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38 Amazing Ways to Be Creative (Even if You’re Not!)

We are all creative geniuses. Don’t believe me? You have a creative streak in you… you have to hone it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a technical professional who values logic or if you think you don’t have an ounce of artistic ability—you do have creativity within you.

The question is, how do you hone your creativity?

To get a better understanding of creativity, I sat down to interview Chase Jarvis. Chase is a world-famous photographer, entrepreneur, and author of the new book Creative Calling.

What is Creativity?

Creativity is creating something original or unique by using your own talents and skills. Creativity can also be using your skills in new ways of taking your ideas and turning them into reality. Creativity can come in many different forms—through thinking, original artwork, music, clothing style, and even a way of doing things.

And above all else, creativity is something you can learn.

How to Be Creative

Are you stuck in a creative rut? I’ve got you!

Here’s a list of the best ways to break that hurdle and unleash your inner creativity…

100 Ways to Squeeze a Lemon

Back in my college days, we were given the task to brainstorm 100 different ways we could squeeze a lemon. After nearly half an hour of brainstorming, my grand total number of ideas was a whopping 7 (slightly exaggerating, but it wasn’t good).

All my brain could think of was:

  • use your hands
  • use a lemon grater
  • step on the lemon (ew)

My creativity was stinted. I felt limited in my thinking and couldn’t break out of my mental boundaries. Creativity is about flexing new thinking muscles.

For example, if I think totally outside the box and begin to apply some creativity, I could…

  • use a lemon as a bowling pin
  • squeeze it in between weights at the gym
  • put it in the ball pit at the local kids’ gym (yuck)

Do you get the idea? Creativity isn’t always about being realistic. It’s about breaking mental boundaries. 

Action Step: Brainstorm using the creative prompt below! Try aiming for 100, 50, 25, or even 10 different ideas:

  • uses for an umbrella
  • alternate ways to use shoes
  • uses for a phone without a battery

Jack of All Creativity

Think about the last book that you read. And the book before that.

Chances are you’ve read the same types of books:

  • Aspiring entrepreneur? You’ve recently read about business, leadership, and finance.
  • Fantasy fanatic? Harry Potter and Game of Thrones.
  • Cat lover? Your last reads are all about cats.

Here’s where we get stuck in the “Bubble Trap,” where we’re constantly exposed to the same stimuli, the same knowledge, from the same authors, all touting the same stuff.

Sameness is a bottleneck to your true inner creativity.

To truly unleash your creativity, Robert Epstein, author of The Big Book of Creativity Games, says we should broaden our knowledge by taking a class outside our comfort zone or reading journals in unrelated fields.

Since all knowledge is interconnected, you’ll be more creative and more likely able to connect different ideas together with a wider skillset or exposure to different experiences.

Action Steps:

  • Read a life-changing book.
  • Enroll in a course that is totally unrelated to your field of work.
  • Go to a magazine stand and get a magazine in a totally new area.
  • Go to the library and browse a section you have never been in.
  • Feeling daring? You might even want to try ballet:

Creatively Constrain

One unique way to boost creativity is by imposing constraints on yourself. It seems counterintuitive, but limitations can fuel creativity rather than hinder it.

This is because constraints force you to think differently and use whatever resources you have more effectively. They push you out of your comfort zone and compel you to find fresh, creative solutions.

For example, think of Dr. Seuss writing “Green Eggs and Ham” using only 50 different words, or the filmmakers behind “Jaws” using suspenseful music and minimal shark appearances due to mechanical issues. These constraints led to creative decisions that defined the success of these works.

Here are some steps you can take today:

  • Set Clear Limits: Choose a particular project or task and impose specific restrictions. This could be writing a poem in a specific form, creating a piece of art with only three colors, or developing a new product idea using limited materials.
  • Time Constraints: Give yourself a strict deadline to complete a project or task. The pressure of a ticking clock can spur innovative thinking and rapid decision-making. But if this gives you more stress than helps, consider using a time management method instead.
  • Resource Constraints: Limit the resources you can use for a particular project. This could mean creating a meal with only five ingredients or designing a solution using only the tools at hand.
  • Thematic Constraints: Bind your project to a specific theme or subject, tackling a project with the idea of using new AI tools or creating a painting with an underwater theme. This can help narrow down the overwhelming array of possibilities and focus your creative energies.

