Creative boost needed
August 14, 2019 2:48 AM   Subscribe

I work in a creative role and need to come up with ideas and solutions, which has always been something I've been pretty good at. But lately, I just feel very uninspired. What do you do to boost your creativity when you're low on ideas?
posted by KateViolet to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Look outside your field for inspiration. For instance, if you work in design, start learning about ecology, sports, or the history of telecommunications. It will feed back into your knowledge base and boost creativity to base a new design off tree roots or football strategy or whatever.

Listen to podcasts where inspiring creatives are interviewed such as Longform (authors and editors).
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 4:15 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

Nthing Jason upthread. Additionally, scale back all but necessary internet. Instead, start reading a couple books you've been meaning to read. Read a poem a day. Visit galleries and museums. Get out in nature or a park, if possible, for long walks on a daily basis to mentally absorb the literature, art, and explorations of fields other than your own. Under favorable conditions, ideas may start to float by.
posted by Elsie at 5:23 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

Go out to galleries and museums. If you can't, because of time or geographical constraints, explore museum websites like the Rijksmuseum's vast online offerings.
posted by zadcat at 6:21 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

Consume challenging media - things that cause you to think deeply about the ideas or structures in them. Avoid easy consumption.

Cross-train your creative muscles with very unrelated endeavours. Write a short story or play an instrument if your primary creative activity is more analytical or visual. Or practice sketching or painting. You don't need to "succeed" in these efforts but my experience is that the more different ways I practice creating, the more inspired all my efforts become.
posted by mzurer at 7:09 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

Another thing you might try is just to fill up a page(s) with thoughts related to a project or ideas for a new project. Maybe write by hand on a notepad/notebook. It might start out like, "I have no idea what to write about this project!" But if you continue to write whatever comes to mind, no matter how crazy, you may end up with some ideas you can use or some new avenues to explore.
posted by Glinn at 8:26 AM on August 14

Has there been any trend in your work\life taking you away from creative activity?

Personally, and I have no idea I'm in any way a 'typical' creative* but

Mental hygiene is essential - that includes web activity, thoughtlife (I am what I read), people I mix with. When I can keep that I stay creative.

This place is a big part of a healthy mental space for me, the web in general less so, a creative blog and meeting similar minds is helpful.

I find myself working more with pencils and paper again; a daily list too is totally essential for a clean mind and helps remove the isolation of the computer. My favourite go-to ideas book is Kevin McCloud's Choosing Colours

I have a view from my office which helps a lot. Can you get out and work somewhere natural a bit, even sometimes?

* work alone, highly-interdisciplinary, INTJ-passing as socially normal, obsessed with a lifeway that makes sense to me, no need for what my society calls normal.
posted by unearthed at 11:48 PM on August 14

A friend of mine created Seenapse for exactly that. It's apparently quite the hit with the creative set. Give it a whirl?
posted by Cobalt at 6:20 AM on August 15

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