I want 2022 to be the best year of my creative life! Anyone else?
Today I wanna talk about 7 ways to boost your creativity in 2022. I have published two books, my first one won the Maincrest media award. I am currently working on 3 other projects. I do creative design and social media work for myself and for a nonprofit organization, Tapestry Church. I also play 2 instruments and I read a lot. All of that to say, I need to be creative for my job but also I find it cathartic and relaxing to use my creativity as a hobby.
I firmly believe everyone is creative in some capacity. And as with anything, creativity takes work. For some, it comes more naturally but even with that, you have to work it like a muscle. You have to learn how to create even without “feeling” creative.
And you have to learn how to kick it into gear sometimes.
So, first, and one of THE most important ways to boost your creativity is to Take Care of Yourself.
1.Take Care of Yourself
I am an enneagram 4, I highly recommend checking out the enneagram to get to know yourself a bit more, and I really struggle with the day-to-day tasks like taking care of yourself. I’d rather let the laundry pile up so I can write, write, write. But even if I don’t realize it, that mess is affecting me and my mental health which will then affect my creativity.
Routine is not the antithesis of creativity!
The successful people in the world have a routine, even the successful (and stable) creatives.
Haruki Murakami: When writing a novel he -gets up at four a.m. and works for five to six hours. -In the afternoon he runs for ten kilometers or swims for fifteen hundred meters (or both), then he reads and listens to music and goes to bed at nine p.m.
He says, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.
Ernest Hemingway wrote every morning first thing in the morning until the afternoon
The famous writer and painter, Henry Miller, said Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time! AND When you can’t create you can work. Which is THE TRUTH. Work with what you have. Edit, plan, etc.
**Kurt Vonnegut -**I awake at 5:30, work until 8:00, eat breakfast at home, work until 10:00, walk a few blocks into town, do errands, go to the nearby municipal swimming pool, which I have all to myself, and swim for half an hour, return home at 11:45, read the mail, eat lunch at noon.
Take care of yourself. Exercise daily whether it’s a jog or a 10-minute walk. Your mental health is important ESPECIALLY as a creative.
I read an article that said; “...Studies of artists and writers collated in Scientific American confirm that artists and writers are up to 20 times more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder (also called manic depressive illness) and 10 times more likely to suffer from depression.”
Now, whether you 100% agree with this is beside the point. I think we can all agree that when you’re using your brain as much as creatives do, it makes sense that you should be taking care of it. Your mental health, your emotional health, and your physical health all bleed into one another and I think they make or break us creatively.
When you can live in healthy routines you can create and produce more and not feel overwhelmed and burn out and then give up on the art you’re working on. Organize your life in a way that works for you so that you can free up space in your mind from anxiety over deadlines or upcoming projects. Get yourself in a good routine that way you free up space to be able to dream and create.
Your routine is based on you. You have to find what works for you. I’m still working on mine, to be honest. My biggest goal right now is getting my sleep schedule consistent and healthy.
Let’s take care of our brains, creatives. They love us enough to give us cool ideas, we should love them back.
My second tip for Boosting Creativity in 2022 is to UNPLUG!
I love social media. I use it for work, I use it for entertainment. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with it but everything should be in moderation. And more often than not, our devices distract us and turn off our brain rather than helping our creativity flow.
When you’re working put your phone on Do Not Disturb. The iPhone now has the ability to edit different do not disturb types and you can allow phone calls and texts from certain people.
Nathan Englander is an award-winning short story writer, and in an interview he said…”Turn off your cell phone. Honestly, if you want to get work done, you’ve got to learn to unplug. No texting, no email, no Facebook, no Instagram. Whatever it is you’re doing, it needs to stop while you write. A lot of the time (and this is fully goofy to admit), I’ll write with earplugs in — even if it’s dead silent at home.”
I prefer to write in a notebook when I’m working on my first draft of a book. But when I have to be on my computer I put my laptop on do not disturb and I make my browser take up the whole screen so all I see is what I’m working on.
