Stuck for ideas? It happens to us all, is it writing songs, books or just simply trying to find something to do. We all have those times when we get a ‘block’ and just can’t get started or finish what we have already started.
I have 3 great tips to help you get your creative juices flowing:
1. You don’t have to be completely original!
I know it sounds weird, but actually, most great artists in any field steal (borrow?) ideas from others all the time. They might call it a ‘clever reference’ in a book but actually they just stole a line from a film or a name for their character.
Steve Jobs said “Creativity is just connecting things“. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things’. As his technological holiness said, it’s about the way you use these ideas not where they came from. I especially like how he describes the way an idea becomes obvious to us even though it seems genius to others as we have connected two ideas.
2. Take a break from what you are doing, and don’t try to think as it is impossible.
True inspiration happens when you let your mind wander; it’s the subconscious that comes up with great ideas. I promise that if you do something else then eventually you will be struck by an idea and be motivated to finish/start what you were stuck with. This quote from Ray Bradbury sums it up: ‘Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.’
3. When you are unsure whether or not something is going to work, just do it.
How bad can it be and you can always try that bit again. I’m sure that when top music artists like Eminem are composing, they don’t always get it right first time. It takes mistakes and I was inspired by the way Scott Adams put it: ‘Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.’
When I’m stuck for ideasm sometimes I also like to read creativity quotes (here are some I really like). They seem to sum up what I need to do in a really succinct way.