If it’s been too long since you heard from your muse, it’s time to shake things up.
It happens eventually to everybody in the music business. Whether you’re a professional musician, instrument distributor, or music store retailer, there will come a time when it seems like forever since you last had a creative thought.
Usually, the dry spells come and go. Sometimes, though, it seems like it might be time to start learning how to code.
To get ahead of that level of desperation, here are a few ways to pull out of your creative nosedive before the dullness and boredom overwhelm you.
Get back to Nature
Nature is constantly re-creating itself. No day is identical to any other day. The seasons proceed in an orderly fashion, but this spring is different from last spring and next year will be different too. So, when you are done reading, go outside. Breathe. Feel. Smell. Touch. Listen. There is an entire creative symphony going on right outside your door.
Connecting with nature for just a few minutes every day could help your creativity blossom!
Action leads to motivation. A lot of people get that backwards. But if you’re sitting around waiting for something to happen, flip the script.
Creativity involves the mind and body. Exercise improves circulation and gets more oxygen to your brain. It’s not uncommon to feel creatively energized after a run or yoga session. A regular exercise routine can also help sustain your creative energies.
Be advised, however: If you’re still milking the Covid-19 exercise regimen—eye-guzzling Netflix and pounding down gluten-free snacky cakes—check with a doctor before you get too bold. Baby steps.
Pretty soon, a walk around the park might turn into a bike ride, a real hike involving a hill or two, or maybe even the neighborhood record for the most consecutive pogo-stick bounces. The idea is simple: get your muscles moving, your blood pumping, and your creative juices flowing.
A line from the movie The Gods Must be Crazy sums it up neatly: A woman asks the woman sitting next to her in the cafeteria, “Is the noise in my head bothering you?”
With all the relentlessly competing thoughts, decisions, to-do lists, schedules, and other pay-attention-to-me voices rattling around in our brains, it’s no wonder any creative thought ever avoids being strangled in the crib.
Try just letting it all go. Emptying your mind opens all kinds of doors to creativity. Did you ever forget the name of a song that was right on the tip of your tongue? And how, as soon as you stopped trying to remember it, boom! It came right to you.
Meditation is like that. Stop thinking. Space out. Don’t try to be creative. If a thought pops up—they always do—recognize it and let it go. That’s important because if you’re struggling with your creativity, the last thing you want to do is meditate on the problem.
Clearing your mind is proven to help reduce stress and anxiety, enrich self-awareness, promote emotional health, and lengthen attention spans, all of which makes it sound like an ideal solution to a creativity block.
Don’t know where to begin regarding meditation? To get started, simply sit comfortably in a quiet space, back straight with legs crossed or feet flat if you’re more comfortable sitting in a chair, close your eyes, and focus on your breath—in and out, in and out. Simply focus on your breath the whole time. Breath naturally. Don’t try to control your breath though you’ll probably find that your breathing slows down as you become more relaxed.
Start with five minutes and gradually add more time as is comfortable and pleasurable. If thoughts come in, simply watch them, as if you’re watching a movie gently moving across your field of vision. Don’t engage your thoughts with feelings or judgments. They’re just thoughts. Thinking about throwing your mother-in-law over Niagara Falls is a world apart from actually doing it …
There are a ton of videos, books, apps, and other resources regarding meditation. Most important is to do it regularly and consistently. Try to meditate at the same time on the days when you meditate. It probably won’t take long to notice the correlation between meditation and increased creative energy.
Get a piece of paper, a couple of crayons, and have at it. Don’t overthink it—in fact, try not to think about it at all—just see what comes. Creativity is not limited to one form of expression, and falling into an uninspired rut happens. When it does, other creative outlets can shake up the norm and fuel our overall creative capacities.
Visit a museum. Take a pottery class. If you’re a musician or singer, try switching genres. Try turning a rap song into an aria. If you’re the lead guitar in a heavy metal band, try playing a real headbanger using a classical style. Have fun. Play. Uhm. Be creative?
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and write a lot.” So says Stephen King.
Reading—books are most helpful—expands cultural horizons and introduces new ideas, concepts, and approaches. Books defy the constraints of the physical universe: they transport readers to different worlds and take them back and forward in time. Who knows, maybe you’ll find in the written word an idea that suddenly organizes all the random little thoughts you’ve been thinking into a creative explosion.
Don’t settle for anything less than your creative self! And don’t be worried if you run into creative walls from time to time. Your muses are simply waiting for you to wake up your creativity!