Developing Creativity: 12 Ideas You Can Try Now!
“You can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou
Developing creativity is a lot easier than you might think.
Have you ever told yourself, ‘I’m not very creative”?
Whilst you may think you lack creativity, nothing could be further from the truth. We all have natural creativity within us, we just need to know how to bring it to the surface. Read on to discover some simple ways to boost your creativity.
What is Creativity?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines creativity as ‘the ability to produce or use original or unusual ideas, or to make something new or imaginative.’
I prefer Einstein’s take on it:
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein
The Importance of Play in Developing Creativity
Most educators around the world would agree that children develop creative skills and confidence through play. Developing creativity is a fundamental part of our own personal growth. However, as we get older and our responsibilities grow, our opportunities to play seem to diminish.
Pablo Picasso famously stated that, ‘every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.’ But it doesn’t have to remain that way, our inner artist can be reactivated!
Julia Cameron, author of the best-selling ‘The Artist’s Way’ champions the need for more creativity in our lives. Through her books and blog, she suggests that we should return to the wonder of childhood and marvel at the smallest of things.
So why not tap into your inner child and embrace the wonder and curiosity of new things through ‘play’? You can explore and discover more about yourself in the process.
Ways To Reactivate Your Creativity
Give yourself permission to be creative
This is a crucial step that will help you commit to the process of developing creativity. Don’t censor or judge yourself as this will inhibit ideas and expression. It’s also important not to worry too much about being judged by others.
Keep an open mind and embrace the idea of new possibilities, they may appear when you least expect them!
“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse
Reconnect with nature
Going outdoors stimulates your senses and boosts your imagination. Taking a regular walk can free your mind to think about new ideas and may inspire you on your creative journey.
Take time by yourself to observe things
Developing creativity means paying attention to things that you may not have noticed before. Immerse yourself with all your senses and notice details like colours, textures, light or shade. Enrich your imagination with curiosity about your environment.
Change your perspective
Try to incorporate something alternative into your daily routine, such as a new route to work or reading a different book genre. Making one small change can lead to other possibilities.
“Creativity arises from our ability to see things from many different angles.” – Keri Smith
Collect inspiring items
Your creativity can be fueled by items, such as photos, quotes or books. You could collect physical items in a box or create a pinboard of images. Fill your environment with stimuli and surround yourself with the things that inspire you.
Julia Cameron refers to this activity as ‘Morning Pages’. Take some time out to sit with a pen and paper and just let your thoughts flow. Write down things that you have been thinking about, whether it’s opinions of current issues, dreams and aspirations, or even just a journal entry. The action of writing will stimulate your imagination and focus your thinking.
Play games for developing creativity
Open a dictionary and choose a random word. What else comes to mind when you think of this word? The more associations you make, the more imaginative ideas you will unleash. Look for patterns in the word choices and make inventive connections to boost your creative ideas.
Take up hobbies that develop creativity
Whether it’s picking up that ukulele again or starting a new language course, you can re-awaken your creativity through a range of different activities. Keep practising until you develop some level of expertise and watch your creativity grow!
“I will master something, then the creativity will come.” – Japanese Proverb
One of the most obvious steps to creativity is to engage in artistic activities. You don’t have to be an expert at painting or pottery to get your creative juices flowing, as long as you have the will to have a go and enjoy the creative process.
Listen to music
Music has the power to spark your imagination and feed into your creativity. You can imagine scenarios, stories, and emotions just from a single piece of music.
Dare to fail
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out new ideas. Even if they don’t work, at least you gave it a try in the first place. So keep experimenting!
“There’s no innovation and creativity without failure.” – Brené Brown
Build networks that encourage and support your creativity
Find the right people to help you harness your creative potential. Work on developing creativity through collaboration and sharing ideas, especially in an environment that provides a ‘creative playground’.
The Benefits of Developing Creativity
By developing creativity, we can try out new ideas or ways of thinking which can lead to:
- A Renewed Sense of Freedom
- Self Expression
- Self Awareness
- Increased Confidence
- Stress Relief
- Effective Problem-Solving
- Better Decision-Making
Want More Inspiration For Developing Creativity?
Creative confidence is one of 21st Century Skills that employers look for in prospective candidates. Using the tips above can boost your creativity and employment potential at the same time.
Three TED talks to inspire you: