99 Easy-Breezy Ways to Get Your Creativity On

I was inspired. Well… sort of. Don’t worry. I’ll explain that cryptic statement at the very end of this post. But first, let’s establish a few ground rules. Everything starts with ground rules. 

Six Basic Principles of Creativity

  • For every human on the planet, creativity is an instinctive state. This includes you. (Unless you’re actually an alien from another planet, in which case … I confess, I don’t know. You might be, as well.
  • Creativity isn’t something you Do — it’sThis is how you see life.
  • Creativity cannot be created, because it’s a form of energy. However, it is possible.It can be increased and triggered..
  • Creativity is not something that strikes you, like the old trope of “the whims of the muse.” Screw that bitch. Creativity is an asset Force This is always available to you. Always..
  • Three things can trigger creativity and increase its power: awareness (or mindfulness), ChangePlease see the following: curiosity.
  • Creativity does not care one flying fig about being “right” or “perfect.” EVER.

Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s dig into the good stuff.

I’ve got 99 fun, easy, and cheap (or free) ways you can boost your own creative powers. Some of these are creative approaches to solving problems. These are some habits that you can use to increase your creativity day in and day out. Others are fun, one-off activities that you can do for fun.

Ready? Deep breath — here we go!

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life.” – Sophia Loren

Maria’s Monster List of 99 Ways to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

  1. You don’t have to turn the TV off, contrary to most popular advice on the subject. You can simply watch it. And other ways — mindfully, openly, actively. Ask questions about plot and acting choices. Try to find a new plot twist, or to recognize a beautiful composition.
  2. Try a new route to get to an often-visited spot.
  3. Unplug. Take a few minutes every day to be completely without electronics.
  4. Pick one new piece of produce at the market — something you’ve never tried before. Take it home.
  5. Practice mindfulness in every aspect of your life.
  6. Do the dishes manually if your dishwasher is not in use. Or scrub a floor or a tub — but do it mindfully, focusing on the sensations.
  7. Before you start creative work, create a ritual.
  8. Go for a stroll through the neighborhood. Take a new route than you usually take. Attention.
  9. Bring a sketchpad, charcoal pencils and a pen to take with you when you go to a park. Even if you think you can’t draw, draw. You can sketch what you see. Don’t aim for accuracy. Don’t try to capture every view.
  10. You can make a habit of doing creative work and being creative. You should approach this ritually every day at roughly the same hour.
  11. You can improve your vocabulary by using a widget or site that displays word-a day.
  12. Listen to music that’s unfamiliar.
  13. With the sound off, watch an unfamiliar movie. Pay attention to colors, facial expressions, body language … can you guess what’s going on without hearing the dialogue?
  14. Get a cheap kid’s watercolor paint set and a few different sized brushes. You should paint regularly. Select something unfamiliar to you — a city, a type of flower or plant, a kind of topography — find an image of it on Freeimages.com or Google Images and then reproduce it. Believe it, creativity can be freed from constraints.
  15. Inculcate curiosity. Keep a notebook handy and write down any information you encounter about a person, book or topic. Then take some time regularly to consult the list and indulge your curiosity with a little purposeful web browsing (call it “research” if you want).
  16. Creativity depends on forming connections where connections didn’t exist before. Challenge yourself every day to make at least one connection between seemingly unrelated, random things. For example, an apple can be connected to the Eiffel tower. A stormtrooper, of course. Star Wars and a banana. (Can you tell I’m jonesing for some fruit right now?)
  17. You can try a new art. Draw, then write. If you write, dance. Dance to write songs.
  18. Kuler offers many color options. Create a name that is unique for your new scheme.
  19. Recite an unfamiliar poem out loud.
  20. Memorize a long complex poem.