Action Step: Identify a project or task you’ve been wanting to tackle. Apply at least one constraint to this project, be it time, resources, theme, or another type of limitation.

Pro Tip: Want more ways to boost your skills creatively? Socialize! Socializing with the right people can give your brain that creative boost it needs, fueling dopamine and giving you new ideas. And the best way to socialize can take you a long way. Check this out:

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Eat With Creatives

In Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone, he talks about having rock-solid relationships you can count on. These relationships help you build your business and become successful.

I want to take this idea further—if you want to be creative, you must surround yourself with diverse and interesting people.

Remember the Average of Five Rule: you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Think of the people you spend the most time with. Are they contributing to your creativity or draining it?

Here’s the key: Spend time with people who are creative in different ways than you. 

Hang out with people who have creative hobbies, dabble in interesting passions, or specialize in areas that are unique.

Action Step: Schedule a dinner, board game night, or virtual meetup with a handful of friends (for even better results, make sure they have a diverse background and varied interests). Lacking friends? Learn how to make friends as an adult.

The Gedankenexperiment

When you think of Albert Einstein, you might picture a mad mathematician curled over his desk, working endlessly on solving equations.

But Einstein knew the power of imagination.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein Quote

The Gedankenexperiment, or “thought experiment,” is a mental activity one can perform in order to distinguish potential outcomes from actions. Thought experiments are often used by many great thinkers and can result in solid conclusions to seemingly impossible problems—like how to travel at the speed of light.

Einstein’s first thought experiment happened when he was only 16. He tried to picture what it would be like to travel so fast that you caught up with a light beam. This is only one of Einstein’s many great thought experiments, which eventually led to the Theory of Relativity.

So, how do you conduct your own thought experiment?

Thought experiments are quite simple. Here’s how to be a creative genius like Einstein:

  1. Picture a scenario. What’s your creative problem? Picture the problem in your mind. Try to solve it.
  2. Set your actions. What actions can you take to overcome the challenges? What’s inhibiting your creativity, and how do you remove it? List out your actions. It might be helpful to list out a mind map or jot down notes.
  3. See the result. What happens after you take action? How does it feel? Visualize yourself achieving the goal and the end result after you’ve unleashed your creativity.

Action Step: Perform a thought experiment whenever you’re facing a creative hurdle. You can even start by visualizing things you do every day with a little twist:

  • Imagine doing a workout but lifting more than you normally do or trying new moves.
  • Imagine cooking dinner with foods you have never tried.
  • Imagine doing a stand-up routine in front of an audience.

Playfulness and Curiosity

We sometimes forget the value of playfulness and curiosity in sparking creativity. Think back to your childhood days, filled with curiosity and the freedom to explore… this was the peak of your creative energy (but it doesn’t always have to be that way).

Scientists have found that when we engage in playful activities or allow our minds to wander curiously, we activate different parts of the brain that are vital for creative thinking.

Instead of worrying about the outcome, play focuses on the process, making it easier to generate fresh ideas.

Here are some actionable steps to play:

  • Set aside time for play: Schedule routine “play breaks” each day where you engage in activities just for fun. This could be anything from painting, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or even playing a yo-yo. You could even replace your traditional work breaks with new play breaks. Choose activities that have no goals other than enjoyment.
  • Ask more questions: Cultivate curiosity by questioning everything around you. Why do things work the way they do? What if they worked differently? Keep a journal of these questions and ponder them during your downtime.
  • Change your environment: Shake up your routine by changing your surroundings—work from a café instead of your office. Take a different route on your walk. Ride a bike instead of driving. New environments can stimulate your brain and lead to new ideas.
  • Combine unrelated concepts: Challenge yourself to create something new by combining two unrelated ideas or objects. What if you combine an iPhone with a water bottle? You could have a high-tech new bottle that also acts as a phone, keeping you hydrated and connected to the world. It is silly, but this can easily spark new ways of thinking.

Action Step: This week, choose one playful activity and one way to satisfy your curiosity that you have never tried before. Note how these activities make you feel and if they lead to any new ideas or perspectives. Reflect on how incorporating play and curiosity into your life affects your creative output.

Your Pocket Notebook

What’s in your pocket?

  • your phone
  • , your keys
  • , your wallet

How about a pocket notebook?

