We all find ourselves short on inspiration and our writing can suffer for it. This article explores two modes in how we can approach creativity and ensure we are treating it in the best way possible.
Thought: How can you think about creativity?
- Your imagination- Despite your mind tricking you into thinking it isn’t a good idea, try it out. Try it all out.
- Notice the details- what details around you might form the basis of a description or help to spur on other ideas? You could start writing a series of descriptions, that are not necessarily connected to each other, and use them in your poems
- Diversify- Poetry is incredibly diverse and there are so many ways to use poetry to express yourself, try out different types of poems and see which you enjoy writing most. You will end up with a wide range of poetry and it will be important to find your strengths and weaknesses along the way.
- Limitations- Certain limitations can be a good thing and lead to a breakthrough moment, or something less physically felt, but to a moment or moments where the struggle turns itself into something useful. Whilst feeling this, ask yourself why, the more you ask the more likely you are to know and offer solutions.
- Life is hard- We all go through hardships and they can be incredibly difficult to live with. Poetry is a way in which we can deal with some of this angst. Think about how many people turn to poetry when life isn’t going their way, they want to feel seen on the page and know that their experience isn’t just their own. Try to face what has been difficult and put it into words. Having said this, the art form still needs to be respected and pouring ourselves onto the page isn’t quite the solution. Be raw but be skilful.
Action: What can you do to increase creative flow?
- Podcasts-where to begin? There are so many wonderful podcasts, and I am a huge fan of podcasts. Personally, I get a lot from; How to Fail, The Accidental Creative, Risk, Commonplace: Conversations with Poets, Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford (Pushkin Industries), Pushkin Industries do a lot of different podcasts and they’re brilliant so see what you like most
- Writing prompts- there are so many online that you can find but I find this book of particular use.
- Send your work for critique- it feels somewhat uncomfortable for most, but it’s great to get feedback. Find communities that will genuinely respond to your writing and not just compliment it. Booksie has been recommended. I am aware however that these are hard to find as I have been trying. I think a solution would be starting a group with Reddit users. If you would be interested in starting one with me, please fill in the attached form.
- Read, listen, watch- there is so much out there to be inspired by. It is endless. You could start with researching ‘creativity’ and see what comes up. TED talks are wonderful; incredibly diverse and thought provoking. Listen to podcasts about creativity, or a podcast about anything you are interested in. It is so easy to plug in today to any medium so ensure you are filling yourself up with lots of interesting content.
- Capture the idea- wherever you are, always write down what idea comes to you when you feel those words tumbling towards you- don’t let them slip away. Whether you prefer a notepad and pen, or adding to your notes on your phone, don’t let the ideas go to waste and grab them whilst you can.
- Research- ask your readership what they want to read? If you don’t have a countable readership, ask your friends and family- what do you like reading and why?
- Free writing- free writing is really useful to do as it is writing with no boundaries. Even if you have no idea what you are writing and what you are working towards, keep writing and you will find inspiration somewhere in what you have written; really embrace the freedom of it to see best results.