Creativity is often considered an innate talent. However, it is also a skill that you can learn, hone, and practice. Because of this, I’ve compiled a list of three things you can do to increase your level of creativity. Ultimately, practicing creative habits will lead to a more fulfilling and creative life.
So, let’s get started.
Read a book about creativity
Reading a book or two about creativity is a great way to be more creative. This kind of reading is not only informative, but it can also be deeply inspiring.
For example, I recently started reading Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire’s Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. This book is all about the things highly creative people do differently, whether it be imaginative play, daydreaming, or practicing mindfulness. Reading about these things has not only given me a better idea of what goes on in my brain when I create. It has also inspired me to maximize my creativity and given me ideas about how to start.
Here are some book recommendations to get you going:
- Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire
- The Art of Aliveness: A Creative Return to What Matters Most by Flora Bowley
- Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom and David Kelley
Practice intentional daydreaming
Daydreaming–one of Kaufman and Gregoire’s ten things creative people do differently–is an essential part of the creative process, whether it happens intentionally or not. Engaging in positive daydreaming gives your brain the time and freedom to wander, which leads to new ideas. In fact, research has shown that daydreaming allows for “creative incubation,” which occurs when your brain mulls over and sits with ideas or thoughts that you might not even be consciously aware of. Ultimately, by allowing your brain to roam free you can tap into deeper, more novel thoughts.
Needless to say, this is a fantastic habit for a writer in search of ideas.
But the question is, how do you do it?
Kaufman and Gregoire suggest a few options, the most simple being “hop in the shower.” This might seem strange, but the reality is that when you shower, you relax in a way that allows your brains to make new connections, get new ideas, and even solve difficult problems.
Another way to practice intentional daydreaming is to simply change your location. Go on a walk, move to a different spot in your house, or find a place in nature to think and let your mind roam. Throughout history, countless creatives–including Hemingway, Dickens, and Aristotle–have made walking a part of their creative process. This is precisely because a change of place offers a new perspective and the mindless act of walking gives the brain time to explore, roam, and stumble upon new ideas.
Internalize the cycle of creativity and inspiration
When it comes down to it, creativity and inspiration occur in an ongoing cycle that looks something like this:
You know that feeling when you’ve been writing a lot and it seems like your brain is constantly thinking up new ideas? It’s an amazing feeling, right? And it happens because of this cycle.
The more you create, the more inspired you will be and vise versa. This means that as long as you’re creating you’ll be inspired and as long as you’re inspired, you’ll create.
This might seem simple. That’s because it is! Therefore, all you have to do is keep writing, creating, and looking for inspiration everywhere you go.
Which of these three action steps will you implement first? Let me know in the comments.
Want to continue the conversation and join me on my mission to help female writers lead fulfilling creative lives? Check out my Patreon here!
With Love, Cats, and Coffee 💖,
The Present Active Writer