Writer and author Austin Kleon carries around a pocket notebook to keep track of his daily random thoughts. This helps unleash his creative potential—whenever he’s in a creative rut, he’s always got a treasure trove of info to glean.

But why not use the Notes app on his phone?

Because a pocket notebook never runs out of battery. And there’s just something special about pen and paper that a digital screen can’t replace.

"I carry the pocket notebook around all day and scribble every dumb thought I have as the day progresses" - Austin Kleon Quote

Action Step: Grab a pocket notebook (or two!). Don’t forget the pen. When out and about and you think of something creative, jot down the idea on paper. You can even gather your favorite quotes from writers, lines from music, or inspiration from paintings. You never know what will be useful to you in the future.

Pro Tip: Not a fan of writing? You can also use your voice recorder app to record notes on the go. Or use a whole life-keeping system like Notion. Or even write down your ideas on a napkin at a restaurant. Get creative!

One With Nature

You probably don’t like sitting indoors all day. You’re not alone.

A 2010 study published in the Creativity Research Journal found that spending time in a natural setting may help with creativity. More specifically, there are 5 environmental factors that were found to boost creativity:

  1. complex visual details in the environment, such as paintings or art
  2. view of the natural environment, like sitting next to a window with a view of nature
  3. use of natural materials, such as wood
  4. fewer cool colors used, such as blue and purple
  5. less use of manufactured materials, such as plastic

Action Step: Do whatever you can to be next to nature:

  • add some plant life to your office space
  • go to places with open grass and trees
  • set your computer desktop to rotating nature pics
  • hang some paintings of nature
  • add a new warm paint job to your walls
  • sit next to the window or balcony
  • do remote work at the park or open cafe
  • listen to an ambient nature soundtrack

The more “connected” you feel with nature, the higher your creativity will be.

Pro Tip: Can’t add nature to your environment? Try going for a walk in the park if you’re having a creative block. One Stanford study shows that going for a walk can increase creativity by 60%!

One With Nature

You probably don’t like sitting indoors all day. You’re not alone.

A 2010 study published in the Creativity Research Journal found that spending time in a natural setting may help with creativity. More specifically, there are five environmental factors that were found to boost creativity:

  1. Complex visual details in the environment, such as paintings or art
  2. View of the natural environment, like sitting next to a window with a view of nature
  3. use of natural materials, such as wood
  4. fewer cool colors are used, such as blue and purple
  5. less use of manufactured materials, such as plastic

Action Step: Do whatever you can to be next to nature:

  • add some plant life to your office space
  • go to places with open grass and trees
  • set your computer desktop to rotating nature pics
  • hang some paintings of nature
  • add a new warm paint job to your walls
  • sit next to the window or balcony
  • do remote work at the park or open cafe
  • listen to an ambient nature soundtrack

The more “connected” you feel with nature, the higher your creativity will be.

Pro Tip: Can’t add nature to your environment? Try going for a walk in the park if you’re having a creative block. One Stanford study shows that going for a walk can increase creativity by 60%!

Small Wins

Many people stifle their creative instincts due to fear of failure or judgment. However, building your creative confidence can be a game-changer in unleashing your potential.

Teresa Amabile, a professor at Harvard Business School, emphasizes the power of small wins in her research. According to Amabile, tracking and celebrating small successes in daily tasks can significantly enhance a person’s “inner work life,” a concept that includes emotions, perceptions, and motivation levels.

The idea here is to break down the monumental task of “being creative” into smaller, manageable actions. When you achieve these smaller goals, your brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and learning, which naturally encourages you to continue engaging in these behaviors!

Here’s how you can cultivate your creative confidence:

  • Set Daily Creative Challenges: Challenge yourself with daily small, creative tasks. This could be writing a 100-word story, sketching something in your surroundings, or coming up with five new business ideas. The key is to make these tasks achievable but slightly challenging.
  • Maintain a Success Journal: Keep track of your daily successes, no matter how small. Writing down your achievements reinforces the belief in your creative abilities and builds momentum.
  • Share Your Work: Share your small successes with friends, family, or social media followers. This not only boosts your confidence but also encourages feedback, which can be a valuable source of new ideas and improvement.

Action Step: Starting today, implement a daily creative challenge for yourself. Record your achievements, however small, in a success journal and reflect on them at the end of the week. Share at least one of these successes with someone else to start building your creative confidence.

