Tips for Tapping Your Creativity

6a00d8341d4dc653ef01b7c77eb943970b-450wiI’m in the middle of three deadlines right now, so I’m going to make this post short and sweet. We’re talking about how to stay creative this week, and I’ve got a few go-to tips that help me when the right-side of my brain isn’t working too well (like now).

1. Always carry pen and paper. I keep a notebook in my purse and beside my bed. You never know when inspiration will strike — story ideas, snippets of dialogue, great turns of phrase. And for me, if I don’t write it down, I’ve lost it forever to the abyss. I don’t necessarily use everything I write down (and frankly, sometimes a few days later I think it’s total crap), but when you’re not feeling very creative, going through some of your notes and ideas can help re-ignite that spark.

2. Step away from the computer. When my creative juices have run dry, the worst thing I can do is stare at a blank screen. I either go for a run or take a shower (or both!) and generally that jumpstarts my brain and gets the ideas flowing again.

3. Do something new. I’m not talking about bungee-jumping (mostly because I would never ever bungee jump), but I find that even just taking a different route home from school drop-off helps snap you out of auto-pilot and forces you to sit up, pay attention and notice things you may not have noticed before.

How do you jar your creativity? Tell me in the comments below.

Author: Colleen Oakley

Colleen Oakley is the author of BEFORE I GO (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, Jan. 2015), a love story. A former editor for Marie Claire and Women's Health & Fitness, she's now an Atlanta-based freelance writer. Find out more at

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