10 Ways To Be Creative When You Don’t Feel Inspired

kid with birds flying free from a cage and man with a closed cage with birds in it
Image by: Marion Fayolle

It’s the middle of September, and we are currently still van living at high elevation in Colorado. The ski town we’ve been inhabiting since early July is quaint and getting more chilly by day.

To our surprise we have, however, been able to spend less than $20 to see an “EDM show…” gone down hill mountain biking… got lost on a hike… taken a dip in the creek… and seen one black bear.

This area is a great place to be creative, because unless you’re into epic outdoor adventure and or bars, there’s not much going on. There’s not even a Walmart or Walgreens close by.

First: We are all Creators!

Everyone has met a friend who’s narrative is, “Idk, I’m just not the creative type.” Or whatever limiting belief it is they write-themselves off with.

But truth be told, each one of us is creative. Each one of us are creating, daily. We are all creators. You are the Creator.

I know it’s hard to believe at first, especially if you’re a person who has mostly based creativity off of the ability to draw a decent looking stick person. But we were all born creative. We see this in childhood as kids easily get absorbed in doodling and building, embodying their creativity.

From the way you approach your morning, to the plating of your next meal… how you fold your clothes, to your game plan for navigating a situation. The amount of creating going into intentional living, daily, is abundant!

But I just don’t feel creative.

Yes, and that’s okay… this happens.

This is the exact reason why Every Day Divine wasn’t as active for months. And why my first 3ft x 3ft canvas hangs in my second mom’s house with edges unpainted. Also why a poetry book I started writing after my father died is not yet for sale on Amazon.

Writers block is relevant to most other creative outlets.

(Interest Act of Creation) + Block.

For example; Painters Block, Poets Block, Bloggers Block, Yogi’s Block, Chef’s Block… Mom’s Block, Doctor’s Block…

You get it. But the thing is, when we identify the block we can’t just give up and let the block consume our natural creative existence. Identifying the block is the first step in changing that piece of reality and creating the reality you desire.

As Creator, the world is your theatre.

Creativity is defined by James Clear like this:

“The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts. Creative thinking is not about generating something new from a blank slate, but rather about taking what is already present and combining those bits and pieces in a way that has not been done previously.

James Clear, How to Master Creativity and Uncover Your Creative Genius

Research has shown that genetics may influence a natural creative, but do not control the creative abilities accessible by most humans. Creativity and non-creativity are indeed learned and can be trained.

Think of a happy childhood memory…

When we tap into the inner child energy that is still within each of us, we are more likely to have creative juices flowing.

This makes complete sense because as a child, our imagination is roaming constantly. Everything is new. Like the tree house fortress in the back yard, or the monsters under the bed.

Age doesn’t take our creativity away. Experience is not to blame, either.

A lack of practice, mmmm quite possibly.

And let’s face it, there’s plenty of spaces to throw blame… the world we live in isn’t covered in only rainbows + love + light… even if that’s where we like to exist mentally- yes the world is your theatre, but there are 8 billion theaters playing shows all at once, shit gets hectic.

And when shit gets hectic, even the smallest amount of chaos seeping in can end with feeling emotionally drained, straight emotional, and blocked from shining the creative light forward.

Our plugged-in lifestyles interfere, too.

Not to mention the adult status quo these days includes being absorbed and plugged into any and all social media outlets. We are constantly taking in information, a bunch that could be clouding our space of feeling creative.

Needless to say, below you will find simple ways to feel creative and be creating. Some are more expansive than others. I hope this inspires you to finish that project you let go a few months ago.

10 Ways to be Creative

1. Try Something New

Drake has left many impressions on me over the years, for example:

“When’s the last time you did something for the first time, You done done it all”

Own It by Drake (Nothing Was The Same)

But seriously… when is the last time you did something for the first time?

Think about your first real date… the way it made you feel getting ready, choosing an outfit, or where it was gonna be.

