What Inspires Creativity

I like to think of myself as a creative person. I have always enjoyed writing stories, making up ridiculous short films with my friends and doodling in a sketchbook when I find the time. Just like every creative person though, I sometimes hit a roadblock on my creative. The creative slump that sucks all good ideas out of your brain and replaces them with overdone, mundane ideas that leave you frustrated and in a desperate search for inspiration. We’ve all been there, trying to pull creative ideas out of thin air, but no matter what, it never seems to work. So what does inspire creativity and how can someone hone in on such inspirations?

When I hit a creative roadblock, I find that sometimes the simplest solutions are best. There are numerous reasons why someone is experiencing a block: stress, fatigue, school, deadlines, or trying too hard. The last one is a huge problem for me because the times I want to be the most creative are the times I have the most difficulty finding inspirations.

To rectify any of the aforementioned problems, there are several surefire ways to beat the creative slump. I always just try getting up and stretching, or getting a glass of ice-cold water. Sometimes simply stepping away from the blank paper in front of you is all you need to allow inspiration to strike. Others times, it’s not that simple. If it is late at night or I am exhausted, I find laying down in bed tends to inspire inspiration. You get into a more relaxed state and your thoughts are able to flow free. The only downside is sometimes inspiration strikes, but you fall asleep before jotting it down and then precede to forget it the next morning. However, this is also when your brain starts turning off the logic/rational side, which allows brilliant ideas to take form. I make notes on my phone if I ever get a sudden idea as I am lying in bed at night.

Another thing that I find helpful is going to a walk. I bring along wordless music (movie sound tracks, Explosions in the Sky, piano music) and come up with stories that go along with the music. I find that walking helps because it keeps me engaged to the music and my surroundings, which helps me come up with ideas.

The last way I overcome the Slump is by using a random image generator online to create stories. The images that pop up can be anything from a rusty, blue ladder to an evil-looking black cat. Most of the time these images have nothing to do with what I actually want to write, but I find that writing anything can help spur other ideas. Usually these stories are only a paragraph or two long, but they help me to write through the block, which helps me with the stories and ideas I actually want to bring to life.

The creative slump can be frustrating and tiresome, but hopefully these tips can help you get back on track with your creative works. Anything can inspire creativity, if you let it. You just have to be observant and open to the world around you and let your brain do the rest.

–Ashley Hague


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