Let Your Creativity Blossom


Let Your Creativity Blossom

Welcome to summer, writers. You've slogged through the hard brutal months of winter, you've sneezed and sloshed through the allergies and mud puddles of spring, and you've been rewarded with that perennial gift, the months of summer. (For this post: sorry, Australians, you'll get there). The sun is out ridiculously late, and I always find myself bursting with newfound energy. At long last, it's time to do all the things you said you would do, and make sure you make summer count.

The great part about summer is that if you're out of school, those daily mental demands of homework are gone, freeing you up to daydream, to wonder, and to imagine. This is the kind of idle, directionless thought that can turn into creative work; no matter how you try to force creative thought when you have to, it just doesn't happen as easily as when you let thoughts percolate and creep up on you of their own accord. It's kind of like trying to solve a crossword or a sudoku - you always get the answer the moment you've given up and pushed the puzzle away for a while.

So my first suggestion to you this summer is to leave plenty of room for unstructured thinking time. That is NOT to be confused to unstructured staring-at-the-tv time or unstructured partying-with-friends time. Fun as that is, those activities end up filling our brains, stimulating us in pleasant but distracting ways. To REALLY leave ourselves in an unstructured mental space, we've got to go for a walk. Stroll under some shady trees or follow the shoreline of a beach that is whispering secrets to itself. Ride your bike through a neighborhood you only half now. Don't blast music in your earbuds. Don't check your phone for messages. Give yourself the time to dream.

When you return from your walk, you'll be amazed by how many ideas want to jump onto the page from your head. Try writing down a few of them. Keep the spell of quiet going just a little bit longer. After all, it's the summer; there will be plenty of time for the beach, for friends, for cheesy blockbuster movies. But daydreaming time, creative time, is precious. Don't let the summer slip through your fingers without that rare time.