In our last blog, we saw how anyone can access their creativity by manipulating their Muses, the conditions under which they feel most creative. Here are 6 more Muses to master, to improve your prospects of being as creative and innovative as possible.
Where we are can be a Muse. Where do you find that you are most creative? Is it with your tomato timer in your kitchen or is it while you are sitting on a train with your notebook? Or in a café where there are other people around but they are not directly disturbing you? Or is it while you are off having a walk? Or a shower?
Food, drink and drugs
Many get their creative juices flowing with coffee - or caffeine in other forms – chocolate or fruit. Water and nuts supply good nutrition to the brain.
Fresh air and Exercise
Fresh air and exercise are often stimulating.
The Romantic Poets (Wordsworth, Keates, Shelley and co [sp?]) were inspired by beauty and nature. And on occasion by opium.
The Pomodoro Technique includes strong elements of ritual, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t design and embed a personal ritual that serves your creativity. It may involve particular objects, such as a favourite pen or good quality paper – the right materials.
If we reject the myth of artist as lonesome individual, we can explore Muses of collaboration. It might suit you to have certain other people around to create with. Others legitimately find it easier to be creative alone, or with a book, or with the internet.
When a writer confronts a blank page, it can inhibit creativity. In that case, finding a page that needs editing is a more sensible way to get going. I often write from my own notes, and going to conferences stimulates me to take plenty of notes.
Getting something started, however small the first steps may be, is a powerful antidote to feeling stuck.
As an ex-journalist I retain the habit of carrying a notebook with me so if a muse does strike, even in the middle of the night, it is easy to take the next step of writing something down. Mundane details such as a good screen, comfortable keyboard, chairs at the right height, can all enhance or inhibit your creativity.
If you’re being asked to be creative in an office, say, that is not set up for your muses, then you will struggle and it is up to you to change it. When I worked as a reporter in a newsroom, we were expected to write great stories at a shared desk with phones going off all around, anyone entitled to interrupt you. Wise news editors allowed some of the journalists to work from home or retreat to a quiet room with no interruptions – it didn’t matter to them, as long as the job was completed to a good standard and met the deadlines.
It is unlikely for you to share identical sets of Muses with your colleagues. It’s worth finding out which Muses you expect to work most effectively for you and experiment with them to see how your creativity flourishes.
(Easy Does It. Pick one of these to test it out. The simplest, the easiest to arrange, the one that you find most appealing.)
Improvisation for Creativity