The Silent Break

When it comes to taking breaks, noise matters.

For example, let’s say you take a break and listen to your favorite podcasts. You learn something new or find out something cool.

Does that help creativity?

According to a 2007 study, not really.

Excess noise is called “noise pollution.” Noise pollution is when your brain is constantly overconsuming new info from external sources and doesn’t have a chance to relax.

Thinking in silence can reset your brain and boost creativity.

Just like taking a break after a workout, your brain needs time to decompress from the workload. This means taking silent breaks.

Action Step: Generally, you’ll want to take a silent break in place of your normal break or during periods of creative slumps. I like to set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes and sit alone. You can even meditate if you’d like. Bask in the silence and let your mind do its thing.

Start With an End in Sight

The fatal flaw of many creative people is that they need to complete their projects.

No matter how much progress they make, they always find new things to change or add as they strive for perfection.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic, emphasizes that nothing you create will ever be perfect.

Even if you think you’ve reached perfection, someone else could look at your creation and spot a dozen things wrong with it. That’s okay, though, because the goal of creative pursuits is to create… It’s NOT too perfect.

Action Step: Start every project with a strict deadline. According to Parkinson’s Law, people are inclined to use the maximum amount of time given to complete tasks. This is one of the key driving forces behind procrastination.

You may start working in a slow, distracted state, but as soon as the deadline approaches, you kick things into gear.

If you’re engaging in creative pursuits for fun or to learn a new skill and have nothing driving you to meet a deadline, you can make your deadline days so that you plan to share your work with a friend or family member. Tell them what you’re doing so they can hold you accountable.

Get Glad

A 2004 study led by Dr. Karen Gasper, a social psychology professor at Penn State University, found that sadness inhibits creativity. In the study:

  • Sad or happy undergraduates were given a task with different ways to solve it.
  • Sad undergraduates came up with less novel solutions to the task.

This might be because when we are sad, we’re more cautious about making mistakes and are more restrained. And when we’re happy, our brains are less restricted, allowing us to generate new ideas and be more creative.

Action Step: Feeling down? Happiness is a skill we can improve on—and it helps to work on it constantly! Read up on the 15 ways to make yourself happier (backed by science!).

Harness Analogies

One unique method to enhance creativity is harnessing the power of analogies.

The use of analogies is a common practice among some of the most revolutionary thinkers and leaders. And there’s a good reason for this! Analogies allow us to see connections between seemingly unrelated fields, ideas, or concepts.

For example, Steve Jobs famously applied principles of calligraphy to the design of the first Macintosh computer, creating a beautifully simple user interface with striking aesthetic and functionality. Any cross-pollination of ideas from different domains can lead to groundbreaking innovations and solutions.

Here’s how to harness the power of analogies:

  • Create an Analogy Bank: Analogies don’t just pop out of thin air (normally). Keep a journal or a digital document where you write down interesting analogies as you come across them. This can be analogies from literature, science, business, or your own observations. Or, use this helpful resource on analogies.
  • Practice Forced Connections: Take a current challenge or project you’re working on and deliberately connect it with random objects or concepts. For example, if you’re trying to improve customer service, you might ask, “How would a five-star hotel handle this situation?” or “What can I learn from the way bees communicate in their hives?”
  • Use Analogy Prompts: When faced with a problem, use prompts like “This is like…” or “What parallels can be drawn between…?” to spark analogy-driven insights. This can help reframe the problem in a new context, leading to innovative solutions.

Action Step: Identify a challenge you are facing or a creative project you are working on. Dedicate some time to exploring an unrelated field or interest. Then, attempt to draw parallels between this field and your challenge or project. Note any new ideas or perspectives that arise from this exercise.

Do You Love It Through the Pain?

When you’re creating something new, you’re bound to face plenty of obstacles.

The true test of whether or not you’re pursuing the right type of creative endeavor is if you still feel passionate about it during times of self-doubt, frustration, and failure.

In the book, Gilbert describes how, through her years of struggling to become a successful writer, she never lost her passion for the craft. Writing is a part of who she is, and no number of difficulties will change that. If you’re pursuing the right creative pursuit, you’ll feel the same.

