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    10 Ways To Refuel Your Creativity

    refuel your creativity

    Sometimes it’s a struggle to find what to write about, don’t you agree?

    A blog is like a hungry beast, always asking for more.

    Sometimes, you’re stuck and just can’t get anything onto a page. It happens to me too.

    A short while ago I was on a flight from Thailand to New Zealand and I was determined to write a post. I opened my laptop, put my hands on the keyboard, and focused hard.

    What happened?

    Nothing. Nada, Nichts.

    I couldn’t think of anything to write about.

    So I packed away my laptop, stretched, had a gin-and-tonic, looked around, and finally watched a movie.

    As soon as I let go of the idea that I should write a blogpost, and focused on my present experience, ideas began to flow. In fact, after the movie, I jotted down over fifteen blog post ideas (including the one I’m using right now).

    How to focus on input rather than output

    Let’s forget about writing for a moment.

    Imagine that you want to drive a car, but the tank is empty.

    How far can you drive?

    The answer is simple: you can’t drive anywhere.

    It’s the same with creativity. You need to put in fuel before you take it for a drive.

    So here is a list of things that can refuel your creativity.

    Some of these points may resonate with you, while others may not. That’s okay. The best way forward is to go with what works for you.

     

    1. Blogs

    As you know, there are millions of blogs out there. Choose blog topics you enjoy, and read posts.

    In particular, check out what successful bloggers are writing about. You’ll find inspiration for your own writing. I don’t mean knocking off someone else’s work. I’m talking about finding your own take on specific topics.

    2. Beautiful images

    When you muse on images, your brain can make new connections. Take a look at the beautiful collection of free images on MorgueFile.  Scroll down and let your mind float free.

    Screenshot 2014-10-13 22.37.05

     

     3. Overheard conversation

    It’s a great idea to collect interesting snippets of dialogue.

    When I was on the long-haul flight, I stood behind two women. Here’s what I heard:

    ‘Hey, you’re wearing two different sneakers!’

    ‘Boris got into my shoe cupboard this morning.’

    ‘Boris? That a new boyfriend?’

    ‘Nah! It’s my new pitbull terrier…’

    This snippet is a story, waiting to be written, or it could be a seed of a blogpost.

    4. Books

    I love reading books! They are treasure troves of inspiration. Both fiction and non-fiction can fuel your creativity.

    Here’s a passage from The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt:

    My dreams for the most part were muddied with the same indeterminate anxiety that bled through into my waking hours: court cases, luggage burst open on the tarmac with my clothes scattered everywhere and endless airport corridors where I ran for planes I knew I’d never make.

    This quote inspired me to write about pervasive anxiety.

    Here’s a snippet from Learned Optimism by Martin E. P. Seligman:

    In order to choose people for success in a challenging job, you need to select for three characteristics: 1. aptitude, 2. motivation, 3. optimism. All three determine success.

    The quote above could trigger many ideas for articles, don’t you think?

     

    5. Magazines

    If all else fails, buy a magazine and leaf through it. You’ll come away with at least five new ideas for blog posts and articles.

    In particular, you can get a sense of what people really want to read about.

    6. Movies

    Movies can be great sources of inspiration. Stories, dialogue, themes, challenges, conflict – everything can boost your creativity.

    Just make sure you’ve got a notebook handy to jot down ideas directly after seeing a movie.

     7. Newspapers

    Look for stories about people who have triumphed over adversity.

    For example, I made a note of the amazing story of the American climber John All. He fell into a deep crevasse in the Himalayas, narrowly escaping certain death. Badly injured, it took him six hours to climb out of the crevasse, and another three hours to reach his tent. He spent the night in pain before rescuers reached him the next morning.

    Afterward he said, “I thought I was going to die. There was no way out. I was alone.”

    This kind of story could be the kernel of many different kinds of posts and articles.

    8. History

    Great people in history can inspire you to greatness. Gandhi, William the Conqueror, Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller, Leonardo da Vinci, and many more. Go to Wikipedia to read about their lives.

    9. Friends

    Conversations with friends – whether face-to-face, on the phone, on Skype or by chat – can boost your creativity.

    What are your friends worried about? What are their challenges? Your inside knowledge of what moves or agitates people can lead to your best posts.

    10. Quotes

    Great quotes help inspire you.

    Here are two examples of quotes that inspired me:

    Failure is an event, not a person. (Zig Ziglar)
    I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit.  (Hemingway)

    Yes, quotes can trigger ideas of what you want to write about.

    How to capture your ideas

    The key to boosting your creativity is to use a writing journal.

    Just a plain notebook will do. Or, you may want to set up a file on your phone or tablet.

    The trick is to carry it with you, wherever you go. Write down thoughts, quotes, pieces of good writing, snippets of dialogue, plot ideas, or new characters.

    But you need to record your ideas immediately. If you have an idea for a blog post or article, write down the core idea and add any bullet points that occur to you.

    Whenever you’re stuck for ideas, you can look through your writing journal and find instant inspiration to refuel your creativity.

    What refuels your creativity? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

     

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com. Grab her latest all new course Blogwriter's Bootcamp 2.0 or a copy of her free report, How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet in Less Than 5 Hours. In her “spare” time, Mary’s also the brains behind AlistBlogging.net. and GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Mahjabeen Khatoon says:

      Worth reading the post…..all creative source covered…….my creativity gets refueled when I see the nature, ponder and feel the beauty of how the creator has created this entire universe…….birds fluttering their wings in the sky, leaves on the trees moving as if they are interacting with each other, river flowing, flowers blossoming, lovely sky color, the moon shining, beautiful people around and the list goes on. This is the time when thoughts flow across my mind smoothly and if I attempt to pen them down it will be as if words are getting poured out of my brain. I do have problem with my chain of thoughts many times. Any tips on that ? I would appreciate.