I’m unconventional and also into adrenaline, so if you ask me for advice just remember this little exchange.

It doesn’t have to be sky diving, mountain biking, or climbing the side of a mountain (I’ve done two of the three there, you tell me which I haven’t + I’ll give you a 10% discount on a t shirt from the shop).

Try a new restaurant or genre of food. Try a new morning routine or work out schedule. Try new makeup or music. Try a new sex position or yoga studio.

Trying something new will spark creativity by allowing you to expand into a different and unique experience unlike what you have done before!

The newest design for Every Day Divine, check out the shop!

2. Draw, doodle, watercolor

Even if your reaction at first is, “I suck at this.”

The key is to not force yourself… so if you’re not feeling it head over to Pinterest or Instagram and see what sparks your interest first.

Recreate it, in your own way.

Think about kids… they love to doodle and draw, and not every single outcome is museum worthy. Heck, it may not even be fridge worthy.

Doesn’t matter. The act of expressing stimulates different areas of the brain and can be very cathartic to our emotional bodies. Let the inner child out!

This has been my latest inspiration trend:

artwork hanging above the counter space in the van
Art in the Van. Far Right is a Vision Board Collage Zach + I made before coming out West.

3. Design a Vision Board

Grab some magazines, old books, newspapers, advertisement papers and a couple glue sticks. Put on some good tunes and get yourself a drink of choice (matcha lemonade for me, please).

As you flip through the magazines and papers, whatever catches your eye, snip it out.

Then find yourself a piece of cardboard or paper, and start collaging those special cut outs. This act of creating is not only highly stimulating but can also be utilized as a piece of wall art that continuously inspires.

If tapping into your creative flow has been an on and off struggling, I encourage making this vision board about being more creative. Find words and images that ignite the create processes. Hang this somewhere you’ll regularly see it and see what happens!

pine trees and a rocky path in Lyons Colorado
A shot from taking a walk in Lyons, CO.

4. Take A Walk

My sweet dad used to frequently suggest I take myself and the dog for a short walk as an aid for all sorts of problematic situations.

God rest his soul, this was probably one of the best pieces of advice I received in our twenty-four years together.

The power of a 15 minute walk is truly underestimated.

Research in the US shows that exercise reduces the number of poor mental health days in a month by 43%. It also decreases the risk for dementia and bouts of depression.

A study in Austria also claims that movement and creativity are linked, and more active people are usually more creative.

This isn’t a sign to jump into the body building program you’ve been eyeing, or dedicate yourself to working out five or six times a week… but rather a subtle reminder that just getting outside and taking a walk has the power to bring some inspiration into your field quickly.

photo of person holding cup
Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

5. Journal

The most popular references I’ve heard from The Artist’s Way is the morning pages. This is a three-page dump of stream-of-consciousness.

Even if you’ve never journaled before, this is a great way to start.

Grab a journal that looks like something you’d be likely to carry around with you most times. Take time to fill up three pages with whatever constant conversations that are going on in your head. Anytime of day works!

At the beginning of our relating, I remember Zach asking me one day as I was journaling, “what do you write about?” I told him everything. Sometimes it’s just about the day, other times it’s lists of gratitude, or reflections on my way of being.

Needless to say, he started journaling a lot more often which and has lovely to bear witness to.

Fact of it is, when we take the pen to the paper and dump a stream-of-consciousness we are creating space for new thoughts and ideas. At the same time, we may find that in the practice of self-reflecting we may become inspired to create or take the next step in a direction that has been calling.

a man reading book while sitting on a bed
Photo by Dayan Rodio on Pexels.com

6. Read

Even if you aren’t a reader, today’s technology has provided thousands of books on audio.

There are more books than humans alive.

Reading offers a perspective. It’s a journey between the reader and the writer, one that is never recreated just the same. The ability words have to take us for a ride is quite magical.

To aid in creativity I find that novels are best, and that says a lot coming from a person who is usually holding a non-fiction book.

