5 Exercises to Get You Creating Today
We can all get into a creative slump. One week you are brimming with ideas and ambition, the next week every time you sit down to write, or get behind the lens it feels like someone let all the air out of your balloon. While this can get you pretty down – there are some things you can do to fix it. But first why does it happen?
While I’m not a creative-ologist I have had my fair share of high and low energy spells and do my best to track and record why I am experiencing them. And it all comes down to two things – your energy levels, and your exposure to unique stimulus (what we call “Inspiration”).
Have you spent the last 198/200 days working on set? Are you currently juggling a family, friends, hobbies, and your 8am-9pm career in film? This lifestyle can be draining for literally anyone. And because of that, we naturally (and unconsciously) seek higher and higher sources of supplemental energy to fill the void – coffee, sugar, way too much food for lunch. This creates a vicious cycle especially if you aren’t trying to squeeze in exercise into your overflowing schedule. And even if you aren’t seeing the change around your waist, I can promise it is happening in your brain.
Your body is a machine, and it requires fuel – if you don’t maintain it and refuel it properly, it will breakdown. And thus the mana-supplying tentacles that feed your creativity factory that sits between your ears will decide they have better things to do like keeping you awake for the 19th straight hour without your heart shutting down.
When we don’t give time for new experiences and succumb to the monotony of a day-in-day-out routine everything begins to look the same, and when everything looks the same – there is nothing new or exciting for your brain to build off of when it needs fuel to create entirely new worlds that have never existed before (a task we genuinely take for granted as creatives). Without exposing yourself to new things.. how can you hope to create new things?
And so! Here are my top 5 things to get you inspired and creating again:
- Turn down your next job.
I know this literally sounds crazy… and this may be a bad idea if you got some crazy debt to repay (don’t lose your legs over this list). But giving yourself time and space to reengage with yourself and the world will do you a lot of good.
- Go for a run/bike/swim at least 3 times a week
This is my biggest one – I know my body and brain needs endorphins to operate and an optimum level. I need the rush I get after a run to keep creating. It is so important to keep your body in tune to keep your brain humming.
- Go to the movies or art exhibit
Basically just indulge yourself in someone else’s expression or interpretation of the world around them. This will give you new goggles through which you can look at your own creative journey. (see my post on going to the movies)
- Write or shoot for at least 10mins per day
Grab your camera or your pen and generate at least 10 mins worth of something EVERY SINGLE DAY. No skipping – ever. The 10,000 rule to success in any field can not be skipped by anyone.
- Chat with other creatives in your field
Go take another director/writer/cinematographer out for coffee. Ask them what their muse is right now. Who do they adore on instagram? What is the one movie they saw this year that changed them or their style? Encourage each other to keep setting the bar higher for yourselves.
Creative blocks suck. But they are totally manageable – it may seem like a steep incline out of this slump but it levels off pretty quickly and you will be so happy you put in the effort to climb out.