To me, creativity has always been about making a connection between two things that normally don’t go together, the joining of seemingly unconnected dots. ~ Dave Stewart, Eurythmics
The new idea – which appears when two unrelated bits of information collide – triggers radiant thinking. This means that the brain makes countless associations, radiating in all directions.
You can see in the next section exactly how this works.
1. Let ordinary life kickstart your creativity
The most important thing is to carry a small notebook around with you wherever you go (or focus on writing notes on your mobile device). This simple action primes your creative well.
The next thing is to hold the idea of writing a blog post in your mind while you go through your day. When you connect two thoughts that are unrelated – such as your experience ilimoww of the moment, and writing for your blog – new ideas emerge.
Let’s imagine you’re back at your desk with no idea of what to write about. You desperately need fresh ideas for the next blog post. What do do?
First thing: get up from your desk and grab a notebook in order to record even the wackiest ideas! Then let your mind go into free-flow and allow your next actions to trigger ideas.
Here’s a list of what you might do next and the post themes this could trigger.
Make yourself a cup of coffee.
As you smell the aroma, listen to the drips of the percolator and feel the heat of your cup, think of writing a blog post. Here’s what you might come up with:
Too Hot to Handle? 3 Smart Ways to Keep Your Mother-in-Law at Bay
Warning: Are You at Risk of a Dangerous Social Media Addiction?
Peaceful Communication: How to Drip-Feed Your Truth.
Go to the window, have a stretch and look out.
Here is what you might come up with:
How to Relax in the Middle of a Busy Day
10 Ways to Gain a New Perspective
5 Surprising Ways to Come up with Creative Ideas
Have a shower
How to Refresh and Revitalize Your Love Life
Fluid Writing: How to Improve Your Speed by 100% in One Week
Flow Like Water: 10 Ways to Assert Yourself in a Peaceful Way
You can see how each post idea is triggered by the activity in everyday life. Of course, the examples above are focused on writing and self-development. But you can easily use the same process to find creative ideas for your particular niche.
The most important thing is to write down your ideas immediately. Creative ideas are ephemeral and disappear quickly if you don’t record them.
There is one thing you need to do if you want your creativity to flow:
Lock your inner critique into a cupboard when you collect ideas!
It is usually the imagination that is wounded first, rather than the heart; it being much more sensitive.
-Henry David Thoreau
Stay true to your inspiration and faithfully write down whatever comes to you – even if it seems bizarre. This is a fun way to come up with unlimited blog post ideas.
2. Keep a journal to loosen the ligaments
British writer Virginia Woolf said:
The habit of writing for my eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. – Virginia Woolf.
Do you keep a journal? I do. I call it my ‘Everything Book’. It’s amazing how writing privately in a journal can shake loose your inspiration!
As you can read in the article, How to Journal, it can be a repository for all of the things that interest and inspire you. It also provides a safe environment to experiment and grow creatively. Here is what to include in your journal:
Reactions to personal situations and world events
Thoughts and feelings of the day
Pieces of writing
Goals you’re working toward
Poetry that moves you
Pictures from magazines or photos you love
Books you want to read
Music you’ve heard that you may want to purchase (or reference in a story)
Websites to explore
To do lists
In other words, include whatever is important or interesting to you.
When you write in your journal, let your writing flow freely, without correcting or crossing out what you’ve written.
Even just five minutes of writing in your journal will loosen your creative ligaments.
3. Use mindfulness to help your ideas flow
Mindfulness is the state of complete presence.
The truth is that we’re hardly ever present. The scattered mind reaches into the past to rummage around in memories, or projects hopes, dreams, and fears onto the future.
The mind flits around.
One moment you’re thinking about a new blog post, next you think about what you have to buy from the grocery store, or remember the bill you should have paid yesterday.
Being preoccupied kills creativity.
If you want to be creative, you need to let your mind rest in the present moment. The following exercise which will lead you to be present:
Close your eyes
Feel the soles of your feet on the ground
Listen to ambient sounds
Take one slow, deep breath and follow each one right through its complete cycle, in and out.
I’ve created a two-minute podcast for you to lead you through this mini-meditation.