If you lack inspiration, good strategies are welcome to boost your creativity. Novum publishing opens the door to a new creative stage with the following tips and tricks.
After having read our last article, it should be obvious now who really is creative, who is not and who is only pretending. We have listed the typical traits of creative minds in our checklist. Ideally, writers and those seeking careers in this area have recognized the mentioned stereotypes in themselves. If you are a daydreamer, a chaotic person, an observer, a bon vivant, a curious person, a bohemian, a maverick and/or a sceptic, you are either a creative mind or you have multiple personalities.
So far, so good. “But where are all the good ideas then?” some of those waiting in vain might ask. Considering the different stages of a creative process, one can suspect that the point of failure often lies between the incubation stage and the illumination stage. Cognitive psychology defines four stages that are needed to go from a blank page to a fully-executed creative idea.
Stage 1: Preparation
Creativity starts with an idea and collecting information. Ideas don’t arise in an intellectual vacuum. Creative minds need to feed their brain with materials to work with. At this point, the author’s brain uses attention, reasoning, and planning to gather information about an issue that needs to be solved.
Stage 2: Incubation
Who does not know it: the notorious, agonizing incubation stage? It weighs heavily on the mind until the root cause is found. Just like in medicine, the incubation period is a stage in which the exposure to an infectious agent takes place. While waiting for the outbreak, one discards concepts, storyboards, says goodbye to the dream of the first book – until, finally, a solution comes up and creative ideas develop. The reason for that is that the subconscious mind keeps processing thoughts we have already cast away in order to reintroduce them later. Things always seem to happen when you least expect them.
Stage 3: Illumination
Inspiration, a flash of genius or aha moment: the stage of illumination has many faces and is always captivating. Creative ideas suddenly come up and the struggle for inspiration comes to an end. It is not resolved where this sudden flash of solution comes from but we know that the mind needs a special muse to feel inspired – an impression, a person or a feeling.
Stage 4: Verification
After the solution is found in the illumination stage, it is necessary to verify whether that idea makes sense or not, and if the creative output is as good as the input. Hence, the evaluation of the solution is done by self-reflection or discussion with others. If the solution is not satisfactory the thinker will go back to the creative process and starts from the beginning.
For all those who are not getting beyond the preparation stage, who are groping in the dark instead of being illuminated or do not experience the aha moment, we have collected some tricks how to get inspired.
This method is a classic tool for getting inspired. Within 30 minutes, you collect all thoughts that come up on a certain topic. It is important to not limit yourself by perfectionism, criticism and doubts. The motto is: the more, the crazier, the more likely. Already Einstein once said: “If, at first, the idea does not sound absurd, there is no hope for it.”
When brainwalking, the movement does not only take place in your mind, but also physically. It is a kind of creative game of musical chairs because several “pilgrims” start together on a journey to the aha experience. At first, flip charts are provided, then the group is invited to exercise physically and to spin in circles. Then, everybody writes down their spontaneous ideas and adds their thoughts to those of the others.
“How can I make sure that it will not work?” This question is at the beginning of all thinking if you try the headstand technique. The idea behind it: fresh ideas are born from the change of direction. This method is used in everyday life, for example in advertising agencies, in order to empathize with the clients and their emotions.
Walt Disney Method:
Film producer and pioneer Walt Disney is said to have always taken on three roles in order to get inspired: the daydreamer, the realist and the critic. However, this method is rather successful in the real world than in fiction. Even though the method of the “creative triumvirate” is a valuable tool for realists, this method is not recommendable for writers. If Kafka had used it, Gregor Samsa would never have woken up changed into a monstrous verminous bug.
A creative tree diagram probably comes from intense mindmapping. This technique makes use of the human ability to create associations, connections, links. A term is written down and completed by other words. This method is helpful for people with a good visual perception.
If these strategies still do not help you to get more inspiration and to increase your creativity, don’t give up. Stay patient. Probably it is only an extensive and prolonged incubation stage which will be over sooner or later.
We wish you creative Inspiration!