Artists and writers often find themselves struggling to come up with new visions and material. Taking a creativity break while working can improve your flow of ideas, cure a bout of writers block, or simply be used as stress relief. Give these techniques a try, and you’ll be glad you did.
Finger painting is a great way to nurture your creative side. Here you have a blank piece of paper and a dish of paint. The only tool you need is your own hand, and you can make anything that you feel like. This is something that you don’t have to worry about selling, so make anything that you want. This may be something elaborate, or simply lines that you have painted onto the paper.
Another creativity break that works is to random write. Random writing is my term for taking a blank sheet of notebook paper, setting it at a crazy angle, and writing anything that enters my mind for a fifteen minute period. Sometimes these are just words that don’t mean anything, and sometimes I end up writing every extraneous thought I have had in the last week. I think that sometimes, as writers, we keep many of our thoughts in the back of our minds in order to focus on our paid work. This has it’s place, of course, but those thoughts have to go somewhere. After the fifteen minutes have passed, read what you have written. There may be an idea there already that you just couldn’t put into words.
Tracing your hand and making the occasional turkey seems a little insane, I know, but after you do, paste it to a piece of construction paper. Then write a short story about the turkey, your favorite bartender, or anything else you want to write just for fun. Attach the story to the bottom of the paper with the turkey on it. Hang this on your refrigerator. Each time you read the story and look at the turkey, you will remember that you are a writer, and that you can handle even the most undignified of criticism of your work. This will keep you from getting discouraged when things aren’t going very well.
Writing an article like this one can be considered a creativity break of it’s own. Helping other people work through the times when things are stressful is a good way to come up with other ideas. Writing about the things that you do to help yourself can not only help others, but will provide you with a break from day to day frustrations that come with doing any sort of freelance work.
Make sure that you have a group of writers that you can network with in order to stay connected. These people can be great sources of encouragement when things aren’t going well. If you talk to a friend that is also dealing with the same problems, get together for a brainstorming session. These should be kept informal, and between friends. (You wouldn’t want someone to take your idea for the next great novel, would you?)
Whatever you decide to do in order to work through the doldrums should be something that isn’t stressful, and it should be an activity that comes naturally to you. Take the time to try a creativity break, and I bet the ideas will start flowing freely again. Good luck!