What do you do to get your creative juices going?
I became aware of my creative triggers when I was a teenager – starting with cruising around my hometown on my bike and dreaming up great ideas and master plans for the future. But the bike was just the beginning of it. I later set out to find out what my creative triggers where, both when it came to my writing, but also when it came to drawing.
Creative trigger for writing: trains.
When I am doing keynote speaking gigs in Scandinavia or Germany, I prefer to get on a train and write for hours on end. I don’t know why I get so focused on trains, but it works every time. I get sucked into this train writing vacuum each time I get on a train, and I loose track of time.
Creative trigger for drawing: Rebellion
When I am going to draw something, I find inspiration in music and rebellic pictures. Street art. Words written to inspire. The image in this post is a quick sketch of a smoking panda.
Why do we have creative triggers?
I think it’s our brain’s way of saying “you’re inspired now – get to work”. Sometimes being in a room with no WiFi can be a creative trigger – simply because I get the feeling of not being on the internet, so I might as well write. That feeling of inspiration is one of my favorite feelings in the world. So, when I can’t get on a train to get big chunks of words down on paper, I go for a brisk walk of around 40 mins. Another thing I often do is to go across the sea from here, to Helsingborg to sit at a café and write. I think the travelling aspect helps with inspiration as well. Or maybe, that things are just different if you go to another country.
Last week I wrote about being on a writing retreat in the middle of nowhere. I was so productive. If I am in a big city (Berlin is one of my favorites) I have a need to explore and not to sit down and write all the time. Mind you, when I am exploring, my favorite thing is to bring my small Ipad to a coffee shop and sit there and write. Normally it’s good words and work that comes out of it.
I think it’s important to know how you can trigger your creativity. It’s also important not to leave everything up to “feeling inspired”, but getting to work even though you’re not inspired and then appreciate when inspiration comes to you. Writing for me, is a job. It’s just what I do. If I left it up to “chance” or “inspiration” to get going each morning, I wouldn’t get much done.