There is a lot of advice out there about being creative… how to activate your creativity, to start being creative, to get out of creative block etc etc.

David Chislett PoetryWell, I have been writing poetry since I 1980 and have never really stopped. Actually, my creative CV is pretty impressive:
Wrote songs for about 4 different bands, have 4 books behind my name, also having edited 3 more and contributed to another 3, made a documentary film, still write songs, make stone sculptures, draw and blog regularly.

One thing is clear, I can manage to keep the juices flowing.

So, what do I do?

David Chislett’s Creative Juice 5 Step Maintenance Programme

1) Run
Yeah, it’s boring, but basically, it’s like meditation for me. While focussing on running, the humdrum details of everyday life dim to a faint background buzz and I can really start to unravel innovative ideas from the mess. Exercise burns off excess energy, so I can focus on creative pursuit while also giving me deep thinking time.

2) Read
I am always reading: fiction, science, history, biography, the news, blogs, magazine articles. I especially like to read stuff I don’t know that much about, that could change my perspective on things. I know how I see the world, starting to see how others perceive it keeps me fresh.

3) Discussions
I have a few people I can get into crazy, deep, socio-political, theoretical, pseudo- scientific and fantastical chats with about a wide range of things. It’s mental sparring, it helps sort out workable ideas form bad ones, it stimulates new thoughts.

4) Routine
When on a project I keep to a routine. Like dogs and small children, it seems my creativity and urge to write responds best to having demands made on it at predictable and repeating intervals: that is, weekdays, the same time every day. When I get going like that, I find rhythm and momentum that pushes me past obstacles and generates bodies of work that can then be refined, rejected, reworked or whatever.

5) Travel
Seeing novel places means experiencing new culture which means feeling new ways of living and approaching life. These are all good for those big ‘What if…?’ questions that can spark amazing art.

Those are my top five. Attitude wise though, you’ve also got to be persistent, consistent and adaptable. If being creative is really what you want, you’ve got to put in the hours and you’ve got to ask yourself the tough questions!

What are you Creative stimulators?