creativityKeeping your creative juices flowing reliably can be something of a dilemma: the thought of not being able to come up with ideas and innovations can be stressful, and stress stifles creativity; causing a vicious cycle of worrying about being able to perform and that very worry causing the issue that is being worried about! However, there are several methods that can be employed to erase the worry and keep the imagination in tip-top condition.

Don’t Worry

This may sound easier said than done, but practices such as meditation can help to clear the mind of stressful thoughts and worries. Make a point of sitting comfortably in a quiet and peaceful area and actively push away worrisome thoughts. Meditating for just fifteen to twenty minutes in the morning can set the tone for the whole day and leave the meditator clear-headed, optimistic, and feeling fully in control of their day.

For those to whom meditation does not appeal there is the simple process of just taking the mind off work – doing a crossword puzzle, reading a few pages of a book, or listening to some music. Once the brain stops focusing so intently on problems and issues, the solution often presents itself. Just jumping back to music for a second, listening to classical music, particularly Mozart, has long been associated with a boost to creativity and inventiveness, making an early morning symphony a very good idea indeed!


Lying awake frustrated, while trying to come up with ideas and concepts is especially aggravating when the mind is tired, but the body is not. Do not neglect physical health while working on projects that require a large creative input. Set aside a certain amount of time each morning for a quick workout, brisk jog, or even a leisurely walk. While we exercise, the thinking part of the brain can get to work addressing issues and concerns on an almost subconscious level – this is why so many breakthroughs and epiphanies happen while people are occupied with other activities! Walking, jogging or exercising in a beautiful place, like hiking around a mountain trail can be soul-soothing, reducing stress and enabling the creative process to get to work once more.

Free Association

Completely stuck for a beginning? Take a piece of scrap paper and just write down any words that present themselves. Another method of doing this is freewriting when random thoughts and words are simply put on the paper in a long flowing paragraph. The free writing and word association does not have to make sense, and nor does it need to be analyzed: the mere act of thinking of words and writing them down can help to unblock mental processes – almost like finally getting a flow of water through a rusty old pipe, no-one would drink that first flow of water, but the water is allowed to run until the dirt and sediment clear, making way for good clean drinking water. In the same way, freewriting can clear the detritus of negative thoughts, making way for the good solid ideas.

Get a Writer’s Block!

There is an exceedingly useful tool for writers, amusingly entitled a Writer’s Block. It is a 3-inch cube of paper, something like the memo blocks that people keep near telephones to jot down notes and messages, but on each page of the Writer’s Block, there is a picture, unusual saying, or piece of information. The idea is that when stuck for inspiration a writer can pick up the block and flip through a few pages, until one of the snippets or images sparks something in his or her brain, and they are back on track with their writing again.

Without having to purchase the exact item as mentioned above the principle can be applied to almost any creative job. Keep a scrapbook, shoe-box or box file with a host of small, interesting things in it, and when stuck for ideas or inspiration, take it out and work through the things inside until an idea strikes. The constant practice of looking at everyday items to find inspiration can train the brain to be aware of those features of the world around us that can work as a spur to creativity.

Exercise Your Mind

Word puzzles, riddles, and rebuses are all fun to do and can help train the brain, and even put a sluggish brain into a more creative and receptive state. Sitting at a desk trying to force an imaginative idea to come is probably one of the quickest ways to kill original thought. Take five minutes and sit with a puzzle – it will not be long before ideas about the project start to flow and impinge on the consciousness.

Just as a regular physical routine can tone and slim the body, a mental process can hone and refine the thought processes, enhancing concentration, intensity, and stamina and enabling periods of intense focus on a project or piece of work. Incorporating one or two of these tips into the regular morning routine can be an invaluable boost to creativity, productivity, and thus, earning power!

Valerie Soleil, B.A., LL.B.

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