Sunday, 19 March 2017

March is International Ideas Month

I found out the other day, that this month is International Ideas Month. I feel like I've missed an opportunity here, but I've also (unintentionally) been taking part. I've been carrying a small journal notebook on me because I get ideas at the strangest time, and usually have no way to record them. But this 'commonplace book' method has been a godsend. I don't know why I didn't try it sooner. Using it, I've been recording some ideas over the past week or so for various projects. These have included extra bits I could use in my coursework, potential ebooks I could compile to share, videos I could share on my youtube channel, and ideas for future posts on this website - amongst other things.

If anyone is working on a project, or looking to start a new one, here are some tips which I think could be useful.

  1. Carry a notebook/journal/commonplace book EVERYWHERE: - I was surprised at the different places inspiration can strike. If you tell yourself that you will remember it later, chances are you won't. It doesn't have to be a fancy notebook (I actually find cheap ones to be better, because I can really go to town on filling them up and it doesn't matter so much if they get beat up and damaged).
  2. Read widely: - Reading something new - or rereading an old book with a new approach - can spark inspiration. This can either be directly from the book, or the book reminding you of something you heard elsewhere. Oh, and of course, don't limit your reading to books. Magazines, journals, newspapers, websites, blogs, etc. all provide fuel for creative fires.
  3. Watch widely: - This is an extension of the above point, but watch all sorts. Youtube provides a wonderful resource for finding new things, and the format could be something you become interested in getting involved in yourself.
  4. Mix up your routine: - We can all get stuck in a rut, which stifles creativity and inspiration. So encourage yourself to do something different to mix things up. It doesn't have to be wild, just a small change can get the ball rolling. For instance, going to a new place for your lunch at work/school, or going for a 15 minute walk on a night once you have finished your dinner. Just doing something different can perk your brain up and clear out the cobwebs.
  5. Finally, don't force it: - This is one of the most important points, if not THE most important. Don't try to force ideas, doing so just builds up frustration and resistance. If your are facing creative blockages, I find it more useful to go do something relaxing and enjoyable. This helps lower my tension levels and open my mind to new possibilities. I find it can be useful to build a little 'inspiration station' where there are books, resources, and items which inspire me. There is also a playlist I have on my phone which has music which gets me into the creative mood again, and when I put that on I get into the flow straight away (it is actually playing as I write this post 😉).

Here are some questions for YOU to ponder;
HOW do you record ideas? WHERE do you get your best ideas? WHAT kinds of ideas do you get? HOW can you get the creative juices pumping to come up with some brand new ideas? WHAT is your newest idea?
Get stuck in, enjoy it, and go create something new and amazing. You have all the creativity you need locked inside, it's just a matter of finding the right key.

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