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50 Creative Things To Do When You Aren’t Creative

Sometimes, I just want to sit and color or doing something crafty with one or both of my boys. And the time that we spend together connecting through art is, to be honest, a bonus. Because sometimes it’s really mostly about me wanting creative things to do.

Have you ever wondered if there are creative things to do when you don't feel creative? Maybe creativity feels like something you weren't born with? Guess what? You can still explore your creativity and do creative things!

I know what you’re thinking: “But I’m not creative!!!” Confession: I’m am definitely not creative! But I still love finding creative things to do!

Learning to be creative doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, in his book Out of Our Minds, Sir Ken Robinson teaches that:

“If someone tells you they cannot read and write, you don’t assume that they are not capable of reading and writing, but that they have not been taught. It is the same with creativity. When people say to me that they are not creative, I assume they just haven’t learned what’s involved.”

Here’s a fun way to start off – take this quick quiz to find out What’s Your Creative Style? And then come right back!

Find Creative Things to Do by Being Curious

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that curiosity is decadent, a luxury, or a waste of time! Curiosity is an integral part of living that keeps our brains healthy and our spirits boosted.

Think of something that you are interested in. Do you enjoy historical fiction? Maybe a character or setting from a book you’ve read or a movie you’ve seen. Start being curious and asking questions.

Ideas You Can Try Right Away:

  • Begin your own creativity journal – you can quickly jot down thoughts, surprises, ideas, doodles – anything that comes to you in the moment. This is a terrific way to make sure you don’t lose any of those great ideas!
  • Begin a habit of brainstorming ideas. The wackier the better! Stretch your brain! You can do this with your partner, your children – any time that a decision arises is an opportunity for brainstorming! Dinner ideas, Saturday afternoon ideas, or school projects, the list is endless.
  • Surprise somebody today.
  • Look for something to be surprised by each day.
  • Find something interesting outside and research to learn more about it.

Find Creative Things To Do By Actively Seeking Inspiration

Inspiration can be found anywhere you care to look. I remember seeing the cover of a children’s dinosaur puzzle and thinking it would be a beautiful color scheme for a room! Inspiration can be found everywhere if you stretch to think of the creative things you see in a different context.

Read a book, visit a museum, listen to your favorite music or engage in a lively debate with a friend. Utilize whatever strategy or technique works best for you.

Ideas You Can Try Right Away:

  • Wherever you are sitting right now, look around and choose something to see in a different way.
  • Take note of a color that you love. Imagine as many things in that color as you can – especially things that aren’t normally that color.
  • Make up an outlandish story. (This is a super fun way to get started!)
  • Play the “who are they?” game – when you see somebody anywhere, say in the grocery store, take a look at what they have in their carts and create a story.
  • Visit an art museum
  • Visit the library
  • Rent a foreign film (I just found this one and thought it was fabulous!!!)
  • Join a local group of creatives
  • Watch a free movie or documentary
  • Start a book club
  • Have girls’ night at a sip and paint place
  • Visit a science museum
  • Use these brain teasers for family game night!
  • Spend an evening at a planetarium
  • Escher was one of my favorite artists as a kid (NERD alert!) and this book is SO much fun!
  • Start a Creativity & Camaradarie Club
  • Grab a book on architecture (While this may be an ODD topic – you don’t get any more fascinating!)
  • Plan a date night for your partner somewhere new
  • Plan a day date for your partner and do something you’re afraid to do!
  • Take a risk! It can be physical or emotional – but something that feels slightly risky to you.

Finally, as you’re collecting all of these inspirational ideas – DON’T interrupt your inspiration by starting something you’re inspired to do! It has been shown that we are particularly terrible at creating when we try to combine the gathering of information and actual creation. (cite)

Make Time To Find Creative Things to Do

It doesn’t take a lot of time each day, but you need to commit – even if it’s only a few minutes each day or every other day.

Creativity is a way of living life that embraces originality and makes unique connections between seemingly disparate ideas. Creativity is about living life as a journey into seeing and communicating the extra-ordinariness of the simplest, most every day acts. (cite)

No one is creative under pressure. Positive emotions are conducive to creativity. Take time to think, to relax, to be happy. Taking a few minutes to yourself to relax and find your happy place each day is a great start on your creativity journey!

Intentionally Remove Barriers to Your Creativity

Highly creative people are often seen as rebels and mavericks because they question traditions and rules. I can’t tell you how much I want to be a rebel or a maverick 🙂 In my 40’s, I no longer care whether people approve of what I create. I want to express myself and share those expressions. Caring about the judgments of others is the biggest barrier to your creativity.

Think you can't transform your life with your own creativity? You can learn how to find your creativity - it's not something you either have or don't. You can learn how to find creativity.

How to Unleash the Creativity You Crave

As we grow up, we stifle our creativity because we worry about how people will judge our efforts. We learn ways of thinking and doing from an early age. We learn what is acceptable and what is outside of acceptable behavior. Societies that prize conformity inhibit individuality. (cite)

But just as children are joyful, the act of being creative – being a maker – brings joy.

We are all born to be creative. And we start out that way, but then we stop. Do we need to continue to be creative? YES!! And this is why.

This One Thing Can Bring You Joy Today

They say necessity is the mother of invention. You may find that restricting yourself in some way will naturally force you into more creative thinking. Famously, Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs & Ham after betting that he couldn’t produce a story using less than 50 words!

Ideas You Can Try Right Away:

  • Make dinner with only ingredients from the refrigerator.
  • Make dinner all one color (spinach pasta with pesto and asparagus).
  • Paint or color something with only one color (ie: all variations of blue).
  • Write a story in 500 words or less.
  • Write a love letter in 5 minutes or less.
  • Brainstorm 10 solutions to one of your current challenges.

Just Do It!

Have you ever wondered if there are creative things to do when you don't feel creative? Maybe creativity feels like something you weren't born with? Guess what? You can still explore your creativity and do creative things!

Here are some ideas to help remind you what you may be passionate about, or what you might want to explore further.

Ideas You Can Try Right Away:

  • Plant something.
  • Take a photograph.
  • Choose a photo editing software to use.
  • Throw a small dinner party and create the tablescape of your dreams.
  • Create a Scrapbook.
  • Decorate your deck or porch.
  • Create a she-shed (be still my heart!).
  • Find the perfect frame for a photo you love.
  • Design a photo wall in your home.
  • Tie dye t-shirts alone or with your kids.
  • Create your own gifts for birthday party attendees instead of the typical goodie bag.
  • Take a favorite recipe and change it up – or change the way that you serve it.
  • Gather some friends – have each friend share 5 words that describe each of you.
  • Challenge your kids to a dual of creating the strangest (funniest, shortest ) story.
  • Try your hand at quilting.
  • Read a classic book that you’ve always wanted to read.
  • Practice embracing changes – both small and large.
  • Invite change into your life.
  • Try something that you are certain you cannot do. And do it anyway.
  • Create a special space in your home where you can be creative.
  • Play the kazoo or any other instrument.
  • Create a “theme” lunch for your kids and see if they can guess the theme.

This is a great list of 10 Terrific TED Talks about creativity – all great resources to help boost creativity.


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