Action Step: Ask yourself, and truly think, if pursuing this creative goal is truly something you want. If it is, watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk for more about how she stayed inspired through her failures:

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Throughout Big Magic, Gilbert debunks the dangerous myth that to live creatively; you have to become a full-time artist who risks everything else in life to invest in your art.

While there are plenty of people who work for you, it ignores the fact that you can have a full-time job and stable relationships, be involved in other activities, and still be highly creative.

The key is to make being creative a part of your everyday life. Here are a couple of easy ways to fit creativity into your schedule:

  • Use a portion of the time you’d normally spend on social media and watching TV to work on creative projects.
  • Block off time when you first wake up or before you go to bed as your creative time.
  • Invite your friends to join you in taking classes or otherwise engage in your creative hobbies to make it a bonding experience.

Action Step: Do you want to earn a living off of your creative projects? Check out our article on How to Transform Your Passion into a Side Hustle for tips on how to get started. 

The Dream Machine Technique

In 1993, Dr. Barrett of Harvard Medical School asked students to think of a problem they were trying to solve every night before going to bed.

Don’t sleep on this statistic—she found that 34% of students actually had a dream that had a solution to their problem! Dreaming has unleashed a lot of creativity:

  • Jack Nicklaus had a dream that allowed him to correct his golf swing.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson came up with the plot of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde during a dream.
  • Paul McCartney discovered the tune for the song “Yesterday” in a dream and was also inspired to write “Yellow Submarine.”

Dreaming helps us focus on our problems without the distraction.

This is where the Dream Machine Technique comes into play:

  1. Create a visual “box”—a cardboard box, an empty coffee container, your new iPhone box lying around—and post a label on it that says “Dream Machine.”
  2. Write down on a slip of paper just one or two main problems you want to solve in your life that need some creativity. It could be a business idea or even how to win over your crush.
  3. Put your problems inside the dream machine. Every night, take out your problems and contemplate them for 5 minutes before bed.

The Dream Machine Technique works because it combines visualization with dreams. By having a physical dream machine, our problems are not only contained in our minds. By utilizing our dreams, we’re able to focus distraction-free, unlike during our awake times.

Action Step: Create your dream machine and focus on it nightly.

How to Be Creative in Art

Are you an aspiring artist? Check out these handpicked tips, especially for creators like you.


Is doodling likely going to create a masterpiece? No.

But doodling can warm up your creative juices, which CAN lead to a masterpiece later down the line.

Pull out a blank piece of paper and play!

The big thing to keep in mind here is when doodling, give yourself creative permission. Don’t focus on the end goal—focus on the act of doodling whatever you want.

Action Step: Doodle onto a blank canvas. Go back to the basics—use crayons, colored pencils, and regular pencils to doodle whatever comes to mind.


Didn’t we cover a tip on doodling?

You’re right. But this tip’s also much more than that. Enter the app: Dudel.

If the idea of a blank canvas scares you, try using the above app or drawing random shapes on a piece of paper. Once you’ve got your random shape(s), turn it into something wild!

You can literally take a random blob and make it a chicken, a Harry Potter character, or whatever your mind allows.

Do this just a few minutes a day, and your creativity will skyrocket.

Bob Ross

If you want a bit more guidance, try painting in Bob Ross’s style.

If you don’t know, Bob Ross was a painter and TV show host on the American program The Joy of Painting.

And Bob Ross paints like Jamie Oliver cooks (i.e., pretty darn well!).

Action Step: Grab your acrylics, brush, and canvas and head on over to one of Bob Ross’s many YouTube videos. Follow along and paint those pretty little trees like the amazing artist you are!

Find Inspiration

This one’s simple but effective.

Take a moment out of your day to stop what you’re doing and find inspiration in the objects around you.

You could be at a hardware store, grocery shopping, alone in your office, or even browsing the web. Is there anything that stands out?

Image of a bug on a mac and cheese bowl
Found this lone traveler on my mac and cheese bowl (Source)

Action Step: Schedule a timer to go off three times during your day. When the timer goes off, take one minute to stop what you’re doing and find inspiration. Combine this with your pocket notebook (tip above) to save your inspiration.

Pro Tip: Try changing your seat around—for example, sit on the opposite side of your desk. You might find something new or gain a different perspective.

Mix Media and Techniques

Sometimes, sticking to one medium or technique can place an invisible cap on your creativity. Mixing different media and techniques, however, can make you think about art in ways that you might not have considered otherwise.

