- Read the newspaper, blogs and magazines. An article you read may very well be the prompt you need to get you started on a topic. This one was prompted by a tweet from Christian Johannsen: The Joys and Health Benefits of Pet Ownership.
- Spend some time reading the works of someone whose style you admire. In addition to published authors, check out the tweets and blogs of the people you know. Here are three people whose works inspire me: Kathrin Hardie, Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter and Beth Havey.
- Listen to CBC radio. My April newsletter was inspired by CBC's DNTO (Definitely Not the Opera).
- Find some artistic challenges on blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Several years ago, Kayt Hoch offered up a daily poetry prompt. Although I didn't "play" daily, it helped spark a new direction for my writing. Here's one that @Accrete recently shared with me: Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt.
- Location. Location. Location. Move away from your usual environment. Different sights, sounds and scents will send you down new creative pathways. Many a blog post has been written in various coffee shops in the Lower Mainland.
- Go and do something totally unrelated to the project which you're struggling to start or complete. Even for five minutes. Play. Wash the dishes. Dance.
- Let Mother Nature wrap you up in her arms. Do some Forest Bathing. Leave technology behind. I know you can do it.
- Listen carefully whenever anyone pays you a compliment about your creative abilities. Suspend judgement. Quiet the inner critic. Don't question why someone is praising you. Just believe it.
- Travel. The same principles apply as in Tip #5, whether it be to a land far away or within your city. A week in Hawaii resulted in several posts: Hawaii 5 Ohhh! - Part 2.
- If you're writing, speak it aloud as you write. I'm doing that now. It helps to hear how the words sound outside of your head.
- Change your medium. Pick up a pen and fire up those nerves and your creative genius. Here is an interesting article about this topic: Sign your name across your brain.
- Undress your stress. Don't let the flame of inspiration fizzle out faster than that last match on a camping trip. If you are constantly focused on the things that stress you, you may not be aware of myriad of sources of inspiration that permeate your world. Tips #1 to #11 may not count for as much when the IBSC (a client once told me that when she is stressed, she knows that the Itty Bitty Sh**** Committee is working full out) is working overtime. You're too tired, too angry, too frustrated, too depressed, too everything to be creatively productive. The common denominator will all these tips and stress undressing is how you feel. When you feel better, creativity soars.
Here are Ten Suggestions for Undressing Your Stress. Remember that unless you implement them, they're not going to do you much good. Auntie Stress is here to help. Please email me for further information.