  21. Try the alphabet game. Come up with a different type of the same thing from A to Z — animals, colors, cities, occupations, books, names …
  22. Choose your favourite medium, and then pick your most creative work in that medium. You can reverse engineer this. It is important to analyze it carefully. Understand as much as humanly possible about the work and its genesis, why it works, why it speaks to you, how it was made, the artist … then try another, and another. You should keep a detailed record in another composition or journal.
  23. You can take a poem from a past era and make another one with the recipe.
  24. Timed writing prompts will challenge you.
  25. Please read Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp.
  26. Visit one of the painted pottery shops and make a coffee or tea mug.
  27. Shop for essential oils in a place that allows you to experiment with them. You can create your personal fragrance.
  28. Learn a new recipe — something more complicated than your usual repertoire.
  29. Make sure you clean your home. You should make sure you are making your bed every night. It is important to do it every day. The blank canvas is a good place to start your creativity.
  30. A large, white board is a must. You can also use dry erase markers in a variety of colors. Jazz up a list of pending projects and deadlines with the pens — draw flowers, shooting stars, rainbows, whatever floats your boat.
  31. Doodling is a great way to get into the habit of drawing.
  32. Every morning, write down all your dreams in detail. The Shit is our subconscious mind when it comes putting together strange images in unexpected ways.
  33. In your own home, throw a dance party.
  34. Play with collages — not necessarily as a vision board exercise, just to Play with images, colors, themes, composition … mainly just to play.
  35. Next time you wake up at 3 AM, do something different: assume it’s a creative wake-up call from On High and get your ass out of bed. Engage in an artistic endeavor of your choosing. For some reason writing is more attuned than others to this activity, but it could also be you.
  36. The TV should be turned off. Sit and listen — It is really listen — see how many sounds in your environment you can identify.
  37. See a film by yourself. You will feel like a child.
  38. Locate out what type of entertainment is offered in your locality. At least one live entertainment event is recommended.
  39. Go browse in a store you’ve never been in — preferably one that sells antiques or anything on consignment. Write a story (or write it) about the history of one object that appeals to you.
  40. Do the exact same thing but predict where it will end up Next. What it’ll end up.
  41. Visit an art gallery or museum. Something about seeing art live and in-person triggers creativity in a way that seeing reproductions just doesn’t.
  42. Please read Wild mind by Natalie Goldberg.
  43. Baroque music. There’s some evidence to suggest this style in particular has a beneficial effect on brain waves that impacts creativity in a positive way.
  44. When you’re stuck on a particular project, take a mind-map approach. My preference is for hand-drawn, however, apps may make it easier to manage.
  45. The rules are important. Next, break the rules. Like Picasso. You can emulate a master of your subject and then return to the topic from a different perspective. Like Picasso.
  46. Please read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

  47. Interview a kid. Ask the child to explain the problem in terms that they are familiar with. They It would be solved.
  48. Change your environment up. You can work in a new location. You can choose to go to the coffee shop over the couch. Park, not coffee shop.
  49. Arrange furniture.
  50. Think of a problem that you’re facing. Now, hold it in your mind and turn on the television or radio. You will hear a message. (Yes, you’re kind of pretending here, but you will be AH-mazed at how often you actually come up with helpful approaches you hadn’t considered before.)
  51. Make a inventory of what colors are in your wardrobe. Then go buy an inexpensive piece of clothing — a scarf, t-shirt, socks, whatever — in a color you don’t See the complete list. You can wear it. It’s important to feel comfortable in it.
  52. Start the day by picking a different color each morning. Then, throughout the day, count how many and what contexts that particular color appears.
  53. Your schedule should be adjusted to your needs. Get ready for the evening. Have breakfast for dinner.
  54. Daydreaming is a time to relax every day.
  55. Take a stroll and set an intention to solve a problem. If you are unsure, ask your subconscious brain or God for help. Take it out of you brain, and go for a walk.
  56. Interview future (successful). It all needs a headline that is punchy. Put a great photo of yourself in it — Photoshop it if you want, but it must “feel” like you. You can print the photo and place it somewhere you see. Future You will be inspired by that creative spirit that brought him/her to where they are today.
  57. You can challenge yourself with each new idea, and find a way you can launch it right away. You Don’t have to actually do it — just see if you can figure out how you Could do it. Y’know. You could.
  58. When you’re problem-solving, REALLY brainstorm. No editing. You are free to sketch as many crazy, totally unpractical ideas and thoughts as you like.
  59. Create an email-free space — also no phones or appointments — every week at the same time. Make an appointment for yourself to brainstorm high-level ideas and strategies for your company.
  60. Whatever huge dream project you’ve got going on — an ebook, a play or novel in progress, you really want to get back into acting, Anything — make sure you spend at least fifteen minutes on it every day. You must commit to doing this. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS.
  61. Stop gossip-reading and news-watching. If something’s big enough, you’ll hear about it. If not, it’s just taking up your mental bandwidth unnecessarily.
  62. Try to think of five different ways you can improve one thing every week. Even if it’s just the vacuum cleaner or the schedule at your kid’s school.
  63. You can also find out more about our products. Do Read news and find the strange stories. Create a storyline to make a movie or novel. Turn it into a tragedy. Make it a comedy. Next, make it a mystery.
  64. Go to a large bookstore and buy a magazine you’ve never read before. You must read it. Each word.
  65. They watch for a reason. Create character sketches around people you see.
  66. You should choose a controversial issue that you strongly believe in. You should thoroughly research the opposition position. Try to look at the opposing viewpoint. If nothing else, you’ll be in a better position to destroy ’em next time it comes up at the neighborhood bar.
  67. Buy fresh flowers “a la carte” and put them together yourself.
  68. You can play the intuitive game. Ask yourself one question. Now, open your eyes. Pick three of the items you see. These items will provide the answers to your question. For this to be effective, you may need to let an associate go for a while.
  69. Read up on your hometown’s history.
  70. Take a look at the alternate history games. How would it have turned out if Lincoln hadn’t died? If Hitler hadn’t killed himself? If you’d said “yes” to that geek who asked you to the junior prom?
  71. You can take a child to the park with you and let her play. Swing ’til you’re dizzy.
  72. Design the ideal day — for your eight-year-old self. Do it.

