local college campuses, arts and crafts stores and continuing education
schools to find weekend workshops and evening classes that teach these activities.
3. Write or journal. Writing and journaling can be a great creative outlet, whether you're free writing about your day or putting your feelings into words in the form of poetry or song..
• You don't have to become a published author to use writing as a productive creative outlet. If expressing your feelings on paper feels good to you, just enjoy the process.
4. Create gifts for others. Experiment with a myriad of different creative outlets by making things for the people that you love. Bake cookies, write a poem, draw a picture, paint pottery or handcraft a piece of jewelry for someone you care about.
• Not only do these tasks allow you to use creativity to deal with feelings and emotions, but they also let you share a part of yourself with people who are important to you.
5. Experiment with food. Whether you enjoy cooking, grilling, baking or candy making, you can experiment in the kitchen as a creative outlet. When you cook with feeling, you may be surprised with the results you create. You may find that you're more successful in your cooking and baking ventures when emotion is an ingredient.
• Share your creations with others. Regardless of whether you cook tasty meals or bake
sweet treats, your gift recipients are sure to enjoy them.
These ideas are just a starting point. There are plenty of other options for you to pursue on your own. Your creative outlet can be anything that you want it to be, as long as you get joy from it. Simply find something that brings you pleasure and use it as your creative outlet. If you do this, you can find joy and peace in every day
Do you feel like you lack imagination? Do you struggle to create or to find solutions to the challenges in your life? It’s possible you’re suffering from a few creativity-blocking obstacles. By identifying the obstacles in your path, you can find ways to work around them.
Eliminate the creativity blockers from your life:
1. A cluttered mind makes creativity a challenge. Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come when you’re alone? You’re either being quiet or doing something very routine, like driving on a low-traffic road or taking a walk. It’s hard to get the creative juices flowing when you have too much going on.
2. You don’t prime your creative mechanism. Try doing a different creative activity for a few minutes. If you’re trying to write a book, try creating and humming a new song for a few minutes. Legos, Lincoln Logs, tinker toys, modeling clay, crayons and brain teasers are other options.
3. Stress. You might have time to yourself, but still be too distracted to be creative. When your adrenaline is flowing, and you’re dealing with the stresses of life, creativity can be hard to find.
4. A narrow focus can limit your ability to find new solutions. Keep an open mind and consider all the possibilities. Avoid assuming you know where the general location of the answer to your challenge is. The best solution might be something you’ve never considered.
5. You don’t believe you are a creative person. You’ve used your creativity countless times in the past. From dealing with an unpleasant boss to keeping a moody child occupied. Believe you’re a creative person and you’ll prove yourself correct.
6. You never get started. Creative endeavors can be intimidating. Procrastination is one of the primary enemies to creativity. Set aside time each day to be creative, even if you’re convinced you’re wasting your time. You never know when your creative genius will strike.
7. Fear of failure. The possibility of failure can stop anyone in their tracks. Think of all the times you failed in the past and came through unscathed. Creativity feels risky, but it’s all in your head.
8. You’re stuck in a rut. It’s not easy to come up with ideas in the same old space. Get outdoors or at least move yourself into a space you don’t normally use, like a spare bedroom or a conference room.
9. You insist on doing it alone. Fresh minds bring fresh ideas. Ask others for their input. You’re likely to find that the ideas of others trigger your own new ideas. Get some help! Who is the most creative person you know? They should be your first call.
10. You don’t have enough experience. You may have been a very creative child, but if you’re not flexing your creative muscles on a regular basis, you might be out of practice. Spend a few minutes being creative each day and you’ll enhance your creative skills.
Creativity is a powerful skill and ability to possess. The most creative people in the world have a huge advantage over the rest of us.
If you’re struggling to be creative, it’s likely that an obstacle or two is standing in your way. Overcome your obstacles and use your creativity to your advantage.