If there’s one thing that I think most of us can relate to, it’s the feeling of being so busy that you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. Arguably, this isn’t a fun experience for anyone.
But when you’re that busy and stressed, always buzzing from one place to another, it can be really hard to take time and nurture your creativity (because, yes, creativity is a skill that can be nourished, not necessarily a born talent). I know that I struggle with this constantly, and it’s a vicious cycle; when I’m stressed, I don’t take time to find creative outlets, which stresses me out more, and it’s just a big mess.
So over the years, I’ve come up with several ways to cultivate and flex your creative muscles while you’re on the road, and I thought I’d share them with you today!
Notebooks are key.
One of the absolute best ways to cultivate and encourage creativity is to keep a good old fashioned pencil and paper at your disposal. You can get fancy, with the Moleskines and calligraphy pens, but a spiral bound notebook and a mechanical pencil will work just as well.
Use it to doodle in class, to brainstorm, to write whatever pops into your head, to make grocery lists, to write poems – whatever you want! While technology is great (we’ll get to that in a moment) there’s still nothing quite as magical as putting pen to paper and letting your thoughts out.
Technology is your friend.
With that being said, there are, of course, a myriad of apps and devices that can be used to further creative pursuits. Keeping drawing or photo editing apps on your phone or tablet can be a great way to blow off steam and get the creative juices flowing.
Alternately, apps such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr can all be great resources for inspiration, which is a huge part of the creative process. Scroll away, friends! If anyone judges you, just tell them that you’re expressing your creativity.
Make time for creative expression.
Don’t wait for an opportunity to present itself, because it won’t. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, try to set aside time in between classes, on your lunch break, or on your commute to focus solely on creative pursuits. Put on an inspiring playlist and really get in the zone with whatever you may be working on. Try to do it at the same time every day, and treat it like something on your schedule that simply must be worked around, just as you would a class or a dentist appointment.
Be inspired by your surroundings.
Sure, it’s easy to gather inspiration from you surroundings if you’re on a serene roadtrip or an incredible European vacation. But the 8:15 train into the city? Not always. Do your best to find beauty and inspiration in everything you see, no matter how mundane or annoying. There is inspiration and insight to be gained all around you, if you just know where to look. Sketch the old woman feeding birds at the park, or make up backstories for everyone in line at Starbucks. It’s a great way to pass time, and it will lead to more positive and creative thinking – which are both great things!
How do you stay creative on the go?