Ever felt stuck in a loop where you look at the blank paper and feel the paper looking back at you? Like it’s judging you for not coming up with something new. I sure have. Multiple times. Actually, too many times, so let’s make a stop to that.
To get your Imagination back there are some things you’ll want to do, one of the easier things is to simply try new things, and practice a few exercises which will boost your creativity up to eleven, so let’s do this!
Try New Things Constantly
It’s said that: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. This is a quote by Albert Einstein. If you feel stuck in a loop, where you just can’t get any creativity and imagination flowing, try making new things. Set a day of the week where you just try new hobbies, new tools, new software, new art styles, anything!
This day is made for experimenting. Just relax, spin a wheel if you must, and choose something new to make that day. So don’t expect things to change if you keep doing the same thing over and over, stay away from insanity. But by reading this Article, you’re already taking the first step. Out with the old, in with the new. (At least for a day)
Describe Things Around You
A lot of good books, video games, and art have that extra depth just due to their details and descriptions everywhere. This makes something ordinary become extraordinary. A lot of GM’s in DnD (Game Masters, which are the Narrators/Adventure Crafters in the Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing Games) give that extra depth to the world by focusing on a few things: Sight, Sound, Taste, and Smell. Give it a try.
Look at something around you like a book and think of ways that you can describe it. Don’t just say “Well, it’s a book with pages.”, think more along the lines: “This is a big Book, made with paper from old trees, it has that characteristic smell that new books usually have. When I go through the book pages quickly, it sounds like a window shutter quickly closing up the blinds. I bet it tastes like overdone toast.”
Doing this exercise will help you stretch your imagination, forcing you out of your comfort zone.
Talking about Books…
Read more. It doesn’t matter if it’s short stories, long books of 1,000 pages or just comic strips. (I really like Comic Strips, Calvin and Hobbes is amazing).
The act of reading and having to think of what’s being read, makes your mind force itself to spew out pictures in your head. Especially if it’s something like a fantasy novel where the characters race, which you never heard about before, is meticulously being described one little characteristic at a time.
Everyone knows what a hand is, but what about a Berellian? Let your mind wander, let it be free.
P.S.: A Berellian is a Star Trek Race. Really!
Develop Your Current Skills
One great and satisfying way to improve your Imagination is to go further in your current skills. Most skills that you can learn are very hard to master, even if you’re a Programmer you know that there are so many languages and even just completely mastering one single language seems like an impossible feat at the beginning.
By focusing on your current skills and see what else is there related to them, you’ll start the develop a “curiosity bug” which in turn will improve your imagination. Try joining new courses that you are interested in! Be it Drawing courses, programming or anything else that you currently have a skill on. Even problem-solving will help you this, finding new ways to achieve your goals which in turn might give you new goals and so on and so forth, in an endless loop.
The topic of Self-Awareness is a recurring theme in Artistic fields, being able to clearly see what you want and say what you want to say will improve your imagination. And that can be made much easier with Mediation.
Meditating helps you focus on yourself, focus on your struggles and pain points, and at the end by focusing on these you’ll find creative ways to roam through those struggles, finding alternate paths and clearly see what you want.
Of course, Meditation is another skill that takes time to develop, so don’t rush into it, take some time of your day (10~30 minutes) and go slowly. With all this training you’ll be able to go deeper into your imagination, becoming a more creative (and happy) person.
P.S.: If you’re new to Meditation, try out Headspace, it’s a free app that you can use to guide you step-by-step.
Hang Out With Your Creative Friends
The power of friendship is amazing. Different people see things in a different way, that’s a given. It’s also said that you’re the average of your 5 people closest to you, so if you only hang out with Creative people what’s going to happen? You’re going to improve your Creativity. It sounds odd, doesn’t it? But it’s true.
Let’s take an example.
Let’s say that you spend a few hours playing with your neighbor’s kids which are 5 years old.
Before you notice it, you’ll be talking a whole different way than you use to just because you’re spending the time with them!
You’ll probably also be painted by them, have a sore back from carrying them around and be exhausted, but hey, that’s part of the drill.
So if you’re looking to boost your Imagination? Surround yourself with imaginative people. Do you want to work during long hours at a time where quiet is a must? I’m sure you’re not going to surround yourself with loud, talkative people.
This doesn’t have to apply to your close friends, neither am I saying that you should just cut all your relationships and “craft” new ones for the sake of creativity. What I’m saying is that if you’re in need of an imagination boost, look around for places where you can find like-minded people.
Go to a park where people are glued to their sketchbook and trying new things, search online for forums and other communities and talk to other people about your struggles and the worlds that you’d like to create.
Ask about their worlds!
Ask about their characters, their character’s characteristics, feelings and every little detail.
Go all out and keep your mind open for new information, creativity is at every corner.
I’ve talked about children before, and let’s talk about it a little more.
Parents a lot of times have to make up stories on the spot for the children to sleep, I know thisis more of a few decades ago thing with all the apps for tablets and phones that people use, but there are people that still do this every day.
How can they do this? By the power of improvisation!
P.S.: This story doesn’t have to actually be told to a child, but I’m sure if you want to tell them one, they won’t mind at all!
So start with a simple theme or aspect, and then try to associate words with each other, making the rest of the story as you go.
Let me give you an example: I want to tell a story about Elephants.
The first thing that comes to my mind is Africa, Big Animals, Hot and Toto (from his music “Africa”).
So my story could be something like this:
Last summer I went for a trip around the world, I had just got out of Iceland so naturally, I had enough of all the cold everywhere, this made me decide my next location: Africa! What an amazing place, it was beautiful and well… very hot.
Some of the people there were riding Elephants, and not just the natives! The Tourists as well! And I thought to myself, I got to get in on that.
So I looked everywhere, following those huge elephant footsteps, until I found a place where they were renting these huge animals out, it was fascinating!
I quickly paid the men in charge and after falling 3 times trying to get on top of an elephant, I did it! I was traveling the plains of Africa on the back of this majestic animal, and let me tell you, it was awesome.
But then something weird occurred.
While I was traveling near this huge waterfall I started hearing some noises, almost like music, coming from somewhere near.
I had to investigate.
I started walking closer and closer to the water, and then that’s when I noticed, this amazing bearded man on the other side was singing about blessing the rains down in Africa, it was Bobby Kimball from Toto!
And that’s my short story on how I met Bobby Kimball while traveling in Africa. P.S.: I never went to Africa, neither have I met Bobby. Maybe someday. While riding on an Elephant. Who knows?!
Getting your imagination back can be hard if you try to make the changes overnight. I know that having the Motivation to do these things when you’re feeling stuck can be hard, and it’s a whole new topic worthy of its own post, but sometimes you just have to start! Don’t overthink it. Don’t stress it and just take one step at a time. Try some of my previous different tips and you’ll get a huge boost in creativity steadily over time, trust me!
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