In my previous post, I talked about the impact that COVID-19 has been having on us artists, and in particular, the personal struggles I’ve been going through in this time.
Running low on creativity is a natural side-effect to the pandemic. We’ve completely revamped our routines in light of these changes. The need to exercise more caution, practice social distancing and isolation, and other stressors might pile up and have you metaphorically gasping for some creative release.
“The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.” Sylvia Plath
Remaining mindful of your health during these turbulent times is essential. And while you focus on eating healthy, keeping fit and catching up on rest, there are a couple of things you can also do to stay connected with your creative muse.
How to Keep the Creativity Flowing
#1. Read, Read, Read
While it’s not set in stone that every good writer must be an avid reader, it certainly does help to keep your creative wheels turning. Immersing yourself in a positive and routine reading experience will keep your mind actively inspired.
Other artists and creators can cover perspectives and angles to your genre that you may not have thought of. By reading, you consume more knowledge that in turn can inspire your next great work of art.
It’s also good to break out of your comfort zone and read books by authors whose styles and voice differ from your own.
#2. Socialize. Seriously.
So, maybe you can’t go for a night of drinking and dancing with your friends. Or game night with your squad may no longer be an option cause you’d rather be safe than sorry. Don’t let that stop you from staying connected with your loved ones.
It’s important you stay in touch and find ways to spend time with your friends. You don’t want to completely shut yourself off from society; it’s as integral to your creative health as it is for your mental well-being.
Remember who your stories center around? That’s right: people. Characters that you sometimes build off your own experiences and your view of the world.
Taking the time to listen, work on your relationships and spend time with others in whatever way you can will keep you balanced socially, further fueling your understanding of your own characters.
#3. Join a Writing Community
If you’re shy of sharing your work online with the world, that’s totally fine! You can still meet other writers, read their work, give them feedback and bounce ideas off of them.
Finding a writing community can make a huge difference. I’ve met some of my best friends and closest creative partners on writing platforms like these. It’s a great way to connect with likeminded people who are going through the same struggles you are.
Having a circle of creative pals to talk to and share your journey will help you realize you’re not alone in this pandemic. This group support may be exactly what you need.
#4. Have Yourself a Write-cation
Now, bear with me. You may think this strategy’s a little contradictory. Doesn’t creativity = writing? No, it doesn’t have to.
Honing your mind to remain creative, even during the times you aren’t writing, is a master skill. You don’t want to be controlled by your creative urges; rather, you should work toward building the ability to tap into your creativity and release it any time, any way you wish.
This isn’t a transformation that can happen overnight. In fact, achieving this creative Nirvana can take several years. But one way to get closer is by giving yourself a break from writing.
You may think the pandemic and the free time you gain for yourself translates to the best possible time to write. But on the other hand, it’s also a great time to stop breaking your head and pressuring yourself to write – instead, taking the time for introspection and retreat to a creativity resort of your own.
Give your drafts and stories some breathing space. Lighten up your mind. Allow yourself time and space to feel what you need to feel.
You’d be surprised what a good write-cation can do to boost your creativity in the long run.
Guys, let’s be real: the pandemic isn’t going to go away as fast as we want it to. I’m sure none of us want to look back on this year and beat ourselves up for not writing enough or creating as much as we did before.
These circumstances aren’t easy on anyone so cut yourself some slack and don’t force yourself to write. Set yourself goals but make them flexible. Celebrate all your victories, big and small, and don’t linger on the “bad stuff.”
Being mindful of yourself and your creative health also means knowing when to go easy and slow.
While you find ways to boost your creativity, also focus on boosting yourself. Remember that one won’t work without the other.