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How to Be Creative When It Doesn’t Come Naturally

cvbgI admit that being creative comes to me naturally, as it has my entire life. That’s why being creative is what I do for a living every day as a writer, although some days it’s harder than others to be creative.

As a kid, I always had a crayon or pencil in my hand doodling some imaginary animal or writing a poem or story. As a teenager, my peers turned to me for an off-the-cuff song parody for a high school revue.

But many people tell me that being creative doesn’t come to them naturally. They moan, “I am not a creative person,” or “I don’t know where to start.”

Don’t fret! Many psychologists argue that creativity isn’t something people are born with. Good news though—it’s actually a skill that can be learned. And, practicing being creative can make you more and more creative. So, what can you do to exercise your creativity muscles and jumpstart your creativity? Here are 9 creative suggestions:

1. Doodle

Sunni Brown, author ofThe Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently, says that some of the greatest thinkers—from Henry Ford to Steve Jobs—used doodling to jump-start creativity. She believes that doodling can enhance recall and activate unique neurological pathways, leading to new insights and cognitive breakthroughs. Some companies even encourage doodling during meetings.

2. Take a Creative Course

If you’re the kind of person who prefers guided instruction, taking a creative course could be the right way to directyour creativity. and According to Hubspot, “Regardless which course you take, you’ll be exposed to different ways of thinking and approaches to working that you can apply to your own work. Plus, it may help you uncover some of your strengths and work on your weaknesses.”

3. Channel Your Inner Child

Kids are creative all the time, because there are no limits to their creativity and because they have not yet learned to be embarrassed by failure or fear the criticism of their peers. It’s also okay for adults to think like a child every now and then. It might help to have toys on your desk. You’ll have a lot of fun!

4. Role Play

Role-playing isn’t just for the geeks at Comic-Con! Role-playing can help you develop new solutions to problems by putting yourself in the shoes of a client or customer. Even if you’ve already made efforts to enter the client’s mindset, actually acting out the situation through role-playing can generate new and powerful revelations and creative solutions. Children play cowboys, house, and school. Now it’s time to bring back the power of play (role-play, that is!).

5. Connect With Creative People

Maybe it’s time to tap into the creativity of others. Hubspot says that, “Surroundingyourself with people with whom you can share and get feedback on your ideas and opinions is not only good for your creativity, it’s good for your career. These different points of view can act as fresh perspective on a project you’ve been staring at for too long.”

6. Take a Break

Have you ever noticed that some of your best ideas come to you at random times, like in the shower, at the gym, or sitting the car waiting for your kids at school? This works because breaks allow your mind to work without getting stuck. Most creative people recommend that you block out regular breaks, so you don’t get pulled into endless, back-to-back meetings.

7. Listen to Music While You Work

Tuning into music calms your nerves and relaxes you, which can channel your creativity. You can decide which tunes work best for you.

8. Try New Stuff

Huffington Post suggests that you, “Introduce yourself to new ideas, places, people or things that you would never have thought you might enjoy. Once you let yourself do and be what you naturally enjoy and are good at—new ideas will be drawn to you—and you to them.” And be sure to switch to a new project whenever you’re stuck. Grinding out the same-old stuff day after day will burn out even the brightest creative light.

9. Keep At It

Creativity doesn’t happen overnight. Fast Company says, “Just like any other change, you need to…encourage each other, to adopt this new way of thinking until it sticks.”

When you’re looking for really creative thinking, give a shout to the creative whiz kids at Solamar.