But, if you can, try to do some creating without electronics. Write on paper, sketch, draw, record voice memos. Add in some idea and creating time away from technology.
I try not to look at social media first thing in the morning. And all of my social apps I have in a folder on the second screen of my phone so I’m not constantly seeing them. AND I have notifications turned off for all of them. I also just started using the widgets and I have my screen time front and center so I can be conscious of how much I’m using it.
Take time to dream up ideas. A little time every day to just think of the “what could be’s”. A cool painting idea, song idea, poem theme, interesting character. I have a folder on my notes app just for those kinds of thoughts.
Get in the habit of immediately (or as soon as possible) writing down ideas that come to you. Write down the vivid dream you had at night. Use your notes app on your phone, carry a notebook or sketchbook around with you at all times!
Think of the ideas like fireflies. You have to catch them or they’re gone. Fireflies only live for like two months. Don’t let the ideas escape. Catch them when they come and keep them in a jar so you can see them. You never know when one of those “Random” thoughts will be the golden ticket.
4.Make Your Space work FOR you, not against you.
I am someone who doesn’t work well with clutter taking up my desk or area. I can easily become overwhelmed and distracted and I end up cleaning or organizing when I should be working. I have a desk in my room nestled in my bookshelves and I was very intentional with making this area a creative space for me. Everything from the colors–white shelves, light wood desk because I want to feel fresh and awake.
I color coordinated my books because it’s pleasing to look at and it’s pretty. I have a comfortable chair, a footrest under my desk to help my back since I sit so much. A platform for my laptop to sit on so I’m not looking so far down when I'm on it. To my right, I have aesthetic pictures that bring me joy and inspire me.
My whole room has become an explosion of my creativity and it helps me be able to sit down and write and dream. Do what you can do with your space. Declutter, organize, rearrange the furniture. I work next to my windows and I love the sunlight that comes in, fresh air when I open them, being able to look out into the world.
Make your space work for you not the other way around.
The fifth thing that I think will help boost your creativity this year is to get out of your comfort zone!
5.Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Get creative with what you watch, listen to, and read. Don’t just stay in one genre. Find new artists and authors and people you like. It’s easy to get in a rut and I find that when I find a new song in a different genre or I watch a movie I wouldn’t normally watch or read a genre I haven’t read in a while, it kick starts my imagination.
I love posting new finds of mine like this on Instagram, so check me out and watch my stories if you’re interested!
6.Be Okay With Silence
When you’re doing everyday tasks like the dishes or even when you’re driving, spend some time in silence. I for one, don’t like silence, BUT I started asking myself some specific questions in the silence and letting my mind wander as I thought of answers.
Questions like: What do I want to create this year? What’s the point of the things that I wanna create? What is something that I want people to know or understand and how can I help them understand it in a creative way?
You can even ask yourself questions about specific projects you’re working on. What if I tried a different melody for this verse in this song? What if I did this or that to this sketch or painting? What if I made this character end up being the villain?
And just let your mind think and wander.
7. BELIEVE, really BELIEVE, that you ARE creative and that you have GOOD ideas!
Everything we do comes out of what we believe and who we believe we are. Identity bleeds into every part of our lives.
If you don’t truly believe that you’re gifted then you’ll self-sabotage, procrastinate, and never complete the work. If you don’t believe that what you’re working on is worth it then you won’t do the work.
Tell yourself every day as a mantra if you have to, “I am creative. I create amazing things. I am inspired.” Remind yourself with sticky notes. Control your self-talk and make sure it's positive and reinforces the fact that you are a creative person and that you have good ideas!
I hope that these things help you achieve your creative goals in 2022! I have more posts like this coming soon so make sure you join the email list. If you'd like to watch this on Youtube, the link is below. Come say hi on Instagram too! See you soon!
Watch On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR9NDs-ttx0
BONUS: I found a lot of interesting articles while researching for this video and I’ll link them all below. They have to do with the science of the creative brain, artists’ routines, and more. So make sure to check them out.