5 Ways to Inspire Creativity

It’s easy to lose your creative flow, especially when you work in an industry that requires you to have dozens of ideas per day. Here are a few tricks I like to use to keep myself from working on terrible ideas.

#1 – Write something bad – Get it out of your system. I’ve found that the best way to keep from hitting a rut is to just start working on something. Sometimes, something wonderful happens. I can’t tell you how many times I start working on a truly terrible idea just to get the ball rolling, only to find that the awful idea actually has a seed of brilliance. Don’t let an idea die just because it seems stupid. Lots of times, it will be stupid. But, it can often be the inspiration for another great idea. Let each idea have its turn. Sometimes an idea just needs some room to run.

#2 – Have a chat – Be a human being for a few minutes. Find some people and talk with them. It can be about what you’re working on, or it can be completely separate. It just allows your mind to escape its block. Chatting with someone about something you like will get you back on track. A few weeks ago I was stuck on an ad that wasn’t very interesting. I started joking around with a friend of mine. We thought it would be funny if we broke down into a guitar solo in the middle of the ad. Better yet, make it a vocal guitar solo. It was meant in jest, but it actually turned into an ad that exploded out of the radio. It caught people’s attention and worked really well for the client.

#3 – Exercise – My best ideas always happen when I’m jogging or at the gym. It’s good for you, and great for the creative process. It really is a free hour to just think. Soon you’ll find something great and it will consume your thoughts for the rest of your workout. You’ll come up with adrenalin charged super ideas. Write them down when you get back though, or they may be gone forever.

#4 – Resurrection – Look over your past dead ideas. You may find new life. Start keeping a log of everything you’ve come up with previously. It’s fun to revisit old thoughts. You may find a few pearls of unrecognized wisdom.

#5 – Share Your Work – If you have ideas you don’t want to resurrect, share them. Make sure you have a network of friends with similar talents. They’ll also have ideas they’ve given up on. So, share them with each other. It’ll give you a chance to help polish each other’s work, or steal it. You may have something that would work great for them and vice versa.

If these don’t work for you, it may be time to have a drink, a sleep, or give me a call.