This is a great blog post from www.createdbyspark.com. These are eight simple ways to get those creative juices flowing. These tricks will work for anyone who wants to be a little more creative, not only certain mediums. So no matter how awful creative block feels, push through it and be intentional. The next break through is just around the corner.

A sneak peak:

1. Expose yourself different design mediums

This is probably the easiest, most effective thing we can do to spark an idea. We know that staring at a computer screen all day long can really wear you out after a while. Refresh your creative brain cells by: going to a movie, seeing a band, drawing thumbnails on paper, or painting a picture. [More]

2. Try color combinations (or any combinations) as the starting point

This isn’t just about colors for designers or visual artists. If you are a writer, put two different characters in a scene. A musician could try two styles of music. Whatever your medium, let the strangeness of the combination push your creative boundaries. Even if you don’t use the scene, you will train your brain to think differently.

3. Brainstorm

Being creative is not about having the best ideas; its about having the most ideas and knowing which ones to throw away. It has also been said that your first idea (to solve a story problem) will be what you saw on T.V. last night. The second will be something from the book you read last week. It isn’t until your third or fourth idea that yous tart to be original. So, don’t be afraid to spill lots of ideas onto a sheet of paper and see which ones stick.

4. Be active

Physical activity will give your mind a break from the fast-paced workday and give your mind a chance to concentrate of something else or even think a project through. Take a walk outside, go to the gym and get your heart pumping.

5. Add variety to your daily routine

Stagnation is the incubator for stale/boring concepts. Keep your mind sharp by getting out of your daily routine. Try starting the day off with a walk, listen to a new band, draw a sketch, or read a book before you start your work day. This break in repetition will force your mind to work harder and open new channels of thought.

6. Focus

Turn that iphone off. Close the door. Close your IM-programs. Do not check email! Create a space where you can be creative and focus without being disturbed or having to worry about someone interrupting you.

7. Practice

Creativity can come at the weirdest times, so keep a small sketchbook close by: in the car, on the coffee table, or by your nightstand. Grab the those ideas, layouts, outlines, or thoughts while they are fresh.

8. Don”™t Criticize Yourself

Sometimes your mind can feel threatened or frustrated and end up shutting down and withdrawing. Let ideas flow out, don´t try to censor yourself or worry about how silly the ideas may be…

And a few of my own techniques for good measure:

9. How would you start…

We only have so much time to actually sit down and “create,” but our minds are with us 24/7. Use that. When at the store, ask yourself “how would I start a story here?” At the movies, a restaurant, lying in bed, anywhere. My wife and I do this all the time. It does wonders to your mind active. Anything can be a story.

10. Play the puzzle with emotions

Pick a couple random emotions that normally don’t belong together. Grief and comfort; or Fear and safety, for example. One should be stronger than the other. Now brainstorm a scene (just one scene) where a character would feel both of those emotions, to some degree, at the same time. This exercise will help you round our your character development.

11. Do the opposite

Just for kicks, rewrite the ending of your favorite book. Not just to what you wish would have happened: write the opposite of what happened.

12. Be around creative people

Iron sharpens iron, right? Well creativity sharpens creativity. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, and of course its fun to hang out with other creative people. But, be intentional about it. Don’t just let it happen. Make it happen. Put yourself in situations that are out of your comfort zone. Don’t just be around other writers, either. Creativity comes in all forms. You would be surprised at how much designers or musicians or basket weavers can inspire your creativity.

You can read the original post at 8 Ways to Spark Creativity. Comments are always welcome.

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Chris Michaels

Storyteller. Researcher. Coder. Innovator. I seek to push the boundaries of storytelling and education.
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