As a creative or lifestyle entrepreneur, you often have to always be ON. However, what happens when you just can’t get your creative juices flowing? What do you do?
As some of you may know, I am the founder and host of Dreams In Drive – which is (as of right now) a weekly podcast geared towards creative and lifestyle entrepreneurs where we teach you how to take your dreams out of PARK and into DRIVE. Between juggling my 9-5 day job in marketing, running ranacampbell.com, producing a weekly podcast, and all other things related to trying to be a successful adult, life can be a bit draining at times. It’s especially draining when I want to find time to be creative and think of new ideas and ways to build my brand(s).
Here are my tips for how you get take yourself out of a creative slump and start executing, producing, and making things happen. I partnered with Mazda, who was kind enough to let me review the 2016 Mazda 6 Grand Touring for a week. With the help of my photographer boyfriend, we scouted some unique locations for a shoot in order to fit in with the theme of getting your creative juices flowing. Hope you enjoy!
1. FIND SOMEWHERE NEW IN AN AREA YOU KNOW VERY WELL. Sometimes when you think you’re stuck, you really aren’t. You just need to reframe the situation. One of my favorite tricks for getting fresh ideas flowing is to find somewhere new that I’ve never gone before in a place that I know very well. The very act of exploring helps you recharge. When you are actively trying to find the novel in something old, new cells are created in your brain that directly increase your levels of creativity. (I made that up, but you know what I mean.) In essence, exploring is key to helping you increase creativity. Find somewhere new to explore. Talk to a random stranger. Make a left instead of right. You’ll be surprised by what you uncover within yourself and in the world. For instance, with this shoot, we decided that we had to stay local, find a location we had never shot at before, and needed to shoot two looks within an hour before the sun went down. When you’re under pressure, you oftentimes produce your best work. We ended up driving to the arts district and finding this really cool graffiti wall and getting a few great shots.
2. SET LIMITS. This may seem counterintuitive, but it works. When I was younger, one of my favorite things to do was to free-write based on random topics. I picked a word out of the dictionary and forced myself to write down whatever came to mind for a set period of time. When you do this, you’re forced to get creative and tap into your inner intellect. Sometimes the content you create can be inspiring. For example, when getting ready for this shoot, I decided that I was going to wear the outfit pictured. The very act of setting a limit on the outfit allowed me to get to the next step. One tip that you can use in your own creative pursuits would be to COMMIT to taking one action. For example, let’s say you’re a photographer and need to shoot for your portfolio. You can’t think of what or where to shoot. Put numbered sticky notes on random objects (or people) in your home. Then have someone randomly choose a number. Whatever number you get now becomes the subject of your next shoot. You’re free to interpret however you want. Now, you have a subject for your portfolio shoot. The key to this step is remembering that good work doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes we spend so much time planning and not enough time doing. You can get out of a creative slump by creating parameters and taking quick action.
3. CARRY AN IDEA NOTEBOOK EVERYWHERE YOU GO/ WRITE DOWN YOUR THOUGHTS. As a kid, my father used to tell me that you can never be bored as long as you are able to think. Years later, I am so appreciative he taught me this lesson so early on in life. Wherever I go, I make sure to carry a small “idea book” in my handbag. Sometimes we think that we are in a creative slump, but what’s really happening is that we aren’t capturing our creative thoughts during the day. If you actively try to record ideas as they come into your head, you’ll have a repertoire of ideas to refer to whenever you’re “bored” or “stuck.” I find it extremely fun to go back to old idea books and look back on themes and reflections from past moments in my life. Sometimes just reviewing old notes can spark new ideas!
Creativity is within us all. Sometimes we just have to take some time to find it. If you have any more tips on how to get your creative juices flowing, leave a COMMENT below!
Here are some of my thoughts on the 2016 Mazda 6 Grand Touring (for you reading who like cars (like me) and want to know a little more about the vehicle behind my own creative inspirations.
- Great on fuel. This car averages 32 miles per gallon (28 city/40 highway.) I had the car for a week and didn’t have to fuel at all. (This was with daily driving and a 45-mile round trip commute to work.) Any car that is good on gas in a win in my book.
- Technology is A+. What has always impressed me about all the Mazdas I’ve driven is the technology package. The Mazda 6 was no different. This car included a Mazda Radar Crusie Control, smart brake support, high-beam control, lane departure, warning system, blind spot monitoring, and more! My type of car.
- Color. The car exterior color is “Titanium Flash Mica.” Beyond the color being quite sleek, I genuinely think the name was very creative!
- Body is sick! At night, the front grills on the car have this crazy underlighting effect that gives it a luxurious effect. Everyone who saw it was impressed and commented that it made the car look more high-end than it was. (This car retails at $33,515 which is a bit over my personal budget, but if you can afford it, I’d recommend.) Because it was summer when I did the test drive, I couldn’t utilize the front heated seats, but I can only imagine how clutch that would be in the winter time.
PS- If you’re a creative or lifestyle entrepreneur and need more help getting your creative juices flowing, click here to join the #dreamsindrive community.
Note: Thanks to Mazda for allowing me to drive the car for review purposes. All opinions are my own. #drivemazda
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