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Staying creative is something we all struggle with at some point in our lives. There are innumerable reasons why people struggle to find and keep their creativity. One of the most valuable things I learned from my writing instructors in college and from professionals is that everyone’s process is different. We must each learn how we can stay creative but here are a few tips I use to find and keep my own creative mind.

Figure out what fuels your creativity. For many people, creativity is heightened after a walk, workout or meditation. Going for a solo run provides me with the opportunity to think through things and further develop my ideas. I come back from my runs feeling rejuvenated and ready to write!

running outside

Find when you are most creative. Are you most creative in the morning as your day is beginning or in the evening as it is winding down? Don’t try to fight your natural tendencies; work with them. If you are a morning person, go to bed early. If you are a night owl, sleep in and work at night!  I am most creative in the morning but after marrying my night owl husband I struggled as I spent many nights staying up late with him. I was either sleeping in the next morning and not providing myself with time to think or I was just too tired to write. Once I started making more of an effort to go to bed at a time that allowed me to wake up early, I rediscovered my creativity!

>> Read more: Make the Most of Your Morning

Take care of yourself. Exercise regularly, eat well and sleep more. When you feel sick, tired, or achy and you aren’t getting the proper nutrients your body needs, you aren’t at the top of your game. Creativity comes 100 percent from you. If you are not giving it your all, your creativity will reflect that. I have found that even a short nap can provide me with the boost I need to get in my creative zone.

Get rid of the negative. Negative relationships, negative behaviors, negative emotions; it all weighs us down. Removing negativity from your life will free you up to embrace only happy thoughts and positive feelings. While there are many stories of depressed individuals becoming wildly successful, I have found for myself that filling my life with positivity allows me to be much more creative on a regular basis as my mind is not distracted with life’s problems.

>> Read more: Grab Some Crayons to Reduce Stress

Surround yourself with others that share your creative passion. Yes, your work is yours alone. However, finding others that share the same passion and supporting each other also helps with creativity. Talking through ideas with someone who understands the industry and trade can lead to new ideas and allow your creative mind to thrive. After spending time with other writers, I always come home with a renewed creativity and am overflowing with ideas.

group of friends having coffee

Be you. Don’t worry about what others think. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. The most difficult thing about being creative is knowing who you are and sticking to being your true self. Not everyone will agree with what you have to say and not everyone will like what you create. Creativity is personal and, when you are writing from a vulnerable place, it often feels as though you are constantly being judged. It is easy to see and like what someone else is doing but staying creative and remaining true to yourself is important. This doesn’t mean you can’t try new things or experiment with new ideas after drawing inspiration from others but creativity should never feel forced or fake.

By far the most helpful tip I use is to avoid individuals that create a negative impact in my life. While I can’t completely avoid them, learning to repel their negative energy allows me to be myself and maintain my own creativity. Taking care of myself and figuring out who I am has allowed me to become more confident in embracing my own creativity. While finding and keeping your creativity is something everyone has to do for themselves, try these tips if you need a creative boost.