How to get your creative juices flowing. If you’re anything like me and other creatives, you have those moments when the creative flow stops. You need and long for, even pray for, a creative breakthrough.
My exciting new career in publishing has already had moments of banging my head against the wall. I’m an indie-author which means I’m doing self-publishing. What this means in layman’s terms is that I’m writing, self-editing, formatting, searching for styles of book covers, creating accompanying materials, maintaining this blog and social media accounts. In other words, my creative juices are not for the obvious task at hand (writing) but for several other day to day tasks that I need to do.
But, sometimes, even I hit a creative road block.
Surely, I’m not the only creative being out there doing it all, and facing some of the creative blocks along the way.
SO, can I get an “Amen” from anyone else who wants to have more creative breakthroughs?
I call those moments Eureka Moments. Here’s 10 tips that have helped me get my creative juices flowing to have those much needed Eureka Moments. These ideas helped me in the corporate world, and they’ve helped me during my author adventures.
Creative Breakthrough – Eureka Moments
Eureka moments feel so good. Isn’t it awesome when you’re about to give up hope of being able to solve a critical problem or thorny dilemma, and then you experience a flash of insight that clarifies everything?
While these events may seem beyond your control, scientific studies suggest otherwise. You can train yourself to enjoy more breakthroughs. These tips will help you find the answers you’ve been searching for.
Preparing for Eureka Moments
- Study hard.While eureka moments seem sudden, they’re often based on years of work. The more you learn, the easier it is to make connections between different facts. This is great for a prolific learner. But, if you don’t like to study new things it may be hard for you at first. My advice, stick to it. The facts will be there, and the connections will come.
- Switch tasks. Studies have proven what many creative people have suspected. Switching your attention to another task can help you make progress with your original project, even when you’re feeling stumped. Now, mind you, I’m not talking about multi-tasking and trying to do six things at one time. But, that day when you have an article you need to write, or you committed to come up with a new themes and ideas for the church bazaar and you just can’t get your juices to flow – switch to something else. I can’t tell you how many times this simple tactic has helped to break the dam and release the creative juices.
- Do something mundane.For strategic breaks, activities that require relatively little thought tend to work best. Try taking a shower, washing the dishes old-fashioned style, or mopping the kitchen floor. I routinely I write using the Pomodoro technique. The 5 minute break times are the perfect time to do the mundane tasks.
- Pause briefly. A short break is usually enough to help you move forward. On those days when you’re unable to leave the office, gaze out the window or walk to the other end of the offices.
5. Relax your mind.Looming deadlines and information overload can inhibit creativity. Clear your mind of distractions. Shut off your phone and put down your laptop. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. I keep a bottle of essential oil near my desk. Those moments when I need to relax a whiff of rosemary, lavender or citrus clear the cobwebs from my mind.
6. Adopt a fresh perspective. There’s a term called “Functional fixity.” Psychologists use it to describe why it’s difficult to see anything except the familiar uses of an object. When you’re at a mental roadblock, challenge yourself to take a new approach. Imagine how you would travel to work if your usual route was blocked. Helping the neurons of your mind to travel a different path during that simple exercise can do wonders to help you develop the twist in your story-line.
7. Daydream often.Let your mind wander. That’s when you come up with innovative solutions. Letting your imagination run free makes you more productive.
8. Move around.Physical activity loosens up your mind and body. Climb the stairs or stand up and do a few stretches by your desk.
9. Head outdoors.Contemplating nature reduces stress and raises awareness. Take a walk around the block or visit your local park.
10. Slow down. Most of all, schedule some down time each day. You’ll achieve more when you create opportunities for thoughts to incubate in your subconscious mind.
One last hint about Eureka Moments…
Consider yourself an artist. Eureka moments are often associated with famous painters and scientists, but they’re available to all of us. Creativity is a process that you can apply to anything from housework to jogging. Eureka moments come in handy whether you’re trying to remember the name of your third grade teacher or find the error in your bank statement.
Hugs to you!
Kim Steadman is a wife, mother and proud Meme. She retired from corporate life to bring her heart, mind, body and soul home and to start her creative writing journey. Her writing works include “The Creative Prayer Journal” and “The Diary of a Recycled Dog.” She loves to help other creatives nurture the connection between their faith & creativity.