The Calculated Creative

7 Creative Habits to Keep You Inspired

Anything that jars us out of the habitual and predictable path holds rich potential for sparking new inspirations.

Creativity and inspiration are essential for any artistic or innovative endeavor, yet they can be frustratingly elusive.

As creators, we often get the same recycled tips - take walks to invite the muses, meditate daily, seek new horizons through travel.

Worthy suggestions, yes, but there's a whole lot more to consider.

Here's 7 counterintuitive habits for giving your creative spirit a jolt:

1. Embrace Boredom as a Creative Catalyst

Boredom is typically seen as the enemy of inspiration, a state to avoid. But occasional boredom provides vital creative benefits! With no immediate task or focus, your mind begins wandering unguided - and those meandering mental paths uncover unexpected connections that more rigid concentration would overlook. Boredom creates space for scattered ideas to link and collide in useful ways. So don’t panic next time you’re bored; let your thoughts roam creatively. See where surprising tangents lead. You’ll likely uncover novel inspirations that productive focus would miss.

2. Unleash Creativity via Extremely Literal Interpretations

When we hear pleas to “be imaginative!” or “think outside the box!”, the instinct is to think metaphorically and push analogies ever further. But we want to flip the script - take requests and phrases ultra-literally as a unique creativity boost! If asked for a ‘groundbreaking” new idea, envision literally digging into soil! Need a story? Describe explicitly what’s happening “behind the scenes”! This literalism forces new neural connections, creating odd juxtapositions and aha moments. You’ll tap creative areas that far-fetched metaphors can’t reach. Skeptical? Try writing literally for just 5 minutes and see where it takes you. We suspect amusing, insightful surprises.

3. Find Creativity Through Microscopic Focus

We constantly hear creatives should “zoom out” for the big picture and high-level vision. Valuable, yes - but sharply zooming in has equal power! Minutely examining a project’s most granular details unexpectedly sparks fresh takes. How so? This micro-focus lets you get wonderfully lost in a tactile world, disconnecting from restrictive higher-order thinking. Examine each intricate piece and new arrangements emerge. Define each step of a process and you reinvent how they combine. Tunnel deeply into individual words and find lyrical rebirth. With detail obsession unleashing unintended creativity, granularity contains multitudes. Forget big picture thinking - go small for inspiration!

4. Swiftly Cycling Through More Attempts Unlocks Innovation

Yet another platitude we question - “Perfection takes time and patience!”. Not necessarily! Yes, refinement matters but leap into creating quickly without judgment. Set a short timer and rapidly brainstorm motifs, characters, metaphors etc - discard nothing! Hastily sketch multiple options, build competing versions without Attachment. You’ll stumble upon novel creative fusions that methodical crafting misses, balls of clay continuously molded. Creation demands playfulness plus proliferation. Fail faster to find brilliance quicker!

5. Mine Genius by Building Upon the “Bad”

Every creator has wrassled with truly questionable ideas before rejecting them. But what if that “bad” seed actually holds fertility for later cultivation? Rather than instantly dismissing these unwieldy inspirations, try sincerely developing them further with nuanced iteration over time. Surprising growth can emerge from unlikely buds with generous support. Give audacity some room to create upside. What first seems wholly unworkable often becomes innovation gold after gracious refinement. But this alchemy only occurs if you compassionately nurture those outsider notions rather than shutting them down straightaway. So be open-minded to inherent potential within roughness! Not all that glitters is gold in the first draft - but unpolished gems DO exist if given a fair chance.

6. Shake Up Creative Ruts Through Reversed Routines

We all need certain rituals to enter creative flow states - favored places, tools, work rhythms. But inevitable familiarity also breeds staleness over time. When feeling uninspired, try reversing some of your go-to routines for an inventive shock! Nocturnal creators can become early birds writing during sunrise, while morning larks burn midnight oil instead. Swap your trusted writing fountain pen for crayons, trade the studio for a park bench, ditch complex orchestral works for simple pop ditties. These reversed habits jar you out of mental ruts into virgin land where you’re forced to find fresh footing. By upending creative comfort zones, transformative new approaches organically unfold. So periodically flip the script to keep innovating!

7. Spark Wild Inspiration Via Random Instructions

Logic insists creativity emerges from orderly steps - define the goal then methodically work towards it. While sound structurally, this approach risks imaginative limits. But injecting arbitrary external constraints jumpstarts dormant inventiveness! So try this: randomly select an instruction like “incorporate triangles” or “make it dangerously sweet” as your creative starting point instead of a blank page/canvas. Reconciling unrelated rules sparks protean innovation from whatever connections appear. By letting erratic outside demands pull your inner creator in unforeseen directions, you organically unlock that innate problem-solving adaptability we all contain but often lie dormant without such provocation. Follow peculiar random rules - strange wonders await!


The Takeaway

The creative life demands flexibility, curiosity, and a bit of delightful rebellion.

Anything that jars us out of the habitual and predictable path holds rich potential for sparking new inspirations.

So stay bold in your exploration - divert from the typical route and you'll uncover the innovations and brilliance that come from productively bucking the status quo.

By daring to experiment and wander, you give your mind the space to fully unveil magical ideas.

Make Your Work
Suck Less

Pulling back the curtain on the creative process to help make your work a little less terrible. A 3-minute read delivered each week on Monday morning.

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