7 Ways to Nurture Creativity

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A colleague of mine recently asked me to chime in on a poll question for a magazine article, “What do you do to nurture creativity?” To be honest, in that moment when she posed this question, I was experiencing what I would call a “creative dry season.” But just when I needed it most, her question sparked in me the momentum to pull myself out of the creative slump and recharge my focus. I had allowed a heavy workload, a never-ending to-do list, and everyday life to steal my creative passion without even realizing it. And while I contemplated how I would respond to my colleague’s question, I was challenged to put back into practice some of the methods on my list of answers. Since that day, I’ve been refreshed and inspired to make sure I’m keep my creative juices flowing daily.

How about you? Have you allowed someone or something to steal away your creative identity?

If so, maybe it’s time for a creative reset. Here are 7 ways I nurture creativity daily as a writer, editor, and dreamer.

1. Wading the Web–I make a point daily to read and visit blogs, digital magazines, and websites that relate to writing or my work with Millennials, young adults, and daily spiritual encouragement.
2. Strategic Social Media–I follow specific Twitter or Instagram accounts that offer quotes, inspirational thoughts, or tidbits of encouragement.
3. Magazines Matter–I read and look at print magazines. Sometimes, picking up a print magazine nurtures some hands-on, tangible creative inspiration for my work.
4. Pinterest Play–I dabble on Pinterest. Yes, even as man, I am regularly inspired creatively by pins that relate to my particular tastes, interests, and visual appeal. It’s amazing how a few swipes through my Pinterest feed can refuel my creative passions.
5. Paraphrase Perspective–Probably one of the most interesting places I nurture creativity is in having my morning devotional time in God’s Word from The Message. Granted, I don’t do my deep Bible study from The Message, but I’ve found that soaking in Scripture from the paraphrased perspective can really get me thinking creatively as I reflect on the original context of the Bible and various ways it is received or understood in today’s context.
6. Wrestle with Writing–I try to write something every day. I don’t always make it happen, but when I devote time to writing something…even a sentence or two…toward a blog, a book idea, and so forth, I find my creativity challenged and fulfilled.
7. Music Mantra–I listen to music. There’s something about a melody…a lyric…a story in song that can nurture creative inspiration for me. One of my favorite new tools to expand my musical interests has been Spotify’s “Browse” feature, which offers tops lists, genres & moods, and new releases. I’ve found some great new music by listening to some of Spotify’s pre-crafted stations throughout the day.
What would you add to the list based on your own interests, skills, and passions?
Maybe we can all help inspire each other along the way.
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Got Passion?

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You can’t teach passion. But you can catch it. In fact, it’s quite contagious. And like an infectious disease, it will sneak up on you from out of nowhere when you least expect it. It can slay giants, knock down walls, and open doors of opportunity. Passion can transform a person and change the world.

However, unlike a real contagious disease, passion can be quickly dissolved. In leadership, we see it happen too often. Without a constant feeding of passion, we lose momentum, focus, and love for the game (career). Without passion, we surrender to the opponent. And where there’s no passion, there’s no followers. 

Consider yourself and your place of leadership. Are you constantly feeding your passion? Do you notice it to be contagious to your teammates and spectators?

When you feel your passion starting to wane, consider these three tips for keeping the passion alive:

  • Surround yourself with passionate people. If they’re not the people on your own team, look elsewhere. Whatever the case, seek inspiration daily.
  • Unplug. Rest. Relax. Ultimately, don’t let yourself burn out. An occasional recharge is necessary.
  • Work hard–especially when others don’t. Exercise your mind and body for wisdom and strength, which leads to endurance.

We must never let a lack of passion from teammates or coaches distract us from playing hard and being champions in our work. Passion is essential for leaders. It must be continually fed in order to be continually spread.