Creativity is a metaphorical muscle. Depending on how much you use it, it can expand or contract. Like muscles in your bodies, there are exercises you can do to give your creativity a boost.
1. Expose Yourself to Different Ideas
This can’t be stressed enough. Creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Expose yourself to different ideas – all sorts of ideas, including the ones you don’t agree with. Read widely, watch videos and listen to podcasts. Don’t limit yourself to one genre or just non-fiction. Give your imagination a chance to see what’s already out there.
2. Free writing
Free writing has long been a favourite tool for writers, journal keepers and therapists. It’s a simple way to get your conscious to respond. Set a timer for 10 minutes, pick up a pen and a paper and start writing. You can also do this on a computer, but there is something about the tactile experience of putting pen on paper that makes your subconscious respond better. Keep writing until the timer goes off. Don’t worry about the content, or repeating yourself. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just keep writing, let your ideas flow and give your subconscious an outlet to expose what’s lurking beneath the surface of your brain.
3. Draw a Mindmap
Get some coloured pens or markers and draw a mind map. If you don’t know how mind maps work, google is your friend. It’s a tool that’s been used in creative industries, in corporations and by individuals. There are plenty of apps that let you create mind maps on computers or you can also draw them by hand. Again, for the purpose of boosting your creativity, it’s best to do this by hand.
4. Keep an Ideas Notebook
Keep track of your ideas. However unimportant they may seem, or however unfinished, note them down. Every single idea is not going to come to fruition but you never know where one thought may lead. A large part of being creative is not about being original; it’s about making associations in an original way. It’s about connecting things or subjects that have not been connected before. It’s about seeing old things in new ways. By keeping track of your ideas, you are giving space to them in your subconscious, which may lead to unforeseen connections.