5 Ways to Kick Your Creativity into Action

Creativity. We all have it, but sometimes it can be a little elusive, skulking around in the shadows when we need it to step into the spotlight. This is frustrating if you are working on your own creative projects and scary if you have a looming deadline and no ideas!

Here are five ways to  coax the little blighter onto centre stage:

1 Music. I don't now about you but music is a very important part of my life and I have memories attached to old songs. One of my very best recollections of a school lesson was when the teacher told us to rest our heads on our arms and relax while she played a piece of classical music. Then we had to write the story. I love music for generating ideas but also to get motivated. I have a list of 'get on with it' songs on my iPod like To Dream the Impossible Dream. Seriously!

2 Link Random Words. I often work best if I am very restricted in the subject matter or have lots of boundaries. Being 'let loose'  with no guidelines can result in panic. So to add some guidelines where there are none, pick two objects wherever you are (for example a pen and a dictionary, a feather and a floortile) and then think of ways to link them together within a time limit. This gets your creativity sharpened up and you might even be inspired to write The Feather on the Floor, you never know!

3 Visit a Creativity Specialist in Another Dimension. This sounds a bit off the wall but bear with me as it really works. Assuming for the sake of argument that parallel universes exist, imagine you can open a door, go down a wormhole, whatever and visit a 'you' in another dimension who is a creativity specialist. Obviously do your usual relaxation techniques beforehand and it's best with eyes closed. Ask this creative genius for help. You'll be amazed at what happens. You could also pop in and see Shakespeare, Dickens or anyone else that takes your fancy for a bit of advice.

4 Do Some Mind Mapping. I have blogged about this before but have always used mind mapping for interviews, articles and fiction. As you know, the idea is to take the dreaded empty page and put the topic in the middle and then draw lines from the centre each containing a different idea. This spider's web of ideas is much closer to how our mind works than linear notes and if you can throw some colours and images into the mix then even better!

5 Take a Plot, Any Plot. From your favourite novel to the latest soap cliffhanger or celebrity scandal, jot down the basic plot line in a  few sentences. We know the old cliche hat there are no new ideas under the sun so you aren't doing anything bad as you are going to make this baby yours! Throw a few what-ifs into your pot plot. What if the hero is blind? What if the message never arrives? What if the heroine has a twin? What if the mother is a bigamist? What if it all happened ten years in the future or a hundred years in the past? Etc. etc. etc.

I hope that helps you track down your temporarily elusive creativity. Give it a kiss from me!


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