For instance, you could combine watercolor with charcoal, incorporate digital elements into a traditional painting, or use photography as a base for a mixed-media collage. The possibilities are endless!

Action Step: Choose two or more mediums or techniques that you normally wouldn’t think to combine. If you usually paint with watercolors, try adding ink details or collage elements to your next piece. Or, if you’re a digital artist, try incorporating hand-drawn elements into your digital work. Spend a session experimenting with these combinations and observe how they interact. 

Take note of what works and what doesn’t, and think about how you can apply these new methods to your future artwork.

Incorporate Random Elements

Introducing random elements into your artwork can be a powerful way to unlock new creative paths and outcomes. This technique involves integrating unexpected or unplanned components into your work, which can help you break free from predictable patterns and spark innovative ideas.

For example, you can use a dice roll, a random word generator, or even the weather to decide certain aspects of your artwork. This could determine the color scheme, the type of lines used, or the overall theme.

Action Step: Begin your next art project with a random element. Roll a dice to decide how many colors you can use, or use a random word generator to set the theme or mood of your piece. Try these resources:

  • Random Word Generator: Use the Random Word Generator at RandomLists to generate a list of words that can inspire your next piece of art. You could base your work on a single word or combine multiple words for a more complex theme.
  • Online Dice Roller: If you don’t have physical dice, use an online dice roller like the one at Roll a Die to make decisions about color, composition, or even which materials to use.
  • Random Color Generator: Use Coolors. Co to generate random color schemes. Challenge yourself to create a piece using only the colors provided.
  • Random Image Inspiration: Visit Unsplash to receive a random image every day. Use the image as the starting point for your artwork.
  • Ambient Sound Inspiration: Use websites like Noisli to generate random ambient sounds. Let the soundscape inspire the mood or atmosphere of your art.
  • Random Shape Generator: Visit Shape Type for randomly generated shapes that you can incorporate into your designs or use as a starting point for drawings or sculptures.
  • Random Location Generator: Use Random Street View to find random locations around the world. Create art inspired by the location you land on.
  • Automatic Drawing Tools: Explore tools like ScribblerToo for automatic, random drawing experiences that can help you create unique and unpredictable line work.
  • Random Article for Themes: Open a random Wikipedia article by clicking the “Random Article” link on the left side of the Wikipedia homepage. Use the subject of the article as the basis for your artwork.
  • Random Music for Mood Setting: Go to a music streaming service and use the shuffle feature on a playlist or station you’re unfamiliar with. Let the first song that plays guide the emotional tone or rhythm of your artwork.

How to Be Creative in Writing

As a writer with decades of experience, I know writing can be a slog.

There are times you might think your creativity is comparable to a rock. But don’t give up! Try this writing exercise to get out of a rut.

Gary Potter

Writing stories, especially fiction, is hard for one big reason: you’re building an entirely new world from scratch.

So, let’s take inspiration from an already existing world: Harry Potter.

Using the rewriting technique, we can find creative and new ways to develop a story without having to create a new world. All the hard work is done for you.

You can even recreate the characters: Gary Potter gets accepted into Hogwarts, where, instead of Voldemort, he battles an army of angry Donuts.

You get the idea.

Action Step: Think of a storyline, characters, or universe you’d like to write from. Take similar elements but add your own twist and unique approach.

Create a Dialogue

Into fiction writing?

Dialogue is a great way to shape your narrative and characters if you’re stuck in a rut.

Here’s how:

  • Create two or more characters with distinct voices and backgrounds.
  • Place them in a situation where they must interact: a conflict, a mystery, a negotiation, etc.
  • Write a scene driven purely by their dialogue – no action descriptions or inner thoughts, just pure exchange.
  • See where the conversation takes the story. Often, characters will reveal plot points, background information, and relationships naturally through their speech.

Action Step: Choose a scene from your current work-in-progress or imagine a new one. Write a dialogue-heavy version of this scene, focusing solely on the interaction between characters. Pay attention to how their personalities and goals come through in their speech. Afterward, reflect on what this exercise has revealed about your characters and story!

Temporal Shift Writing

This one works for both fiction and non-fiction.

