ZEN HABITS blog (by Leo Babauta) is definitely worth a read for those of you out there who want to 'be creative' or keep that creativity flowing. Here's a great post which I think rounds off this year nicely and will introduce a positive and creative 2014 for everyone. Enjoy! :)
"How Creativity Works and How to Do It
What follows are some ideas I’ve found to be important in my experience:
- Create time for solitude. In interviewing others, I found that solitude is the No. 1 creative habit of highly creative people. If you’re immersed in online distractions and other busy-ness, you’ll never have the space to consider the ideas you’ve gleaned from elsewhere, or think about how to remix them. So while connection is important (see other steps below), time for solitude is just as critical and often forgotten.
- Search for interesting ideas. What are other people doing? Don’t read about the ideas of others so you can compare yourself to them and feel bad, but simply for the cultivation of interesting ideas. They’re all over, in blogs and online magazines, to the people you meet every day who are doing interesting things, to the friends and family you interact with regularly. Read a lot, observe more.
- Keep an idea file. As you find interesting ideas, throw them into a text file. You don’t need to ever use them, but just keep notes. You can review this every couple of weeks, and see if anything sparks something for you.
- Reflect on ideas, apply them to your field. Are you a novelist? Can you take ideas from your favorite books, like magical realism or suspense devices, and put them into yours somehow? Whatever your field, there are ideas from within your field, and other places, that could possibly be applied to what you’re doing. Take a few moments, maybe in the shower or on your commute or on a daily walk or run, to think about how you might apply these ideas to your projects. Then write them in your idea file — you don’t have to do these new ideas, but if they really excite you, consider it.
- Iterate on what you’ve come up with. Remixing a couple of ideas in new ways isn’t the end of the process. You might find new ideas to add to the mix. You might remix the same ideas in new ways. The process continues for as long as you continue to stir the pot, and could get better and better, so don’t give up on your stew."