Friday, May 21, 2010
A comment by one of my visitors yesterday suggested she was lacking in inspiration, or at least the inspiration from which imagination flows.
For creative types, we know we need that in order to do our work. Without imagination, our work would be one-dimensional at best. It might lack stories. It might lack symbolism. It might lack analogies. And our audience might not quite connect to the message. The use of our imagination helps us connect with others in a more meaningful way. So if you're feeling less imaginative than you know you can be, it's important to try things to liven it back up.
I suggested she do what I'm doing and blog for a month about what inspires her. Since I've been focused on blogging about inspiration, I've noticed I am more connected to the world around me. This particular focus has opened my heart, mind and soul to see things in a more colorful way. I've been reconnecting with a deeper sense of my creative side.
And my imagination is running full blast, flowing into various areas of my life. Not only has it helped me come up with new ideas to pitch to editors, but it's also led to new ideas about what to make for dinner and how to spend my free time.
Like any muse, imagination needs to be nurtured. If you're finding yourself less than imaginative these days, or if you've been lacking the inspiration you need to complete a project or develop new ones, think about what you're doing to fuel your creative side. Take proactive steps to rev it up. Whichever is most convenient, try one of these four exercises:
_GO TO A MUSEUM, focus on one exhibit. Then write a poem or short essay about the best work of art you see. Be sure to take a small notepad with you, because you want to do the writing right there where you can capture your sharpest observations.
_TAKE A WALK ON THE BEACH and collect shells or sea glass. Find as many as you can, then arrange them in a mosaic pattern in the sand.
_BUY CONSTRUCTION PAPER and cut your favorite colors into strips. Use the strips to make a basket weave pattern on the kitchen table.
_READ YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK silently. Then read it out loud. Then record yourself reading aloud a second time, act the story out orally, using different voices for each character. Then play it back to hear how you sound.
Can you think of a fifth exercise that might be fun to try another time? What does that say about your imagination?
(The above photo was taken by Jackie Dishner; it represents a pile of #mailart inspired by Twitter users last year while they were planning their first Twitter Art Show.