Experiment with the structure of time in your narratives to unveil new perspectives and deepen storytelling. This technique, known as Temporal Shift Writing, involves playing with the sequence of events, utilizing flashbacks, flash-forwards, and non-linear timelines to create a more compelling narrative.

This approach can add layers of mystery, suspense, and depth, encouraging readers to engage more actively as they piece together the story.

Here’s how you can implement Temporal Shift Writing:

  • Identify a scene or chapter in your work that feels flat or predictable.
  • Consider how changing the timing of events could enhance the story. Could a flashback provide the necessary context or emotional weight? Might a flash-forward increase tension or set up expectations?
  • Rewrite the scene with the chosen temporal shifts, ensuring that each shift is clear and purposeful. Perhaps you’ve rewritten a chapter about a time you’ve overcome stage fright, with a flashback to a time you weren’t so comfortable.
  • Reflect on how this restructuring affects the narrative’s pacing, suspense, and character development.

Action Step: For your current project, select a piece that could benefit from a temporal shift. Experiment by incorporating flashbacks, flash-forwards, or rearranging the sequence of events. Afterward, evaluate how these changes impact the overall story and reader engagement.

Want some great resources? Here you are:

  • Literary Devices: Provides explanations and examples of different narrative techniques, including flashbacks and flash-forwards, which can inspire your temporal shifts. Check out Literary Devices.
  • Now Novel: Offers a guide on how to write scenes and summaries, including the use of non-linear narratives, which can aid in your temporal shift writing. Visit: Now Novel’s Scene Writing Guide.
  • TV Tropes: While mainly focused on television and film, this site offers a wealth of examples of non-linear storytelling that can inspire your writing. Check out the “Anachronic Order” page: TV Tropes Anachronic Order.

How to Be More Creative in Drawing

Are you a manga artist? A professional drawer? Or just a lunch break sketcher?

Try out these universal drawing tips.

Use Your Non-Dom

If you’re an artist, you likely use your right or left hand.

In this exercise, we’ll switch it up.

Using your nondominant hand is like learning to ride a bike for the first time. You’ll make a lot of mistakes and learn along the way.

But it works because you’ll be forced to slow down and think about drawing at a fundamental level.

Action Step: Draw an object with your nondominant hand. Schedule a daily, weekly, or monthly exercise routine. Watch the video below for a quick tutorial:

Sentimental Drawing

Some people might draw better when they attach emotions to their art.

You might even be able to “feel” emotions from a drawing.

Black and white drawing of a man holding a balloon and an elephant standing next to him

That said, when you have emotions tied to your art, you might be able to feel your creativity flowing better.

Action Step: Try drawing something sentimental, such as a pet, family member, or childhood toy, in your next drawing. To step it up a notch, add a story to your drawing.

Blind Contour Drawing

Blind contour drawing is an excellent exercise to enhance observational skills and improve hand-eye coordination, which is critical for artists at any level. This technique involves looking intently at the subject rather than the paper while drawing, which encourages you to trust your hand and eye to work in unison.

Here’s how to practice Blind Contour Drawing:

  • Pick a subject to draw. This could be anything from a still-life setup, a person’s face, or even your own hand.
  • Position your drawing material and subject so you can see the subject comfortably without glancing at your paper.
  • Start drawing the outline of your subject slowly, without lifting your pen or pencil from the paper. The key is not to look at your drawing at all until you’re finished.
  • Focus solely on the shape and contours of the subject, translating what your eyes see directly onto the paper through your drawing hand.

Action Step: Dedicate a session to blind contour drawing. Try multiple subjects, and after each session, review your drawings to understand what aspects of the subject you captured well and where you might have gone astray. Reflect on the experience of drawing without sight and how it impacts your approach to observation and detail.

And use this video to help you!

Creative Hobbies

This article wouldn’t be complete without a list of creative hobbies.

Here are my favorite hobbies you can do during your free time to become more creative.


Try collecting stamps, coins, exotic trinkets, or souvenirs. You can even spice it up by gathering rocks or dried flowers from places you’ve been.

When you look back at your collection, you’ll have a unique and memorable way to remember your memories!

Resource: Get into stamp collecting with this beginner’s guide.

Join (or start) a Book Club

If you’re already into reading, why not make it a group experience?

Book clubs are a great way to pass ideas to others. Plus, you’ll be able to hang around creative individuals like yourself!

Resource: Find a local book club on or try joining a virtual one!

