Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Thoughts On Creativity

I've been thinking a lot about creativity, and when I am at my most productive for my blog and just life in general. I think I've started to work out my own guide for being at my most creative.

I'm organising this into a series of questions that I ask myself when I feel I've hit a wall - feel free to add your own down below! (Perhaps we can even do a followup post featuring your guys' ideas? We can discuss that more in the comments!)

Is my working space tidy?

I'm not one for an immaculate space, by any stretch of the imagination. Super neat, perfectly arranged desks are honestly boring to me, but I like to make sure any books, glasses, makeup and life debris that definitely doesn't belong on my desk are cleared away properly. If I had my own office, I would try and make sure I kept it nice and clean; I definitely don't have my own office, so for the present it means keeping my room as tidy as I can (I'm not a tidier by nature, but this year I have formed some good habits!)
A neater desk reduces distractions and just looks better, and as a visual person, that's pretty freakin' important to me.

Am I looking after myself?

I've got a bit of a working theory that good ideas come from a good place. So this means getting the right amount of sleep, exercise and food; having one of these majorly out of balance means that I'm not fuelling myself properly. Stress is sat at the opposite end to creativity on my mental spectrum; if my brain is worried about work I need to do, my good ideas wave goodbye and leave the house.
For blogging, if I stress myself out by not leaving myself at least a couple of days to mull on an idea, play with it, shoot the pics and write about it, my posts sound forced and false and just a bit half-arsed. Looking after me always means I am looking after what I want to achieve too.

Am I comparing myself?

Lots of you will relate to this one I am sure as comparison really is the thief of joy. Too much time spent analysing other people's work is unproductive and doesn't ultimately alter the quality of mine (usually just the quantity!) It's not something I've properly got my head around yet and I have no magical fixes for you, but please share if you have some guidance of your own!

Am I feeding myself creatively?

This one can be a tricky one as I really do love reading blogs. Prior to my own blogging days, they were my favourite way to unwind, but as I am now working on finding my own ideas, I find that spending too much time reading other people's blogs is wasteful and leaves me unable to further my own ideas.
To my mind, anyone in a creative field can run the risk of creative in-breeding; when your ideas are merely a mix of others in your own field. This is why I find getting out and seeking inspiration in areas that aren't your forte is far more productive. In January, my bud Jono and I went to the fantastic Louise Bourgeois exhibition in Southampton, and I found it majorly eye opening. It also had the bonus of being completely free, so keep your eyes peeled for something similar if you aren't local!

Here are some quick suggestions just to get you started...
  • Head to an art gallery
  • Hit up your local museum
  • Go chill in a library or bookshop
  • Mosey round a charity shop
  • Learn a new skill
  • Go on a trip to explore somewhere beyond your hometown

Should I cut down on screen time?

Possibly the last thing you'd expect to hear from an internet lover like me, I know, but stick with me on this one. I find that too much time spent sat in front of the computer on my bottom overstimulates my mind and understimulates my body and that is not a healthy combination. If I can avoid screens, I will.

Here are the things I've tried to cut down on unnecessary screen time...
  • I no longer use Google Calendar to organise my life
  • I took up knitting, so I had something to keep my hands busy when I felt like playing on my phone.
  • I put my phone and laptop as far from my bed as my room will allow when going to sleep. 
  • I go for walks,  and work out on my pole to relax 

It all leads to a healthier, happier mind and a sufficiently appreciated body. This is one that I need to carry on working on, but if you think you need to, I would recommend logging out of all social media on your phone and computer, just for the weekend. It won't kill you, I can promise that!

Ever wondered why your best ideas come in the shower, or in bed? Because you're not distracting your brain with unnecessary stimuli, that's why!

Please, please share your creativity advice down below - is there something I am missing? I would love to do a sequel to this post - so if you are a creative person too, let me know your thoughts!


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