This is a guest post by Felicia Spahr, writing rogue, adventurous guide, and creative mastermind. She’s got a lot to say about being creative and I am thrilled to host her on The Creative Giraffe.
If you didn’t know already, you are creative. Why? Because you are a living, breathing, beautiful person.
If you didn’t know already, you can be creative every second of the day. How? With your mind, thoughts, and your ability to make connections.
Yet we all furrow or brows, beat on pillows, and yell to the Gods: Why can’t I be creative? Like those people? And those other people? And my dog! Do you know what she did today that blew my mind?
Well, friends. I have something for you. I work with peeps who are barking up the creative writing tree, and I devise exercises and ways to get them out of their heads and onto the page every second I spend with them. And the magical thing is, these not only work for conjuring up your inherited abilities for imagination and play, but also translate to every other area of your life. Shaping how you think, what you pay attention to, and what you create.
So, please stand and throw your hats up into the air for:
3 Writing Exercises to Access Your Creative Abilities. All. The. Time.
We frequently ask ourselves: What do I do? In fact, I am sure a good lot of you have asked your beauteous life coach, Ellen, this very question. But as I’ve mused on this lately, I find that the question doesn’t grant the space you need for really rolling around with a problem, getting into it, and coming out with a solution.
What I ask you to do is this:
Write down the one problem that’s been plaguing you like no other lately. And then write after it this question: What are some solutions I can explore?
There, you are left with play space to scribble, examine, and focus on which solution feels right for you. Which solutions you might be able to combine into one whole bozanga of a solution. Solutions you can talk about with Ellen, so she can guide you into your best one.
- Mind Map.
Currently, I’m taking a Crash Course on Creativity from Stanford, and was recently given this very writing exercise called Mind Mapping. I had seen these before, but I wasn’t aware that there was the possibility of it being a useful tool for connecting ideas, planning a class, or even organizing thoughts—just a few building blocks to help you illuminate your creativity rainbow.
What I want you to do is this:
Do an activity that you love by yourself for 30 minutes. Could be exercising, cooking, playing with pups, jumping on a trampoline. Your first goal here is to simply pay attention—sort of like a mindful meditation for you to engage in.
After your 30 minutes, whip out a piece of paper (or sketch paper, or canvas, if you are so inclined) and create a Mind Map that stems from the activity you just engaged in.
For an example of how to do this, here is a Mind Map that I made which is centered around the idea of Mindfulness. I had gone on a silent walk for 30 minutes, and came back and whipped out this bad boy. As you can see, my main takeaways from being mindful were awareness, whole, intuition, breathing, and understanding. Then I wrote down what I felt were the three components of each. And through that, I understood how it was all connected, and what mindfulness could lead to.
- The Remix.
We all have moments when we lose steam. Even those people we stare at with starry-eyes and think, Damn. They must really love what to do. Every. Single. Second. But let us hone in on that thought for a second: ‘our losing steam’ is really an opportunity for evolution. What are we being called to re-think? What are we being called to pay attention to? What is not working anymore?
Ah. See how I did that?
Now it’s your turn.
Write down one thing you’re up to right now—could be work, self, relationship, food, nature, or jigsaw puzzle-related—that you’re feeling ‘meh, eh, and all sorts of ugh’ about, but that you still want to keep doing and have in your life.
And then write this: What if…
Here are some questions to get you started:
…Your work was your play? (Whether or not you dig what you’re doing) What does work as play look like? What can you incorporate into the situation currently?
…Your self was your best friend? How would you treat it? What would you say? In times of love and celebration? In times of dismay? What does your ‘I’m Awesome’ party look like? What does your ‘Things Aren’t Going Well’ party look like?
…Your relationship was easy? How is it that way? Shall you be more honest about what you want? Bare your vulnerability? Do you kiss, love, and give because it feels right to do so?
Now, let us not sit around twiddling our thumbs and wonder why we’re not as creative as anyone else. It is in your genes. Living. Breathing. And waiting to be brought out to play, every second of your life.
Felicia is a writing rogue, adventurous guide, and creative mastermind. She works 1:1 with people to guide and help them achieve their own creative writing dreams—with vigor, zest, and a liberated spirit. She teaches creative writing classes and workshops, both online and off, and digs into all things imaginative, playful, and creative on her blog, Fel’s Got Swag.
Got your creative juices flowing and ready to work with Ellen? Schedule your free chat here.