Watch Shark Tank

You’ve probably watched Shark Tank before.

And if you haven’t, this TV show is the perfect blend of business and creativity, where entrepreneurs pitch their latest inventions and products to a host of potential investors.

Check out these super-creative pitches from the show:

(39) WINNING Shark Tank Pitches – YouTube

Resource: Watch Shark Tank on ABC, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

Learn a New Language

Do you speak another language? Research suggests that multilingual individuals are more creative than monolingual ones.

Other languages also offer different words and ways to express ideas.

For example, did you know the Japanese word wabi-sabi loosely translates to “finding beauty in and accepting the imperfect things in life”?

Resource: Download my go-to app, Duolingo, to learn easily and on the go. For more advanced language learners, try a memorization system like Anki.

Repurpose Old Objects

You might have a lot of old “junk” lying around. If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of the TV show Hoarders, you know what I mean.

Try taking some of those old objects and finding creative uses for them. You can even give your old car or bicycle a new makeover if you’d like.

Resource: Need some inspiration? Check out 50 Creative Ways to Repurpose, Reuse, and Upcycle Old Things.


Dancing is a great way to express yourself physically and get some exercise at the same time. There are endless ways to dance:

  • flamenco
  • salsa
  • break dance
  • ballet
  • hip-hop
  • folk dance

Resource: Try joining a local dance class or learning some dance moves on YouTube. I highly recommend starting here if you’re a beginner.

Make Origami

Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding.

Sure, you can make classics like the paper crane or frog. But you can also take it as far as you want—there are even origami conventions held for pros and enthusiasts.

Resource: Beginner to origami? Grab a sheet of paper and check out the video below.

Exercise Creatively

Are you constantly doing the same old push-ups every day?

Try spicing things up:

Resource: Read on to find a list of unique sports. Try one out if you’re feeling adventurous.

Listen to Music

Research shows that metal fans and classical music fans may be more similar than we thought.

According to Professor Adrian North of the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, “Aside from their age, they’re basically identical.”

Resource: Create your own music playlist. Fill it with your favorite Mozart or Metallica songs!

Creative Cooking

You don’t have to be the next chef, Ramsay, to appreciate this one.

Creative cooking is a great hobby—just grab any recipe or find one online and add your own unique twist. It could be as simple as adding some cinnamon to a lemon cake or as extreme as adding bacon to homemade yogurt.

Resource: Get cooking! Find your favorite recipe online and try out something new.

Why is Being Creative So Hard?

Research has found that the fear of standing out is the primary reason why people don’t come up with innovative solutions or express themselves creatively. However, by not sharing your original ideas with the world or engaging in activities that ignite your creativity, you’re missing out on a powerful source of fulfillment.

Final Tip: Avoid Labels

As a bonus, I’ve saved the best tip for last: labels. There are many labels people give us from a young age.

Teachers, parents, and other influential figures try to place labels on us in areas where they think we will excel. They certainly mean no harm to us but are trying to steer us to where they think we will succeed.

However, the result is that we are labeled early in life as creative or not creative.

And these labels heavily influence those areas that we strive for. These labels do NOT define us, so we must understand a few very important things about creativity:

  • Every person is creative. If you ask everyone to draw a house, it will look different for each person. This comes from our own creativity.
  • Any choice you make in your life is creative, so embrace it.
  • Creativity is a habit, not a skill. It is a process. If you use it more, you build it and become better. It is a conscious choice to evaluate each decision and put creative twists on them, a choice that eventually becomes a habit.

Want to learn more? I’ve got you covered: How to Be More Creative at Work.

3 thoughts on “38 Amazing Ways to Be Creative (Even if You’re Not!)”

  1. It’s a really great and wonderful article to influence habits, ways of thinking or doing the things. It will inspire and influence stuck mind to move, move in a different way, transform boring into excitement. The more we are creative, the more is success and happiness.

  2. It’s a really great and wonderful article to influence habits, ways of thinking or doing the things. It will inspire and influence stuck mind to move, move in a different way, transform boring into excitement. The more we are creative, the more is success and happiness.

  3. It’s a really great and wonderful article to influence habits, ways of thinking or doing the things. It will inspire and influence stuck mind to move, move in a different way, transform boring into excitement. The more we are creative, the more is success and happiness.

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