Ways to Foster Imagination

With every post I write, I hope to help you discover inspiration for those times when you might experience creative block, when you’re in a funk or when you just need that perfect, tantalizing idea to give your project momentum. Inspiration is a bit like creative candy – it’s not necessary to getting the project done, but it makes it so much more enjoyable. Plus, it provides a boost of energy. And I can definitely use that boost from time to time.

I recently finished the first draft of my second novel, and for me finishing a book is tough, nose-to-the-grindstone work. When I type “The End” I’m thrilled but also spent. I need some time to recoup, to refill the well of creativity that’s been pouring out of me for so long.

So when I was thinking about what to write for today, I asked myself, what are some ways to strengthen your imagination? Need some tricks? Try these:

  1. Read a book – When I pull my nose out of my own work and dive into a novel it gives me food for imagining new scenarios of my own.
  2. Take a hike – Immersing myself in nature always pushes me out of my own bubble and makes me think of the world on a grander scale.
  3. Grab a pencil or a paintbrush – I’ve mentioned before how all forms of creativity are connected. Switching to the visual arts helps push my imagination.
  4. Go on vacation – There’s nothing like getting away to revitalize my creative being. New places, new people, new things. They all stimulate the imagination.
  5. Daydream – Writing is like daydreaming, but on paper. Allow yourself empty moments to think, for your subconscious to bring a story to your mind.
  6. Watch a movie – Movies, especially on a large screen with surround sound, are great for sucking you into another world. Suddenly you are the character and you’ve entered a strange new world.
  7. Go on a photo walk – What better way is there to explore the world around you than searching with your camera for hidden gems in ordinary (or extraordinary) places?

Number one is my focus for the next month. I have a lot of reading to do (fun reading, thankfully). I’m going to enjoy this little hiatus from novel writing and allow myself the downtime to enjoy some good books. What about you?

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