Are you wondering how to be original?
No matter how creative you are, there are days that the ideas just don’t come. And whether you write, paint, sing or act, a lack of imagination can leave you feeling unoriginal.
Fortunately, there are ways to re-spark the fire in your mind — and in your heart — for what you want to create. Here’s how to be original in any creative endeavor you tackle.
1. Play Music in the Background
You might have difficulty if you’re trying to brainstorm in a quiet place or one filled with uninspiring background noise — think the din of an office space. Just playing music can help unlock new ideas, as our tunes tend to calm us down and loosen us up.
Although everyone’s preferred soundtrack will be different, start with happy music. A 2017 study revealed that cheerful ditties made listeners more creative.
2. Pick up a New Hobby
Flexing your brain in a new way can help you boost your creativity in other ways. Think about an activity you’ve always wanted to try. Whether it’s pottery, sailing, sewing or learning a new language, sign up. You can often find night or weekend classes at community colleges or local recreational centers.
3. Change Your Scenery
Sitting in the same place every day won’t do anything to refresh you and jog your mind, so try switching things up. Get up from your desk and sit somewhere new, for instance.
Even if you can’t work remotely, find a conference room and spread out, or walk outside for a short break-and-brainstorm session. A change of scenery can work wonders.
4. Avoid a Caffeine Boost
You might think, “My brain’s tired. I’ll have a coffee to wake it up.” However, studies have shown that creatives do better work when they’re slightly tired.
That’s why so many of our best ideas hit us in the late morning or early evening when we start feeling sleepy. The explanation? As we start getting tired, our ideas flow with less inhibition and effort. Put down the coffee and pick up the pen!
5. Keep a Journal
Regardless of whether you’re a writer or not, a journal can help you boost your creativity in a time when it’s lagging. By carving out time to write in your journal, you force yourself to jog your brain, sift through a day’s worth of thoughts and put pen to paper.
Even if you don’t want to spark original ideas in the writing realm, this practice will force you to dig into your imagination — perhaps you’ll even brush aside the static so that when it is time to create, your mind will be sharp.
6. Ask Questions
Maybe you’re having trouble coming up with new ways to tackle a task. If so, don’t be afraid to open up a line of questioning with the person who has commissioned you to take on the job. Perhaps a response will open up a new avenue for you to traverse, creatively speaking, and you’ll be able to come up with a completely original take on your to-dos.
Maybe your brain just needs a break. If so, check an item on your bucket list off by hitting the road. If you travel solo, you’ll step out of your comfort zone, inspiring yourself to do the same once you get home.
You’ll have no problem taking a chance with your art and your ideas after your travels, which can push you toward an original idea you hadn’t previously considered — or dared to try.
8. Don’t Forget the Bad Ideas
Your originality will bring you good and bad ideas. Don’t shy away from any of them in the process of creating. Instead, welcome what you consider to be a bad idea. Step back and remember what led you to that thought. Maybe you were onto something, or perhaps you can re-work what started as a bad idea into something great.
Most important of all, have confidence in yourself and what you create. No matter what, there’s only one of you — that makes you an original in all that you do.
Always be proud of your point of view, and share it with the world.
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