How I get creative

One of my favorite things about my TV obsessions is the behind-the-scenes featurettes where you get to hear all of the actor’s “real” accents and score a delicious glimpse into the action.

Sooo addictive.

Early on in my business, I always wished that my business idols would offer this same peek into their world. Occasionally, the truly awesome folks would reveal little tidbits here and there that made me super giddy.

To give back, I’m ready to reveal some candid details of how I get creative as an entrepreneur (for more than a decade now!) and professional screenwriter.

Here goes…

How do you come up with super-creative ideas for classes, newsletters, scripts, etc?

Let’s start with what I DON’T do.
:: Check out what other people are doing
:: Waste time diddling on social media
:: Sit and stare at my laptop screen
:: Sit and stare at an empty document
:: Sit and stare out the window
:: Throw something across the room in a creative hissy fit
:: Eat an entire pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream
:: Read articles, buy books, or sign up for programs on “how to be creative”

All of these activities spell the death of my creativity. I’ve tried at some point, and several I’ve tried multiple times (ahem: ice cream.) But, instead of bringing on creativity and success, they just brought on stress, frustration, anxiety, and stomach aches.

So…what does bring on an explosion of creativity and good ideas? Here are my go-to sparks:

RUNNING (usually with my dog)
Exercise fuels the brain with all kinds of goodness so, luckily, my dog Kitarequires lots of exercise each and every day. My run always gives me a much-needed dose of energy and inspiration.

I believe reading fiction makes you a better writer, and one of my favorite weekly activities is to head to the local bookstore and get lost in a genre. Magic, Wizards and Epic Fantasy? Bring it on! Historical, Bodice-Ripping Erotica? Ummm…yes. Angsty Teen Paranormal Romance? No shame here.

Music gets your blood pumping and your wheels turning. I love downloading epic soundtracks and trailer music from movies, TV shows, and video games to get my creative adrenaline going.

Letting your mind roam to those deep, dark and exciting places provides an instant boost in creativity. Go ahead and indulge in those fantasies, it’s for the sake of your business… after all.

Expanding your comfort zone is an excellent way to break through creative blocks. I try to do something that makes me feel a little uncomfortable. This week, I ate alone, slowly, in a cafe. I tasted every bite of my delicious meal. I watched people walk by. I chatted up the waitress beyond “can I have more water?” I reflected a bit in my journal. It felt a little strange in the moment, but once I arrived home I had a burst of creative energy that led to this newsletter and an exciting new chapter in the novel I’m writing.

There you have it—all my creativity boosters in one place. Give one (or all) of ‘em a try and let me know how it goes!