Creativity is Found “Outside The Fish Bowl”

As a marketer and creative person, my brain is split 50/50. I can think about numbers and strategy with a balanced creative outlet to make a plan come alive. Most of my marketing efforts are done online with today’s technology support. Truth be told, only half of my creativity is found online. ::gasp:: I love to browse on Pinterest and read articles, but when I am offline my creativity gains momentum.

When you work on similar projects over and over, how do you stay sharp? What sparks your creativity? My sister has always told me to, “Think outside the fish bowl“. And she is absolutely correct.

I have made it a healthy habit to eat lunch away from any technology or device. I try to communicate with those around me (if someone is there). And if not, I pick up a book or magazine and start reading. I try to stay off technology so I can recharge my brain. When I am flipping through a magazine, I try to find inspiration in whatever project I am working on. I read through a book and write down great quotes.

How do you nourish your creativity? What methods work best for you?

Source credit: Social Outlier |  Words: RT Consulting

9 ways to “Think Outside the Fish Bowl”

  1. Subscribe to different magazines to catch up on industry trends. The top of my list are Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., Oprah, Health Magazine, and Jacksonville Magazine.
  2. Read an industry/business book on a regular basis. I have a habit of ready many book at the same time. I go back and forth. The books on my bookshelf are: Creativity for Sale by Jason SurfrApp, The Business Side of Creativity by Cameron S. Foote, and Start Your Own Business by Entrepreneur Press.
  3. Exercise. Seriously. The more I exercise the less tension I have in my body. I light weights and balance it out with cardio. I drink lots of water (after my morning blueberry juice and coffee) throughout the day to stay hydrated. My mind spins around all day with ideas and when I workout, it boosts something inside me to do it again another day.
  4. Meditation and pray. It has been said you have to work for a work/life balance. When you have a focus on what is important and what isn’t, life goes smoother. When you mediate on this and pray over it, life’s goals are within reach.
  5. Get off technology and network, mingle, and mean it. We are all behind a desk or pushing the deadline. A genuine connection offline can enhance who you are and your work performance. Try it.
  6. Watch a movie. What is your favorite movie of all time? If you had to stop and think about it, you need to disconnect more. Life is about sharing experiences with one another. A movie is a great way to use your imagination.
  7. Make a dream/vision board. I love how my mom and Nicole Sanchez live out their dreams. Both have shared with me the dreams they have for their life and show me. It comes in the form of a few magazine clippings, words, drawings, and crafy things in between to bring their dream to life.
  8. Get back with nature. I like to garden. I loathe doing yard work. When I am walking around in my backyard, I soak it all in. The humid air, sun shine, birds chirping, and my vegetable plants growing. Nature never ceases to amaze me as it is constantly evolving.
  9. Write your thoughts down. Thoughts are fleeting through our mind every day. When you write them down so you can go back to them and evolve them.

Write With A Purpose

I graduate today and the reality of it all hasn’t set in quite yet. Maybe it’ll sink in after I put on the infamous cap, gown, and tassel. Speaking  of tassel… (slight panic) … whew! I had thought I lost it, but I found it after looking in two or three places. I was going to write on my predicted topic of “Which Tazo Tea is Supreme?” but I found myself unsure how to make it different from the other posts. On the Dr. Oz’s show he had a segment about tea and the health benefits. If you missed it, you can catch it online here. After the segment on Dr. Oz, I found myself inspired by wanting to research more about the topic. Instead of pushing through another post, I want to urge you to write with a purpose.

Allow Your Topic To Evolve

I will say it again, allow your topic to evolve. I wrote out a “game plan” when I started blogging about teas and after watching the Dr. Oz’s show, I wanted to research more. I’m surprised I didn’t research more in the beginning like I normally would, but I wanted to have fun with “The Starbucks Experiment”. If you find a mainstream thought or topic–make it your own. Explore through a flow chart of the many ways you could write on the subject. This could start your creative process. If you do all this and then come back to it again, maybe you will gain a new perspective that you didn’t get before. Unless you have thoroughly thought out your topic, the direction you will write it out in can evolve right before your eyes as you type it out. It has even happened to me. I was thankful I let my creativity flow instead of my brain tell my fingers to stop. If you break the cycle of a topic evolving, you might miss out on a chance to produce something great.

Why Are You Writing?

Ask yourself that question. Go ahead. Do it. I do this quite often and it reminds me that I am writing with a purpose to  help people. I am passionate about those two things, so it comes easy to me to encourage others in various topics and degrees. What are you passionate about? Do you think you could share that passion through writing or other forms of expression? (Writing is just one way to get your voice out there.) I have participated in webinars for blogging and some suggest to mix up your style while others say consistency is key. I agree with both as long as you don’t lost sight of the reason you decided to start in the first place. If you write as a career or hobby, pretend an imaginary train is telling you, “I know I can, I know I can” as you write day in and day out. If you are a robot and produce great content in a drop of a dime, then you are better than I am. Are you writing to entertain people and find yourself not feeling it? Go watch a comedy and be inspired again! Maybe you started writing to get all your thoughts and emotions out, but haven’t found time to continue with it. I can assure you an hour or less a day writing is therapeutic. My creative process to stay inspired is always a work in progress because the lists of topics I want to write about keeps growing.

What is Your Creative Process?

I keep mentioning my creative process, but let me explain more. There’s an application called Wunderlist and you can download it for FREE on your desktop or your smart phone. The application is synced through “the cloud” without any contracts with Apple or Android. If you have it on both the computer and phone, it is amazing to have both updated! I have a lot of things on my mind and creativity never sleeps, so I plug them into the application to get them off my mind and saved for a later time. In my opinion, the coolest feature is setting deadlines for when things are due. I had over 20 tasks due today, but now I have 11 left to finish. Deadlines motivate me and I am often working under pressure. Explore it and see what you think! Another neat feature is the option to categorize your lists and this is how mine now looks:

As you can see, I have a “blog” list created. These are the topics I will be writing about in the upcoming weeks. Before they get on this list, I start on a broader topic such as the iPhone. I’ll expand on it later with thought map like this:

Once I have enough –> arrows to create a fluid story, I’ll add it to Wunderlist. When it comes to my blog topics I don’t set a deadline for them. It depends on my mood which topic will come out easier. I do this to almost pick-and-choose a topic each time I write.

Follow Others

When you write, I can imagine you are hoping someone out there will read it. If you follow other bloggers, you can follow with an open mind and learn something new. I found a blog on here that writes in cartoons. I have never thought of doing it that way before, but find it interesting to see what she posts next. When you follow someone, you start a relationship with them. Don’t let that scare you because it should encourage you to know they may or may not follow you back. We are humans and we were made to be united with one another. The benefit of following someone is to see different blogging styles. Just like the cartoon entries I look forward to, people are expressing themselves in ways you could try or adopt as a part of your own. I used to write lengthy blog entries because I had a lot to say. When I read another blog post that was a similar length as mine, I found myself not wanting to read the whole thing. Why is that? The writer was informative, but I wanted to scan and look the post over instead of reading it. Through that experience, I have learned to add a few bullet lists, “how-to’s”, and add in visuals to enhance your words. I will be adding video once I explore it some more.

What are some ways you find helpful when writing?