3 Powerful Ways To Reignite And Unleash Your Creativity

For some people, Creativity seems to be a daily given. For others, Creativity may not come so easily. People can experience what we call a “creative’s block”, a period in time in which you feel blocked, uninspired, or unmotivated to create. Like Nature itself though, Creativity has its own cycle.

To reduce these experiences where we feel “out of our creative zone”, it is important to discover, learn about, and connect with our natural creative rhythm. This makes it easier to access ideas and nurture those sparks of inspiration that fuel our work as creatives. Such a state has been referred to as “flow” and it allows us not only to be more creative but also more productive.

It is worth noting that creativity is a combination of multiple processes, some more conscious than others. That is why looking after your wellbeing as a creative is essential. By making sure you are well-rested, emotionally stable and mentally sharp, you can expand and make a better use of your creativity.

The Cycle of Creativity

There are different approaches and theories when it comes to creativity and the creative process itself. However, we often refer back to the work of Graham Wallas who described a four-stage cycle of creativity in 1926. This cycle integrates the following steps:

  • preparation
  • incubation
  • illumination
  • verification

The preparation stage is about gathering the resources and information we need to start working on a creative piece or task. Incubation refers to the period of time in which we give our minds time to subconsciously process the input we have been looking into.

The illumination stage is often said to be that “aha!” moment in which a new solution or strategy surfaces in our conscious mind. Last but not least, the verification stage is when we evaluate what we produced, whether that’s an idea or something more tangible.

The Creative Cycle has four stages: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification

The Right vs Left Brain Myth

The Right vs Left Brain approach to creativity is a myth. Creativity involves multiple brain regions and mental processes.

Creativity is a complex phenomenon and it involves several different areas of the brain. As a result, saying that one side of the brain is more creative than the other can induce in errors and even damage how we see and embrace creativity. There is more to creativity than creative thinking alone.

To be successful, a creative person needs to use both creative and analytical thinking. In fact, to be creative we often need to question what is and wonder what it could be. We also need to combine and sometimes rearrange information in a completely different way. That is how new associations and new ideas emerge. Critical thinking is key for all these tasks.

Brain scans have shown that different brain areas are activated during a creative task, supporting that creativity is a complex and multifaceted process. Creative thinking itself has been associated with multiple brain regions, different neural networks, and mental processes. To limit creativity to the right side of the brain is rather reductive and a harmful simplification of creativity.

How to Reignite and Unleash Your Creativity

By now, you learned that creativity involves different mental processes and brain regions. You have also become familiar with the idea that creativity has a cyclical nature and you need to find your own creative flow. This means you need to approach creativity from a holistic point of view and understand that there are different factors and conditions that can either have a positive or negative impact on it.

When you find your creative potential blocked though, what can you do to reverse that? Here are three solutions to help you reignite and unleash your creativity.

Revamp Your Routine

Small changes to your routine can spark new ideas and perspectives. Go for a walk, get some fresh air or simply engage with something playful.

Creatives need a routine too. However, routines can become outdated and rigid at some point. The idea here is not to get rid of routine but to transform and redesign it.

To revamp your routine you can either make small or big changes. I find that small changes can go a long way. The simple act of stepping away from my desk and writing from a nice sunny place instead can do wonders. Other times, I go for a walk or do something different.

By taking a break from our usual routine we give our mind space to breathe and let ideas flow naturally. Trying too hard to be creative often works against us, so trust that taking a break is often more productive than we think it is.

Bounce Ideas Off Someone

We can get stuck in our own mental processes and viewpoints. That can hinder our creative flow. It is as if we hit a wall and we can’t pass behind it. To overcome this “spell”, you can meet someone you can talk to and go over your creative process.

When we reach out to others, we can gain new perspectives and even brand new ideas. This is how many collaborative pieces come up in science and in the arts.

Sometimes we get stuck in our own head and ideas. When talking to others about your creative process, you can discover different point of views and generate new and better ideas

Make Peace With Imperfection

Make peace with imperfection to get out of a creative block. Give yourself the chance to fail and learn from mistakes.

To make peace with imperfection is to accept the chance there will be failures and mistakes. That is all part of the creative process. What may seem difficult or painful can actually be a stepping stone and a necessary challenge. A lot of inspiring breakthroughs may follow these moments of repeated experimentation and failure. Take Thomas Edison as an example of that.

Cultivate being open to experimentation and take up its highs and lows. A part of the creative process is about taking and facing risks. It requires you to step out of your comfort zone and brave into the wilderness as Brené Brown says.

Combine that attitude with positive regard toward yourself. Learn to be compassionate and empathetic when you fail, and resilient to come back up to the game.

Final Thoughts

I hope these tips will help you bounce back whenever you hit a creative block. Don’t feel ashamed or guilty for having one. It is part of the creative process. Between preparation and illumination, there is often a moment in which we need to step aside and let our subconscious do its work by itself. That is our cue to go out for a walk and take some fresh air.

It is also important that you look after your wellbeing as a creative. Our creative flow is dependent on many mental processes. To make sure our mind is working properly, we need to invest in self-care and pay attention to different aspects of our routine and habits.

With this being said, please remember: before jumping onto the Train of Creative Desperation, always make a good audit first. Are you sleeping enough? Are you adding play to your day? Are you eating well and connecting with others in a positive, inspiring way?

Download my 60+ Ideas to Boost Wellbeing checklist to make sure you are looking after as many wellbeing factors as possible.

Free Wellbeing Clickable checklist with 60+ ideas

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Published by The Wellbeing Blogger

Wellbeing Designer, here to help you make Art with your Life

2 thoughts on “3 Powerful Ways To Reignite And Unleash Your Creativity

  1. Nice post! I’m also experimenting with cutting out too much external stimulation, particularly from the internet, to see if that’d help rejig my creative brain. Thanks for writing this!


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