How to be creative — Tip #1

Luke runs toward the shallow waves of the Gulf of Mexico

Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach. — Michelle Held

I don’t know about you, but I find it all too easy to fall into what I call the “routine rut.”  Routines are great, especially when you have kids, because it keeps you on track and there are (hopefully) fewer meltdowns.  But routines can also lead to boredom.  For me, a creative, that can lead to all sorts of problems — everything from anxiety to lack of inspiration.

It’s just tough to feel creative when you’re slogging through each day, just putting one foot down in front of the next.

How do you get back that creative spark?

Cindy’s Tip #1: Get outta town

For the first time in years, the family and I took a road trip.  Since Luke was born, the farthest we’ve ventured from Austin has been San Antonio.  It was time to get away.  So we packed up the kids and headed out.  Along the way, we stopped at the beach for a few hours.  It was the first time either of my kids had been to the beach, and that’s why we initially decided to stop, but it turned out to be just as important for me as for them.

Hanging at the beach relaxed me.  It reminded me how much fun it is to be splashed by a wave, feel sand between my toes, have tiny fish brush and nibble at my legs.  Time sped up and slowed down all at the same time.

By the time we drove away, I was already refreshed.  And I was excited about returning to work, because I had had time to reflect on my projects in my downtime and I had new ideas I wanted to try.

A change of scenery can do the opposite of what you might expect.  It can inspire you and spark creative ideas.  In essence — it can help you be more productive.  And it’s not just good for you — it’s good for everyone around you.  I had time to reconnect with my kids and husband during our trip.  That’s something that’s tough to do when you’re putting in long hours during the week and rushing around on the weekends trying to run errands.

Yep, a road trip (and specifically the beach) was definitely good for my creativity.  How about you?  What do you do to find inspiration?  Have you traveled anywhere that has changed your mood?


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