Full disclosure: The suggestions listed below may only work for full-time writers and artists or the unemployed. If you have a day job, you might find this article frustrating. Or, you could try utilizing the information below on your days off, or implementing only the tips that fit your situation or schedule.
- Get up. Yeah, I know, it sounds obvious; but if you’re not doing getting up before 9:00, maybe you should try it. Going to bed before midnight helps.
- Drink a glass of water. Your brain won’t work well if it’s under-hydrated.
- Pray, meditate, or read something inspiring. For me, it’s a chapter of scripture. I read, pick out a passage that speaks to me at that particular moment, and rephrase it in my own words in my journal. Then I pray and ask God what He has for me that day, and ask Him to guide me.
- Go to the gym. If you don’t belong to a gym, hop on your bike, work through an exercise video, jog, climb stairs, practice yoga, lift dumbbells, or take a walk. If you’re not doing something that requires total concentration, let your mind wander. Observe what’s going on around you. People-watch. Listen to birds sing. Free your brain to collect inspiration.
- Clear your mind with freewriting. Even three minutes of dumping your worries or just writing down whatever silly thoughts enter your consciousness will help your creativity emerge.
- Plan what you want to accomplish this day. Be reasonable. Writer Anne Lamott, in her book Bird by Bird, recommends giving yourself a small assignment, something that would fill a one-inch square picture frame, something that moves you forward without overwhelming you. Consider all the things you are obligated to do, and figure out a way to accomplish your daily chores while still giving you time to work on your art.
- Eat a healthy breakfast, preferably containing protein. I generally have a cup of coffee and some yogurt while I read my Bible (see #3). Hint—a donut or four cups of coffee do not constitute a healthy breakfast. Fuel yourself for productivity.
Once you’ve done these seven things, you’ve already overcome some of the worst barriers to creativity: inertia, apathy, hunger, thirst, and lack of motivation. Now get out there and make something beautiful and amazing!