Ideas for boosting creativity

I mentioned in a previous post that since coming home from holiday I’ve started feeling really creative and inspired again and I thought I would share some of the things I’ve been enjoying doing, and some tips for stirring up creativity.  Some of these things I do in the pursuit of brainstorming, or finding, good ideas for stories, and some of them I do just for fun to engage the right side of my brain! I’ve listed the things that have been making me feel creative recently and at the bottom of the post is a list of ideas to inspire you!

simple things magazine | 420 characters
five year journal | moleskine

// I think recording creative thoughts or ideas, whether you’re a writer, a photographer, a fashion blogger or a stamp collector, is such a worthwhile thing to do (not to mention the fact that it legitimises the purchase of a new notebook every now and then!)  I like to jot down everything that I find inspiring; quotes I read, or ideas for stories, characters, blog posts or projects.  Not only does it prevent these things from dropping out of your brain (especially if you carry it around with you so you can get things down as soon as they pop into your head), it’s also a really useful thing to read back over to stir up creativity the next time you’re feeling in a bit of a funk.  I wish I was more of an artist and could sketch things into my notebooks or make them look as beautiful as Bee’s but alas I have to make do with scribbled thoughts in black biro!

// I read a blog post six years’ ago called ‘How to be interesting‘ and I still revisit it whenever I want ideas for new projects.  One of the tips I try to keep up is to read magazines I’ve never read before.  This month I’ve felt really inspired by the first issue of ‘The Simple Things‘, which I picked up in the airport on the way to Florida.  It made me feel all excited for Autumn, and desperate to get back to doing things that make me feel happy like harvesting the things we’ve grown in the garden, long country walks and cooking and baking, along with making me feel inspired to make things – I’ve already bought the Mollie Makes Christmas book that was advertised on their blog! I do really like the idea of trying out new magazines to stir up creativity and would recommend Oh Comely, Mollie Makes and The Simple Things if you don’t read them already (I subscribe to all three!).  These days I get all my fashion/style ideas from blogs so I’ve freed the few pounds a month I used to spend on weeklies and it makes me much happier reading from magazine pages that make me smile rather than seeing which celebrities’ weight is currently being discussed that week.

// I bought ‘420 characters‘ with some Christmas money last year and I’ve been dipping in and out of it ever since.  It is a book full of short stories made of only 420 characters (owing to the fact that the stories originally started as Facebook status updates).  I think it’s such a fun idea and I really want to try some myself so it’s been occupying space on my bedside cabinet for the next time I have some spare time to get 420 character story-writing! I was thinking I could post some on here if anyone would be interested?

// I’ve also tried to get back into the habit of filling in my Five Year Journal every night before I go to bed.  You only need to write one line about that day but I think it’s a great way to keep a record that you can look back on in years to come, plus it amuses me the little details that pop into my head when I’m trying to sum up the day in a few words.

Here are some more ideas to make you feel creative, inspire blog posts or just for fun…

i: download Keri Smith’s ‘100 ideas’ list‘ [PDF].  Use them as inspiration for notebook entries (or blog posts).
i: use your notebook partly as a dream diary and use your dreams as inspiration for stories etc.
i: use your notebook as a scrapbook and stick in cutouts from magazines and newspapers etc that inspire you.

i: use newspaper articles for inspiration for stories or notebook entries; fact is always stranger than fiction!

i: get involved in national novel writing month (november).

i: challenge yourself to do something creative daily; write a line of a story, take a photograph, draw a sketch.

i: read a book from a genre you’d normally avoid.  blog about it.

i: start collecting something; postcards, stones with holes in, old books…

i: take a class in something hands-on, like sewing, upholstery, photography or painting.
i: read up on mail art and send someone something you’ve made. bianca has some amazing examples!
i: drop a pin on a map of your local area, visit the nearest town you’ve never been to before. blog about it.
i: create your own scavenger hunt. write a list of ten things to spot in a week. photograph or write about them.
i: write a list of things you want to do before next year.
i: set yourself a reading challenge on goodreads. review the books you read.
i: visit somewhere busy like a coffee shop or shopping centre, write down snippets of overheard conversation in your notebook.
i: buy keri smith’s wreck this journal. wreck it!
i: buy listography and journal your life in lists.
i: be more inquisitive. research things you come across that interest you. read the daily wikipedia featured article.
i: do something you’ve never done before every day for a week. blog about it.
i: be a yes person for a day and say yes to every suggestion, proposal and invitation for the day. blog about it.
i: wherever your main creative space is, tidy it. make it a nice environment to be in. light candles.
i: visit your local library.
i: make something new from something old – an item of clothing, a chair, 
i: buy a new recipe book and try something different in it every week.
i: make something from the ‘a beautiful mess’ DIY index.
i: start your own happiness project.
i: organise a swap that other people can get involved in – postcards, crafts, letters etc.
i: make someone an unexpected package. post it to them.
i: read my post on ‘what’s fun for you‘. write your list on the things you truly find fun.
i: do all of these over the next few months. blog about them!

Well it’s definitely been fun for me putting this post together -please, please tweet me or let me know if you try any of these ideas, or if you’d like more posts like this in the future! And leave any of your own fun creative projects or ideas in the comments!