Beliefs

10 Ways to Make Sure You Never Run out of Creativity

Do you do your best to fill up your creativity tank every day? 

Or maybe you don’t even think about it – like many of us – until you start feeling burnt out, apathetic, or indifferent to the projects you were once crazy passionate about.

You know you’re running out of fuel if you’re writing your screenplay, trudging through pages more focused on doing it right than you are on telling your story. If you’re feeling apathetic or you’re letting the critic in your head entertain you, these are all signs that you need to stop and fill up that creativity tank.

Writing is all about creativity and you can’t afford to run out of creative fuel. Let’s make this the year we do something every day to keep our creativity tanks from ever running on empty. 

How do we fill our creativity tanks?

There are some things you can do that have a compound effect and are the most sustainable ways of filling up your tank, and then there are some instant, on-demand ways you can use every day. 

Here are 10 ways to make sure you never run out of creativity, inspiration, and joy for the projects you love.

Get out of your usual environment for a day or two. Go camping or stay in an Airbnb for a night or two, even if it’s only a few miles away. I try to do this every quarter and it always shatters my current ceilings and gets me out of any ruts to create new pathways in my brain. I always come back with at least one big breakthrough and plenty of fresh ideas. Alternatively, you could do a day trip; get up early and spend the whole day in a new town, out in nature, or just go on a super long drive. When you plan for these little getaways, it gives you that anticipation effect, too. This is probably one of the most powerful practices for me as a creative.

Find a hobby or practice outside of writing. Do something physical like a DIY project, playing guitar, gardening, or my number one go-to, cooking and trying new recipes. Learn a new skill or try something new with zero attachment to the outcome. 

Curate your social media by following the people that inspire you, not the people you think you should follow. Many writers will get on social sites and follow a bunch of other screenwriters, writing gurus, and people they think they should follow because that’s what they’ve been told to do to succeed. If that is inspiring to you, great. For me, I decided I really want to curate my social media this year because I noticed when I was going on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, it was the opposite of inspiring. It was draining me, causing me to compare and despair and to feel a little less excited about my own life. That’s not healthy. The good news is that we have 100% control over curating our social sites, so why not spend time making it a place that inspires you?

Find a writing partner or create a mastermind group that meets every week to inspire each other. Collaborating with others can be a great way to fill up your creativity tank. Or, you could hire a creativity coach like me! It’s amazing how listening to others and being curious about their creative process can boost your own. When you are working together, both contributing to a common purpose, it just takes creativity to a whole other level. Having positive, healthy relationships in our lives, even if they’re not direct collaborators in our writing, will contribute to keeping our fuel tanks filled up. 

Appreciate where you are in your journey. What I mean by this is that it is really easy for writers to start spinning out with a lot of mind chatter and talking smack to themselves about how they should be further along, or they will never be good enough, this is taking too long, etc. They obsess that the grass will be greener when they make it, when they sell their screenplay or win a contest. Why not obsess over finding the good in every day? Find the small win; find everything there is to appreciate in your life today. 

Take care of yourself; you cannot keep your creativity tank full if all your energy is being sapped by poor health. Sleep, nutrition, and movement – all of these fall under the umbrella of taking good care of yourself. There is so much we can do to take care of our physical bodies so they are not competing with our creative energy. I know writers with chronic illnesses, and they really get this and are adamant about managing their sleep, nutrition, and movement and are far better about it than a lot of us who do not contend with chronic illnesses.  

Spend time really connecting with the spiritual source or wisdom that you trust. This might look like journaling, meditating, or prayer. I like to journal and that is how I connect with and talk to God. You may have a different name for God or a spiritual belief. This is number one on my list, and for me has been the most sustainable way to fuel not just my creativity but all areas of my life.

Listen to podcasts and read books that are not about writing. When you write a screenplay, you’re not writing about writing screenplays. It makes sense to consume more content that is about the things that you want to write about.

Develop the skills of curiosity and listening. Ask lots of questions and look past your own beliefs about specific topics instead of defaulting to passing judgment on what you hear and see. One of the marks of a great screenwriter is the ability to tell a story from both sides of the film’s dramatic question. It’s a skill that has become particularly challenging in today’s environment as many writers feel called to use their stories as soapboxes. I think it’s great to use stories as a way to create change, but I’ve never had a story inspire change in me by the writer telling me I was wrong and they were right. When we become curious instead of judgmental, our creativity tanks cannot help but be filled with every human interaction we have, and our stories will inspire that in others. 

These practices have a compound effect and can be the most sustainable form of filling up your creativity tank. This last one is something you can draw from every day on demand.  

Enjoy life’s simple pleasures every day. Create your list and when you start feeling a little sloth-like in your writing, pick something from it to give you a creative reset.  

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Get an adult coloring book and some fancy colored pencils, and just zone out to some good music and color.
  2. Work on a craft or DIY project for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Have a daily coffee or tea ritual.
  4. Find a new recipe to try.
  5. Get some fresh air by going for a 30-minute walk.
  6. Collect inspirational quotes and photos (I do this on Pinterest).
  7. Move your body – dance, do some gardening, clean out your car or fridge. I love scheduling these things in between my working blocks of time. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes and it gives you a nice burst of positive energy.
  8. Read for 15 minutes.
  9. Find something to laugh about; watch a funny show or listen to comedy. Laughter definitely fills the creativity tank.
  10. Connect with someone who inspires you by sending them a quick email or reaching out on social media.  
  11. Take 10 or 15 minutes to just be. Let your mind wander and just breathe.

Henry David Thoreau said, “That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

Let this be the year that you keep your creativity tank filled up so you can get your projects out into the world where they belong. 

P.S. Need help incubating your project? As a creative coach and screenwriter, I help you take your idea from concept to final draft and finally get it out into the world where it belongs. Book a free consultation and find out how we can work together.