I commented to my husband today how I hadn’t been to a book store since June. He was like, so I haven’t had a cigarette since June. Do you think you are hurting or something? Yes, I sort of am.
He doesn’t quite get why bookstores are important to me. I didn’t at first. It was just one of those things Marcy likes to do, but it’s more than that.
“In expanding our own creativity, it’s very important to learn what it is that stimulates your creative process.” Ned Herrmann
Ned Herrmann states what has taken me a year to figure out. That if we want to expand our creativity we need to identify what stimulates our creative process. It will be things that may be meaningless to others, but mean a great deal to us.
Here is what stimulates my creative process:
- Reading. Reading stimulates my mind, and soul. I need mental stimulation. Reading is one of the few ways I can get it. I need it to survive. I gain ideas, insights, increase my vocabulary, am introduced to old and new worlds, and get personal access into the author’s creative process.
- Bookstores. I visit used bookstores and go on hunts for old books that I want to read. I am stimulated by the visual appearance of the books, by unique magazines, by book titles, and topics that I may have never been introduced to before. One of my favorite stores has a unique selection of magazines from around the world. The images, stories, titles and colors often over stimulate me. My mind goes wild and I have to work hard to maintain disciplined thought.
- Good conversation. I yearn for a lively discussion about ideas, dreams and thoughts. I have found only a handful of people who can have this type of discussion. I often have to work very hard to find creative people to talk to. I recently enrolled in a writing class just to be near creatives and enjoy conversation with them. I feel dry and parched. I need the stimulation of a good creative conversation.
- Nature. My mind often races with ideas, thoughts, and concerns. Hiking and running outdoors gives my mind needed rest. It also frees my mind from the worries of the day, and this gives me the opportunity to dream, and create. Something that is difficult to do after a wearisome day of the same old routine.
- Learning. I am a faithful lifelong learner. If I could I would gladly remain in college the rest of my life. I am absolutely stimulated by education. I can’t learn enough and won’t have enough time in my life to read and learn everything that I want to. The more I learn the more ideas I have and the more I expand my creative process.
- Listening. Several years ago I learned the importance of listening. I had become a self centered communicator. I communicated to achieve a goal or get something out of it for me. When I learned to just listen, and to think more of others than myself my life changed. I have learned so much, and have been stimulated beyond what I could hope for. Take the time to really listen to people, and you will find a world you never knew existed.
- Observe. Life takes on new meaning for me when I spend time observing. Observing themes, patterns, ideas, behaviors and life. It’s amazing at what you can truly see and the stimulation you can receive if you see what is really going on around you. If you look beyond the moment and view life as a whole.
That is what stimulates me. It has taken me a year to identify the ways that I am stimulated. What stimulates your creative process? Have you taken the time to figure it out? I hope that you do.
Once you identify what stimulates your creative process you can ensure that you build those things into your life. The rote and routine of life will not produce great works of art, but doing what stimulates you will.
This week, I hope you will identify one thing that stimulates your creativity. Your list may look completely different than mine. I have no doubt that it will. In fact I am counting on it because it will reflect who you are.