Stepping Up Your CreativityNov 20, 2021
By Claire Winter.
How do you spark your creativity? For me, it's the lifeblood of any successful business or entrepreneur.
When and how do you get inspired? On the one hand, it can often occur when least expected, such as while you're trying to get to sleep, travel, read a book, look at art, or listen to music. Forcing it never works.
There are times when you are sitting at a desk, internally screaming at a screen or blank paper, seeking inspiration when it feels non-existent. Creative blocks can arise for many different reasons; it may feel like there's a problem you can't overcome, overwhelm, fear of failure, or self-doubt. There may also be personal issues in your life affecting your creativity levels. Being creatively blocked can feel incredibly frustrating, time-consuming, and ultimately, can lead to a lack of motivation. The most important thing to remember is that creative blocks happen to everyone, but there are ways in which you can overcome them.
It may surprise you, but going for a walk, whether indoors or outside, has been found to boost creativity. A study from Stanford University found walking increased creativity by sixty per cent. Even the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that all great ideas came from walking, and the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, would hold meetings while on foot.
The pandemic has meant that many people have found a renewed love of the virtual walking meeting and walking locally for fun and exercise. So, what is it about walking that helps our brains switch into a creative mode?
As we all know, exercise is not only good for our physical health but also our mental health. It's known for helping to reduce stress and anxiety while also improving memory, energy levels and sleeping patterns. By boosting mood and energy, you are also helping to get those creative juices flowing.
Interestingly the creative output was similar whether walking on a treadmill or being in nature; researchers think it is because you are using multiple areas of your brain that it fires up creativity. Personally, I think walking in the great outdoors is the perfect combination to empty the mind, get inspired and come up with new creative ideas.
Taking a walk takes the stress of the creative block away. By going for a walk outside, our minds observe scenery around us, concentrating on where to walk to, when to cross a road and look at the people around us. Suddenly, that stress from the creative block we have been experiencing is more towards the back of our minds. Taking a walk allows the overthinking cycle to break when we are stressed about not finding a solution to our creative block.
I believe so passionately in the ability for walking to ignite creativity that I created an online course called the Awaken the Creatrix Circle, a powerful space to walk and write together online. Each week, members are given a writing prompt. They go for a walk, and we return to write on Zoom together to write the words that need to be written. We have a Facebook community to share, and they also get expert feedback from me. My next course starts in the new year; if you want to learn more, email [email protected]
So, the next time you feel stressed or blocked, go for a walk. Imagine the amount of creativity you could have. Sitting at a desk all day can lead to frustration and procrastination. So next time you are stuck - you know what you need to do.
Claire Winter is the host of the Cracking Content podcast and a Copy and Content trainer and coach. She is passionate about helping coaches and creative entrepreneurs to amplify their expertise through storytelling, content, and PR so that they can get more sales and make a bigger impact through 1:1 coaching, her digital courses and membership.
Claire currently writes for all 41 Families magazines that cover the UK, which reach 9 million parents a year. She has have been a content creator for 20 years and helped thousands of business owners get more sales with their content marketing. She is a trained NCTJ journalist and started her career at ITN in radio and television. She also runs a free Facebook community called Cracking Content where she shares writing, content, and PR tips.
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