Wishing all of you a wonderfully creative 2014!
This article appeared in the December 2013 issue of the Creativity Coaching Association newsletter.
As I write this, cold winter temperatures have arrived, and some areas have had snow. If you drive in the white stuff, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of being stuck. Car wheels spin with that maddening ZZiiizzz, ZZiizzZ ZZiiiiiZZZZ. The wheels go round and round, but we are going nowhere.
We all know the tricks to use when we’re stuck in the snow – kitty litter, sand, traction mats, and gentle rocking back and forth.
But what do we do when we’re stuck creatively, when the wheels of our brains go ZZiiizzz, ZZiizzZ ZZiiiiiZZZZ, but our work is going nowhere?
Suggestions for setting our creative selves free are everywhere. You probably have some favorites, but if yours aren’t working, you need new ones, or a reminder, here are four tips that I find particularly helpful.
Move your body – There’s something about moving our bodies that kick starts the brain cells to start moving, too. Take a walk, dance, do some yoga. Loosen up the body, and the brain will limber up as well.
Unburden your brain – Your brain may feel like the vast wasteland, or it may be running around in circles like squirrels chasing each other. Grab a journal or a scrap of paper and dump everything on the page. I do this first thing in the morning or right before bedtime. Put anything and everything that pops into your head on the paper. After about three pages, the tiny seed of an idea usually starts to emerge from hiding. And if it doesn’t, at least I’ve cleared out the clutter.
Shake it up – If you write, paint. If you paint, cook. Whatever you do, do something completely different for a little while. Look at something new, or something familiar with fresh eyes. You’ll gain another perspective and boost energy, while your brain makes some new connections.
Eat a peanut butter sandwich and take a nap – Bet you’ve never seen that tip before! Comfort food that’s good for you and some rest. Ahhhh!
A funny thing happened while I was writing this. An acronym revealed itself in my tip list – MUSE! Finally, she showed up. No more ZZiiizzz, ZZiizzZZ, ZZiiiiiZZZZ! My creative wheels are moving and taking me places. Hope you’re moving again, too.