Not to mention, as young humans we were heavily influenced and often even required to spend a certain amount of time reading… this was with reason. Reading expands vocabulary while also aiding in concentration, imagination, and comprehension. All great skills to practice, daily, if you’re asking me. Even as an adult.

Here’s a list of 2022 Top Reads

7. Learn on YouTube

Another underestimated source of inspiration and knowledge is the abyss of YouTube.

It is actually amazing the free access most humans have to learning new skills. This is an addition to the rapidly growing technological realm we exist in that is honestly such a blessing.

You name it, you can probably find how to do it on YouTube.

For instance, I recently wanted to give making music a whirl only using garage band. YouTube has SO many tutorials on is. As well as photo editing, looking for land to buy, knitting, cooking… all of it.

YouTube is just waiting for you to jump on and ask it what you want to learn to do… the answer is there.

My latest creative pursuit of learning via YouTube:

8. Change Up Your Space

If you live in a van like me, this might not be the easiest option on this list… however, that doesn’t disqualify it.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in the van feeling heavy, slow, and an overwhelming presence of lack. While I sat with this feeling the idea came to my mind… I could hang some art up in here!

So I did. The next few minutes were spent finding push pins and tape, along with random colorful pieces of art I had stashed away. Now that the walls are popping with color, I feel better in my little house.

If you haven’t switched things up in your space lately, give it a whirl.

It may be wise to draw a diagram of whatever room you’re wanting to play with before just dragging furniture and decorations around. Or, maybe the chaos is more your taste.

Changing up the decor and or furniture in a space can make it feel completely new and bring bouts of newness to your internal world too!

Here’s a good read for ways to spice up for your space!

girl playing with bubbles
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

9. Hang Out With Some Kids!

I’ve mentioned kids pretty often throughout this post… for a very good reason. These tiny humans have super powers in my eyes. Innocence is still in tact, wander is never ending, and dreams have no limits.

If Jack wants the sky to be purple and his feet like dinosaurs, that’s how it’s gonna be today.

Sometimes we need a break from the adult to-do lists and major responsibilities. A great place to take refugee is a few hours with some kiddos.

For example I had the opportunity just last week to cover a kids exercise class. The kids were used to their normal teacher and probably had ground rules established with her, so with me they were a little off the chain. BUT! We had fun. We moved our bodies, and had little competitions and played pretend.

At the end of our time together their ticket to leave was telling me one thing they were grateful for; and boy if that doesn’t put things in perspective for an adult.

Kids are a breath of fresh air, even when they’re little shits. Try it and see what kinds of creative juices start flowing after some time with a little one.

a woman taking a moment in the sunshine
Taking a break walking Sue girl around the pond in Fraser, CO.

10. Embrace Boredom

Saved the best for last, in my opinion. Especially because this is a left field piece of advice to most humans.

When’s the last time you were okay with not doing anything?

That’s right. Doing nothing.

It seems like a taboo happening these days, but true be told allowing yourself to sit and be without engaging in stimulation can actually provide the mind with a greater opportunity to be creative.

A bored mind starts to wander for stimulation.

But to get to this space, we have to unplug from the devices. Social media is not only highly addictive but also extremely stimulating.

Next time you’re feeling bored, I challenge you to lean into it. Sit with your bored self. Maybe utilize it as a time for meditation, taking the focus back to the breath. Just be. Give your mind a break from productivity and scrolling and you may just have a download “a-hah” moment.

Everyone experiences feeling a lack of inspiration and or creativity.

We are born creatives. Taking time and making effort to reclaim this birthright helps us discover our passions and what makes us feel most alive.

After all, you never know until you try… and…

You are the creator.

Here is 7 Fun Exercises to Quickly Improve Creative Thinking

Published by Scottie Hill

I'm Scottie. I'm a twenty-something year old bean adventuring through this earth side life embracing every divine moment. I'm excited to have the opportunity to share this experience with you, and I am full of gratitude you are here.

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