When and where is inspiration most likely to hit? While that answer is different for everyone, chances are it rarely happens exactly when you are sitting down to write. Inspiration usually strikes when you are in the middle of an unrelated task, often one that does not require too much thought. This means that you can get a boost of creativity even when you are not trying.
However, as a writer, you sometimes need to help nudge creativity along. In addition to doing things like writing exercises, you can also specifically engage in tasks that help ramp up your creative juices. Here are three examples of creativity-boosting activities.
Walking isn’t just great for your body, it’s also great for your mind! A study from Stanford University even found that going for a walk can increase creative output by as much as 60%! That same study also found that walking on a treadmill produces virtually the same results.
Going for a walk is a great opportunity to let your mind wander and visit whatever topic it feels inclined toward. You might even feel like your thoughts are fleeting at first or that you are simply taking note of your surroundings. When you return back to your writing, you will more than likely be pleasantly surprised by the results though. Pro tip: leave the headphones at home!
Grab your smartphone and head out to the park, your favorite store or even just for a walk. While there, use your phone’s camera to capture images of anything that sparks your interest. There’s no need to give it to much thought, but if you are having trouble getting started, you can try taking pictures of some of the following:
- An interesting tree
- A brightly colored car
- A book with a pretty cover
Take these images back home and go through them slowly. Do any of them speak to you? You can then use one or more of the images to craft a quick story. Use it as a writing exercise or the jumping point for your next book!
A word of caution: while it is generally legal to take pictures of people in public spaces, many people do not like the practice and may react poorly to you doing so.
While the road to being a writer is different for everyone, it often has similar roots—reading. Reading books is often the catalyst for writers’ own creative pursuits, and it is a great place to revisit when creativity is lacking.
Most writers are familiar with the burst of creativity that often hits in the shower or as they are falling asleep. There are so many more menial tasks that can be turned into creative superhouses though. Try thinking about your own tasks that you regularly attend to, and consider whether you can turn them into opportunities to boost creativity.