Finding Inspiration for Your Creativity
When the fire sizzles out.
It’s a normal day for a writer to lose their writing ‘mojo,’ the fine art of creativity. Sometimes, you find yourself at a complete loss for words, and at others, you can write for hours feeling the writer’s surge like a quick shot of whiskey running through your veins.
I’ve always said that inspiration comes and goes, it’s a normal part of the creative process, whether one is writing, painting, producing music, doing what they love to do. Eventually, this surge to create bumps against a brick wall and we are at a loss for words, let alone creativity; mind, body, heart, and spirit.
If we look at humanity, every great creative has come across creative blocks. Those who are starting their writing or other creative processes find this to be confusing, or, when starting they simply cannot find a way to find the right words or inspiration to begin their creative process. This is perfectly normal and to be expected.
The Positive Aspects
In the meantime, if expected, the process is one that a new creative can expect and it will less frustrating when it happens (not if it happens). However, these blocks may in fact be serving a ‘restructuring’ process, letting new ideas percolate as experience fluctuates within a human being, and new words and images begin processing in the human brain. In the words of Alexi Murdoch, British musician, and songwriter:
The truth is that nothing would be possible creatively without experience. It’s experience and life events, knowledge, even daily occurrences that provide the fuel for the brain to light up the creative process. If we see breaks in creativity as a process of the human, we can accept the fact that breaks and indecisions are a normal part of the creative process.
Nurturing the Process
It’s important to nurture the creative process as children~ this feeds children’s brains and activates creative sections of the mind that are an important part of the creative process throughout one’s life.
“Just as experiences and activities inspire your creativity, experiences and activities nurture creativity in young children. In Lesson One, you learned that creativity can be nurtured and cultivated; it is not something that simply exists in some individuals and not in others. As a school-age staff member, you are responsible for creating meaningful experiences that incorporate and nurture creativity. Creative experiences provide opportunities for children to express and demonstrate their knowledge in interesting and meaningful ways (Gandini, 1992). Fostering children’s creativity builds a foundation for healthy development and love for learning”(www.virtuallabschool.com).
It’s very important, especially for new writers and creatives to find inspiration and examples from others. It is very much like drawing from those who have the experience, learning (always learning) from their process, while creating your own process. Reading other works, looking and attempting to create your style of creativity begins in a space of confusion; thereby it is most important to have realistic expectations and to be willing to learn from others.
Also, your style will change as an artist throughout your process, so be expectant of that as well, as much in life, the creative process experiences evolutionary periods, and it is within these periods that we are granted the opportunity to grow and move within our creative process.
As we move into adulthood, it is perfectly normal to not engage in the creative process, even for years. This personally happened to me with writing. Then, something sparks your interest again and you may never know why or when it occurred. One thing I have found essential is to carry a notebook with me wherever I go, as you never know when inspiration hits. “ Creativity can happen anywhere: quiet moments by yourself, surrounded by a group of enthusiastic people, on a walk, in a car, etc.” (www.virtuallabschool.com) It is an interesting process, this creativity, but it’s one which we can understand.
The Brain on Creativity
The creative process requires several parts of the brain to be active. According to Psychology Today, there are three major processes that go into the mix:
“I like to call them the “Big Three” brain networks — the default mode network, the executive control network, and the salience network. Prior research suggests that they work together when it comes to being creative. The default mode network is what’s happening in the brain in a resting (but not sleeping) state, the brain’s “idle state.” The executive control network monitors what is going on, manages emotional parts of the brain, directs resources like attention, and oversees decisions and choices. The salience network determines which sorts of things tend to be noticed, and which tend to fly under the radar. In PTSD, for example, the salience network is scanning for threats.”
We often hear that it is the right portion of the brain that is largely associated with being creative. Although creativity occupies the whole brain, it is a fact that the right side of the brain is responsible for many of the processes involved in producing art; in it’s the broadest definition.
Therefore, it’s important to nurture creativity as children, something that one can build upon as one ages, and eventually, one will find the medium they connect to. Learning is essential in fostering creativity, as the brain is pumped with the experience of new experiences, it is like working out; the muscles will grow and maintain their composure if they continue to be worked, the brain does the same, that is if creativity is nurtured early then it is more likely that it will continue, however, it can also be nurtured as an adult, one simply has to open their minds and eyes to the process of creation, learn from others, observe, read, write, try painting or writing. The more that we do, the more that the creativity cycle has a chance of ‘sinking in.’ And, it’s important to know that it is never too late to start a new craft.
Part of the problem is that in our modern society, creativity has taken a back seat in adulthood, being viewed as an occurrence when one has nothing to do, as well, it is seen as a childish act, discouraging many adults to color, sketch, draw, play music, and more.
Change is Good
Changing up the media for creativity is essential. This is because when things fall silent in one area, such as writing, one can turn to paint or other hobbies. Perhaps one has already found a way to earn income for their creativity, however, it’s important to establish oneself in a craft and acquire passion it, because when the money doesn’t come in, one can fall back on their passions to help with transitions points in life.
According to Alicia Williams, “Unlike learned skills, the creativity in your mind is uniquely yours.” Creativity is important in the development of identity and the brain. Additionally, there are a number of reasons why the right-brained ‘creativity’ is essential to the left or logical side according to Alicia Wonders in “7 Reasons Why Creativity is Important to Decision Making.”
This includes areas where both creativity and logic complement each other, including,
- Selecting the right employee(s) for the right project
- Fostering effective partnerships and collaborations
- Motivating stagnant teams
- Considering solutions for anticipated roadblocks
According to this article, there are seven ways for why creativity is important in decision making, including creativity renews innovation, promotes clarity, strengthens critical thinking, helps in seeing the big picture, cranks up productivity, promotes happiness, and last, creativity promotes logical reasoning.
Ownership of Creativity
There are numerous ways that creativity can be sustained, including practices such as meditation. This is because it fosters an environment of clarity and peace; fertile ground for innovation and creativity.
According to an article by Betsy Roe (Why is creativity important in everyday life?), why is creativity important in everyday life? It is because it makes life infinitely interesting and fulfilling. Creativity is a way of living life that embraces originality and makes unique connections between seemingly disparate ideas. Creativity is about living life as a journey into seeing and communicating the extra-ordinariness of the simplest, most every day acts.”
Fulfilling Your World
Creativity is essential for the normal development, not only neurologically, but also personality, personal preferences, work, and overall, it makes life that much more interesting, qualities that one can bring into whatever situations they are in, even rational thinking. It is important, no matter the stage of life that a person is, to enrich one’s life, critical thinking, ability to transform one’s world; which is the beginning of innovation. Simply put, creativity must be nurtured, even if one is experiencing creative setbacks, because not only does it arranges new neural networks in the brain that create one’s personality, but also because creativity truly is the spice of life!
This article was originally published by Anna Rozwadowska on medium.