Just like the weather, we all have our creative dry spells. These periods of un-inspiration can be frustrating, especially if you have a reason to need some creativity. (Like if you’re trying to write a blog about creativity and you suddenly feel you have nothing to say…hmmm.)
Dry spells come and go in all aspects of life, be they creative, relational, spiritual, or motivational in nature. So, what can we do about them? How can we, metaphorically speaking, do our own personal rain dance?
I think there are things we can do to help the creative juices flow again. However, there is only so much we can do. There are times when no matter how much we dance, the rain won’t fall, and we just have to weather the drought the best we can.
So, here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing again. And, if you still feel uninspired after trying everything you can, perhaps these activities will have made the dry spell a little more bearable.
- Surround yourself with beautiful and creative things. Having and noticing beauty around you can be inspirational. For some reason, when we see beauty, we often have a desire to make more. Seeing a beautiful garden, makes me want to go home and make mine prettier. Going to the museum and seeing paintings, makes me want to go home and paint.
- Purposely keep an eye out for the unique or unusual. Looking for uniqueness around you can prime your creative thinking, so to speak, to make creative connections and sparks yourself.
- Expand your creative horizons. Play with a medium you don’t normally use. If you are a sculptor, try some paints. If you are a cook, take a graphic design class. If you are a song writer, try growing a garden.
- Find a class to take. Learning something new and being with others who are also learning can be creatively inspiring. Creativity often happens as a result of new information and social connection.
- Make friends with someone who isn’t like you, either in their interests, politics, religion, culture, etc. It will expand your horizons. In addition to this just being a healthy thing for you and society at large, it also can expose you to ideas and inspirations you may never have had access to otherwise.
- Give yourself a creative challenge. Find materials you have around your home and figure out something you can make with them. It doesn’t have to be amazing or beautiful or something you’d like to display. The exercise itself is the point and can be surprisingly satisfying.
- See the ordinary parts of your life, the regular daily tasks, as creative acts. We are always creating something. Moment by moment we are creating our lives. The ones we’ll look back on and remember positively or negatively or some combination thereof. What kind of life are you creating? Live in the moment you are in and appreciate it.
- Reframe in your mind the ordinary situation you are in as an act of creativity. See yourself as the lead actor in a living art scene. What would you do in that role to make the performance more creative, beautiful and beneficent?
- Take a trip down your own creative memory lane. Make a list of creative things you’ve done in the past. Remember those projects and the satisfaction you got from them. This can encourage you that your dry spell won’t last forever, and it may
spark some new ideas as you look through your old ones. Begin taking photos of your past creative projects, if they are the sort of things that can be photographed. These photos (or whatever sort of records are appropriate to your kind of projects) can be useful to look at for this sort of activity in the future when you feel you are in a creative dry spell.
- Keep Buggering On.
Just remember, dry spells don’t last forever, even though they feel like they will at the time. And, even the desert has its own kind of stark beauty. If all your rain dancing won’t bring the rain, take this opportunity to focus on other things in your life that may have been neglected during your last creative monsoon. And, no matter what, bring good to the world, your communities, and yourself. That’s beneficent!