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Free Your Mind: 5 Creative Exercises for Writers

Brain Coral by Malcolm Browne via flickr Creative Commons (cc) Some rights reserved.


1. Talk to yourself. 

Go ahead. If you are like me, chances are good you do this on a regular basis. Now you can do it with gusto. According to Why Talking to Yourself Might Be the Highest Form of Intelligence, when we verbalize a problem or idea we clarify it for ourselves, and this process can lead us to new (and creative) insights. It’s one of the reasons “talking things out” works so well.

2. Doodle.

Your artwork may not wind up in the National Gallery, but it can stimulate your creative thought processes. I posted about using a can-doodle attitude to improve your performance and creativity long before The Wall Street Journal reported on the trend in business to encourage employees to doodle.

3. Write longhand.

Here’s another instance where putting pen to paper can change the way you think– literally. Your brain processes thoughts differently when you write by hand versus typing on a keyboard, which can pull you right out of a creative rut.

4. Embrace mistakes.

Sometimes the only thing holding a writer back from taking a creative leap is the fear of making a mistake. One of my favorite quotes is: “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” ~ Robert Schuller.

Take the plunge. Try the idea. Unless you’re conducting brain surgery, or something with similar high stakes, what’s the worst that could happen?

5.  Listen up; calm down.

Though science continues to discover and debate the effects of classical music on the brain, it remains a chemical-free, legal, and inexpensive way to alter your brainwaves.  Slow, calming classical music has been shown to reduce stress, and how can reducing stress be anything but beneficial to creativity?

As an experiment, close your eyes and spend ten or more minutes listening to a classical composition in a relaxed state. Worst case scenario? You take a relaxing ten-minute break and come back to your task refreshed.

How do you boost your creativity?

One comment on “Free Your Mind: 5 Creative Exercises for Writers

  1. […] Free Your Mind: 5 Creative Exercises for Writers […]

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