25 Easy Ways to Fill the Creative Well

There’s nothing worse. You want to write but nothing comes out. The creative well is empty. If only being creative was like a switch you could turn on and off. Staring at a blank page can feel like you are staring into the abyss. It’s scary as hell to think you might be out of ideas. You know overall what your story is about but its all the little details in between you just can’t figure out.

The Creative Well’s Call for help

Sometimes the creative well is tired, lazy, out of date, out of practice, blocked or just plain empty. It can manifest in many ways and Knock you off your equilibrium. Eating, procrastinating, avoiding, the list goes on and on. Luckily there are a heaps of easy ways to fill the creative well. Here are 25 easy peasy ways you can fill the creative well and keep it full:

  1. Go for a long walk or hike. Sometimes the simplest things are often the best. Preferably in a garden that is simulating or near water. This stimuli is a sure way to fire the senses.

2. Sketch or write something with your left hand. The left hand is connected to the right side of the brain which is the part where creativity, empathy and perception live. Brainstorm your next scene, chapter or book idea with your left or less dominate hand and watch what unfolds.

3. Buy an Adult colour in book like The Secret Garden by Johanna Basford. The focus and immersion involved will get those juices flowing.

4. Read a chapter or paragraph of a book in your genre you are writing in or want to write in. I often find this is the easiest way to get into the right frame of mind to write.

5. Read a classic by a master. Inspiration has been known to strike when reading classics like Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen or any other masterpiece.

6. Visit an Art Gallery online. If you can’t get out of the house or just can’t be bothered look at an auction house’s catalogue of some art.

7. Watch your favourite childhood movie. I’m thinking Hook or The Goonies whatever it is, reminiscing and watching the stories you loved as a kid will inspire you.

8. Visit a Virtual Beach (Google, YouTube) that is if you cant get to one. According to a study by The University of British Columbia, the colour that activates creativity the most is blue.

9. Listen to Mozart. Apparently The Mozart Effect is real and can make you smarter which is just what you want when you want to write!

10. Declutter. Organising and getting rid of junk can literally clear the blocks to your creativity. It’s almost always the cure for feeling overwhelmed and can give you the kick you need.

11. Play a Game. Complete a Puzzle, play Chess or Scrabble. Thinking games can shift your mindset and relax you.

12. Listen to an inspiring Podcast. There are thousands of great podcasts out there and listening to one is sometimes just the ticket to remove that doubt or block and get those ideas flowing.

13. Meditation. Just as stimulation can make you more creative so can just being silent. Meditation cultivates focus, calmness, clarity and insight. Read more here.

14. Repeat Positive affirmations like ‘I am Creative’. These can break away any beliefs you have associated with being creative.

15. Daydream. We are always trying to be productive and busy. Instead allocate some time to think and daydream.

16. Paint or draw and go crazy!

17. 15. Free-Associate. Pick a word from the dictionary and write down everything you associate with it.

18. Have a laugh. Being in a positive mood can activate creativity. Ever been a group where you had to brainstorm and ideas start flowing when everyone is laughing and having fun? Yes being positive works.

19. Take a Nap. Right brain activity peaks just after a power nap. Go on put your PJ’s on.

20. Put a pot plant or vase of flowers on your desk. Studies have shown putting something green near where you work makes you more creative.

21. Get Crafty and use your hands. Create a Vision board. Knit something. Cut and Paste a collage. Getting crafty can be a form of therapy.

22. Write a Poem for a 25 word or less competition. The word restriction will force you to, you guessed it, get creative. Make it rhyme, catchy, answer the question and you might even win something. Read more about competitions and creativity here.

23. Journal and do some free writing in a notebook. Julia Cameron who wrote The Artists Way prescribes ‘Morning Pages’ to recover one’s creativity. Write 3 pages of consciousness every morning.

24. Find a writing competition to enter and commit to submitting an entry. Sometimes your best work can come out of pressure and having a deadline.

25. Use writing prompts like: ‘Shh! Hear that?’ ‘I didn’t hear anything.’ A good place to go is Writers Digest.

When the well gets dry it’s often time to take time out. Giving yourself permission is often the hardest part. The rest is just child’s play. Take yourself out on a date and find what works for you. Creativity is like a muscle and like any muscle the more you use it, the better it gets.

Originally published at activepatience.com on July 9, 2015.