How to Stay Creative: Understand Your Environment


Creativity is precious.  While you can’t “use it up,” it’s important to understand how your environment can enhance it.

You can’t force being creative.  But you can give it the chance to breathe and grow by taking the time to do things that will help.  Everyone has different things that make them more creative.  I’ve listed some of mine below.  The key is to understand yours and start doing those things.

This can really help whether you are working on personal projects, school, or work.  I’ve realized anything that helps my at work helps just as much with school or craft projects and vice versa.

Things that Help Me Stay Creative

Windows.  I do a lot of blog and schoolwork at the dining room table.  I open all the blinds in the area so I can see out the window.  Sometimes I get distracted and stare out the window (squirrel!) but the natural light and openness really helps.

A Clean Workspace.  This is true for home, school, and work.  After every scrapbook layout or craft project, I clean my workspace so I can help focus on new ideas.  My dining table can sometimes become a scene of school papers but I find it really helps me refocus when I tidy things up.  Same goes for my desk at work.

Writing in Longhand. Again, something that rings true for home, school, and work.  I hand wrote index cards and the outline for my thesis proposal.  I sketch all of my scrapbook layouts by hand.  My blog posts are better when I jot out ideas on paper.  When I have to design a resource at work, you can find me hunched over my desk scribbling (no word yet on how posture affects my creativity).

The Right Pens and Pencils.  This goes with my longhand habit.  I use mechanical pencils with 0.5mm lead thickness, nothing thicker.  I only use extra fine gel pens.  Pilot G2 0.5mm to be exact.  My writing looks neater with fine pens and pencils and staying neat helps me stay creative.

Pretty Things.  This sounds a bit frivolous but it really does matter to me.  I cover all my notebooks for home, school, and work with pretty paper.  My new blog design helps me stay creative with my writing.  It’s why I design pretty calendars to keep on my desk.

Doing Other Creative Things.  Sometimes I get the best ideas for blog posts while I’m working on schoolwork.  Creativity begets creativity.  When something’s not working for me, I try to work on another project.  It’s why I took up cross-stitching again when I started having a hard time designing scrapbook layouts.

What about you?  What do you do to stay creative?  Have you thought about what influences you?

Image courtesy Love from Ginger via Creative Commons license. I need some sparkly pencils.  With fine tips of course.

Tips on Staying Creative


2 thoughts on “How to Stay Creative: Understand Your Environment

  1. I needed this. I haven’t made a scrapbook page in a few weeks now, which is unusual. I also need a clean workspace and love writing things out, though I’m starting to use OneNote more to keep all my random notes together.

    One practice I love doing is the “Morning Pages” from The Artist’s Way. Free-form journaling to get the “stuff” out of your mind. Really helps when I get into the routine of doing it.

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