    • Oh well… Loved your input Mary, had great inspirational thoughts going through my regular round-trips making it a new hit wonder. Thank you!!! But… I’m an artist finding it hard to believe that these posh society over-acted revolts following you are no more than a “see me PLEASE!; I’m a silver spoon up my ass, over privileged, I’m gonna tell my father all about it, I never had a friend that I couldn’t pay off” kinda’ cheesy loser that would find this post just another “possible to pay-off and go away” posts that daily occurs in their boring life, just a little embarrassing (said my father frequently) 😉

    • Wonderful post, Mary. Thank you! Getting as much input as you can, from as many sources as you can, is critical for this. Ray Bradbury called it “feeding the muse,” and I do my best to follow his advice. Another thing that helps me: making my writing practice routine. Consistency and discipline makes it easier and easier for me to tap into that creative zone than when I’m on a sporadic schedule. Thanks again, -Corey

      • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Corey.

        I agree, consistent writing cranks up our creativity!

    • Hope says:

      Very helpful post.
      I think it’s important to ‘recharge’ the writing batteries once in a while.
      For me, meditation fuels my creativity. With this method, I was inspired to write an award-winning short story, ”The Hairdresser”.
      I also utilize more than one of the above mentioned tips.
      Thanks again for sharing.

      • Yes, meditation is an amazing way to boosting creativity, Hope.

    • I think what fuels my blogging creativity most is tapping out whatever has been on my mind recently. If I’ve just seen a movie I really liked, I’ll spend some time musing about what, exactly, I liked about it. Or, I’ll record a snippet of overheard conversation and think about what the subtext of that conversation might be.

      I think all writers are constantly trying to find art and beauty in everyday life.

      • Thanks, Erika – it’s lovely the way you use your ordinary life to refuel your creativity.

    • Matt says:

      Sometimes you have to stop and live life, go for a drive, go to a museum or a gallery. I get inspiration on something as strange as a bike ride. Unfortunately its hard to take notes on those. But getting some movement sometimes help…even a walk. Just getting out at living life for a moment.

      • Well said, Matt! Yes, we have to live life. Otherwise we become prisoners to of our passion.

    • John Sullivan says:

      I love this post! It’s a source of inspiration in itself.

      I’m keen on Tai Chi and find that 10 minutes of Tai Chi refuels my creativity. Please keep on writing more posts – your posts are AWESOME!

      • That’s lovely , John. Tai Chi is a lovely martial art and a wonderful practice to carry around with you. So good that you can use it for creativity!

    • Tamara Goodorf says:

      I also get good ideas when exercising. For example, I love to run and somehow I can generate some good ideas when running.

      • That’s interesting, Tamara.

        I like mountain biking. But when I’m huffing and puffing up a hill, all I can do is focus on getting enough oxygen into my body.

        There seems to be no run for creative thoughts.

    • TraciB says:

      Great blog post! I’ve used several of these ideas to boost my creative energy and get the ideas flowing again. Images, overheard conversations, and talks with friends in particular have been useful to me.

      In fact, a conversation with a friend got me past my latest bit of writer’s block. I’d been stuck for a while on a novel I’m writing. Not long ago, in a Facebook chat with a friend and fellow novelist, I joked, “I may have to burn something down to get this story going again.” The next thing I knew, we were bouncing ideas off each other about how a house fire and the characters’ reactions to it could work in the story. Now I’m not stuck. 🙂

      P.S. – I copied our chat session and pasted it into a Word document on my laptop so I can refer back to it later if I get stuck again or forget where I’m going with the story.

      • Great example of how a conversation can fuel your creativity! I think an important point here is that saved the chat session for the future.

        We may have great ideas, but they can get lost in the business of everyday life.

    • Jan says:

      Thanks, Mary. Your article is an inspiration.

    • Thanks, Mark! Yes, I can imagine that looking at art could fuel creativity. I’m an ex-musician, so music is more my thing …

    • Mark Munter says:

      Fantastic post, Mary!

      I also get inspiration from looking at art.

    • Hey Mary…..

      Thank you for YET another highly informative post.

      Indeed, taking a break relaxes our brain cells and rejuvenates our creativity. I go through long periods of “NOTHING”, and it takes a lot of patience and persistence to get back on track. Generally, if the words just don’t show themselves, I walk away and try again later – usually with better results.

      I have also noticed that engaging in mundane chores spurs my imagination to grow wings and lead me to unexplored areas (the ONLY reason I put myself through a soporific task like folding clothes! 😛 )

      Thanks again #HUGSS

      Kitto

      • Hey Krithika, thanks for your lovely comment! Yes, sometimes mundane tasks help to get things moving again.

    • Sarah says:

      Just what I needed today … I had writer’s block AND artist’s block. It’s funny, I’ve been in that same position so many times (“Must write, don’t wanna!”), and each time it’s taking a break that gets me going again. You’d think I’d learn! Thanks for the reminder.

      • Yes, taking a break is good, instead of trying to battle on. The difficult part is when you need to stop your break and get going again …

    • Marcie says:

      You can also refuel your creativity with my book, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block. In addition to learning about the different types of blog posts you can create on your site, you will gain tips, tools and best practices on how to produce engaging and shareable content from over 50 different bloggers. Purchase your copy when you get a chance

      • Thanks, Marcie! You’ve obviously given writer’s block a lot of thought \.


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