Chantelle Grady, creator of SourcedCities.com, discusses how trips away from home, whether to the next town or to another continent, can prime the creative pump. I particularly like how she mentions a creativity-boosting benefit of travel that few other writers ponder – increased self-confidence:
Besides this there’s another positive of travelling: it can improve your confidence.
For me this is a big one, since I’m a very shy person and being in a creative field requires a bit of boldness from time to time. And when I return home after an overseas journey I feel as though I can conquer anything.
Travelling isn’t always smooth sailing and can challenge you in many ways. You’re forced to communicate with others, not always in your mother tongue, and navigate your way around a foreign land. While stressful at the time, when you return home the feeling of accomplishment is elating.
Energy healer and artist Jaime Lyerly offers 10 solid reasons why regular spiritual practice (praying, meditation, drumming, or whatever calls to you) facilitates the creative journey. I love the way she explains how spiritual practice can help increase your self-trust:
By connecting with a spiritual path, you begin to trust the messages given to you in daily life. Messages can be more than just a fortune cookie phrase. They can be seen in the animals that cross your path, or the repetition of a number, or many other signs that resonate for you.
When you trust your own intuition, that trust flows into trusting the colors in a painting or any other creative endeavor that you can imagine.
Decisions made from your own gut about life and art are the most powerful. If you trust yourself, you can do these things no matter if the people around you think you have lost your marbles.
Steve Berardi makes the case for preparing for rare events – in his case, preparing to photograph lightning in Southern California – so that when they DO happen, you can create something special. It’s a nice post that is a refreshing antidote to blogs that encourage a singular focus or specialization to the exclusion of everything else!!!
This post is number 8 in a list of “creative slip-ups” by Andy Eklund. This post tackles effective ways to deal with negative self-talk during brainstorming sessions. Since internal censorship is a major factor in squelching innovative ideas (especially if peer rejection is a realistic possibility), dealing with this slip-up is especially important.
Here’s Andy exhorting readers to resist the compulsion to “hatch and grade” ideas.
When a farmer collects eggs hatched by his chickens, he doesn’t instantly grade each egg. He has to gather the eggs together to be able to grade them consistently.
The same is true with brainstorming. Don’t hatch an idea and instantly grade it. It slows you down, mentally jumping back and forth between divergent and convergent thinking. (It’s like editing your words as you write them. It’s inefficient.) At the same time, your corrosive voice will begin to dissolve every idea, to the point that you’ll prematurely destroy every idea before you can objectively judge the good ideas from the lesser ones. In the end, you’re killing all of the ideas.