This question has been running through my mind quite a bit lately… Am I creating as much as I’m consuming? Sometimes I feel like my days are filled with stuff. Stuff I see on Instagram, stuff I read on Facebook, and stuff I pin on Pinterest. It’s beautiful stuff, really. But in the end, it’s just stuff. And, I didn’t create or take part in creating any of it.
That’s one thing that really stinks about social media; we think we’re taking part in things, we think we’re creating something every time we pin, but really it’s all just in our minds until we put down our phones and do something about it! Because of this, we sometimes just think we’re not the creative type, that we are only good at mimicking or following. But creating is a huge part of why we’re even here in the first place!
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.”
– Dieter F. Ucthdorf
Because of that truth, I think we’re all more creative and capable than we think we are. But it definitely takes some effort and focus to unleash that creativity within us. With that, here are five ways to increase your creativity:
1. Get a Blank Notebook
And by blank, I literally mean blank. No lines even. Totally blank! All for you to fill in. Fill it with ideas, doodles, whatever you want! Just make it yours. If the thought of a blank notebook weirds you out, start with a lined notebook and just fill it with words. But fill it the way you want to, not just the way you think you’re supposed to. You may be surprised with what goes down on the paper! The other day I found myself composing a poem. And I didn’t even know I liked writing poetry!
2. Figure Out What Your Interests Are
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn to do, but have never done anything about it? Well start making plans today to become that watercolor artist, pastry chef, or clothing designer. Don’t do it to make money, or to start an Etsy shop (if that comes later, great!) because then you might be too afraid to start because you’re too afraid to fail. Just do it for you.
I definitely have something I’ve wanted to do, but am waiting until we get into a home where I won’t have to move this thing around as much…
Yes, that is a harp! Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to learn to play the harp. But sadly, I’m still not a harpist. Which is totally my own fault, by the way! My dream of playing basically exploded (in a good way) when my freshman roommate, Katie, told me that her mom learned to play the harp as an adult and would put her girls to bed, then play Disney songs from downstairs as they went to sleep. Seriously?!! That will be me. So I’m saving now for my harp lesson fund, and am planning on beginning lessons when we get a home of our own. In the meantime, I’ve been taking up other hobbies I’ve had interest in like gardening and videography. It has been so satisfying to create in a variety of ways. So figure out what those interests are of yours and start making plans today!
3. Set Aside Time Each Day For Social Media
As I mentioned before, one of the biggest roadblocks to creativity is social media. Be careful how much you allow yourself to consume, because it truly stifles your creativity. Social media is sneaky about it though because it makes you think you’re being more creative by exposing yourself to more ideas. Sometimes that works, but more often than not it’s less motivating than anything. Plus, it sucks up the time you would have to be creative, spits it back out and can leave you feeling slothful and loserish.
So, if you’re feeling this way, maybe try limiting social media to one time per day. That way you can see what your friends are doing, but not be obsessed about it. Also, start doing things for you, not just for the world to see.
Photo Credit: sarahemm.tumblr.com
Walking is so underrated! I am obsessed with walking. Jason and I probably go on 2-3 walks a week in the evenings, and on the days I don’t walk with him, I usually walk in the mornings with my friend Lizzie! I can’t even begin to describe what it has done for my creativity. Walking is so wonderful because it allows you to be outside (where creative juices seem to flow) and gives you an excuse to just talk talk talk. But beware – walking can get gossipy if you go about it the wrong way. Use your walks to discuss ideas, not just people or things. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt:
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
So let’s all take an inventory of what we spend our time talking about. Because that will influence how we think, which becomes who we are. Also, if you don’t have a walking buddy (though I guarantee you can find someone who secretly wants to walk too), walking on your own is also an incredible way to increase your creativity. Just don’t wear a hood and act all creepy about it.
5. Envision Your Future
Close your eyes and imagine meeting yourself ten, twenty, thirty years from now. What kind of person will you be? If you could sit down and have a conversation with your future self, what would you want you current self to know? I did an activity that helped me visualize this a few years ago and it was such an interesting, valuable experience. Make sure the choices you’re making now, the way you’re spending your time now, the things you’re learning now, all have a place in the person you want to become. Remember, the biggest part of being creative is creating yourself.
So there you have it. Now stop reading this blog and go create!