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All of us have those times when we're not feeling very creative. Maybe you have a sick child or a cranky elderly parent or are coping with a day job that causes you a lot of anxiety. The good news is that no matter what your circumstances are you can take steps to foster your creative side.
One of the keys to nurturing creativity within yourself and others is the ability to shake off the mundane and push your thoughts and feelings into a new area. I just read a great article a few days ago that got me thinking about new ways to organize my day-job office as well as my home office to create mini-environments. Luckily I have huge composite board desks at both offices. The article suggested that I divide each desk into 3-4 zones. Each zone would have a function. One zone would be for administrative tasks, one for correspondence and communication and one for creativity. As you might expect, the creative zone is the most fun to decorate, but it doesn't have to be with expensive items. The creative zone might have a corkboard with colorful art, multi-colored paper clips, color construction paper, or a few favorite books. Whatever objects speak to you and say "fun and creative" would be perfect candidates for that space. One of my colleagues has a metal sculpture with pieces that can rearranged in different ways. It's impossible to pick up that sculpture and not play with it!
And don't despair if you don't have much space in your office or home. It's amazing how even a small space can become a creative haven. A few months ago, I went to a talk given by a wonderful artist and writer of children's books. She talked about having her own tiny closet as a child where her mother let her store anything she wanted. She filled it with colorful fabrics, buttons from old-fashioned clothes, feathers she found in the park. It's no wonder that as she grew older she never lost that childlike wonder of finding the perfect shell on the beach or the glittery piece of quartz. Her stories reflect that creativity. Her art is a reflective collage of these happy childhood memories. She hasn't forgotten how to be a child.
Her talk reminded me of something I hadn't thought of in many years. When I was 8 or 9 years old I used to love collecting things that sparkled. Rocks, buttons and sequins were some of my favorites. I asked my mother for something to house my collection. But my mother was far too creative to give me a simple box! Instead she brought me an empty egg carton and we played together, arranging the different objects by color, brightness, or shape. That lowly egg carton became a favorite object to carry out in the backyard or to play with on rainy day.
Find the simple things that hold that sparkle for you and bring them into your environment. Childlike joys will nurture your creativity and give you the inspirational spark to light up your stories.
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