Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project writes a lot of great life advice, but we had to share this blog post with you because it pertains to creativity.


More specifically, it pertains to sparking creativity when the candle wick's burned out, so take note (literally).

1. Take notes

As you go about your daily routine and read magazines, pass billboards, et cetera, carry a notebook with you and scribble down anything that catches your eye. Real life in itself is inspiring!

As Gretchen puts it, "I make strange lists, for no reason. I take notes without a purpose. I realize that sometimes, even many years later, I do find a purpose for those notes. All this note-taking is time-consuming, but in the end, highly satisfying."

2. Follow your interests

If you've ever found yourself awake at 2 AM reading about the Battle of Waterloo on Wikipedia, it's okay. Listen to your impulses and go with them (as long as they don't interfere with the rest of your life). You never know where you may uncover the roots of inspiration for your next project. The human mind is a twisted maze.

3. Draw an idea map

Imagine taking all those scrambled ideas in you brain and putting it on paper for a wacky and beautiful visual.

"This is a process of writing down ideas in a way that helps you see new relationships and possibilities. I begin with a symbol or word in the center, and then map out my associations with that word—using single words and colored pens to keep the ideas vivid and clear. By mapping out my ideas, I get a new kind of insight into my own thoughts."

4. Think of failure as fun

G.K. Chesterton wrote:

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

It may sound bizzarre, but it's amazing what different outlook on a situation can do for your attitude.

"I’m very ambitious and want to succeed at everything I try, and that makes me very anxious—which isn’t a creative frame of mind. Telling myself that I can enjoy the “fun of failure” has made me (somewhat) more light-hearted about taking risks."

What helps you jumpstart your creative endeavors?


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