  73. Consider all those people you have encountered who attempted to rain on the creative parade of yours throughout your entire life. You can respond to each one. Your heart, soul and all that you have to say about it. Tell ’em what you really think of them and their uninformed opinions. Then burn it. It is now your turn.
  74. Challenge your assumptions when you’re stuck. Keep asking “Is it really true that _____?”
  75. Research a specific place you’ve always wanted to visit. Find out about its history and culture. You can incorporate this place in your daily life. Prepare the food. Listen to the music. Learn the language.
  76. You can find the online script for your favourite movie. It is important to refer back to the original script when you are watching it. Pay attention to what the writer intended and what choices were made by the director, the actors, the composer… figure out how it became the movie you know.
  77. Ask questions.
  78. You should brainstorm potential answers before you start researching the questions. Begin by brainstorming possible answers.
  79. Don’t be afraid to fail at your first creative endeavor. Loud. Written. Say, “I have permission to write a shitty first draft,” as Anne LamottIt is important to do so.
  80. Make sure you have a glass of water and tea before you begin to create. Don’t let yourself get up to the go to the bathroom until you’ve worked for a certain amount of time.
  81. Read Proust’s Searching for Lost Time.
  82. Take a trip to the cloud. Take as many pictures as you like.
  83. You only need one place where you can capture all your creative thoughts. It can be carried everywhere. Write everything that occurs to you down — don’t keep anything in your head.
  84. Set of fridge poetry magnets. Do a poem a day.
  85. For creative work, you might try creating a new fragrance association. When you begin working, light candles that have one pleasing scent. Keep that fragrance for your creative projects. (Then you’ll start to associate being creative with that scent. You will feel inspired and ready to go.
  86. You can create a Creative Swipe File. Whatever inspires you, moves you, angers you … copy it. This is where Evernote comes in handy.
  87. Have approved distractions — i.e., mini-projects you can work on when you start feeling a little burned out on your big project.
  88. Try stopping mid-stroke or mid-sentence when you’re ready to shut down for the day. This will give you an opportunity to begin again.
  89. Be brave.
  90. Play “what if.” Play it a LOT.
  91. You can redefine difficult problems by explaining them to people outside your field.
  92. Use your other hand to write or draw.
  93. Do a “Q&A” with yourself in writing, using two different colors of ink. Then write down the question, and then take out the second pen to answer the question. Try to write in free association, stream-of-consciousness style.
  94. You can play Words With Friends and Mafia Wars. Or any other competitive game. You can set a time limit. Indulge your inner winner.
  95. You can have a good conversation with your pet fish or cat. Really. It’s possible to imagine the end. You can even write it down.
  96. If you’re being flooded with negative self talk, write it all down. Allow yourself to feel as low as possible about yourself and your capabilities. Allow yourself to be afraid. If so,, declare “enough” and burn that sucker. Let ’em go.
  97. You must make a strong commitment to finishing.
  98. You can always do over again if you need.
  99. Aim for an unattainable and random goal. Something like “come up with 99 ways to be more creative and make the list into a blog post…”

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