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When you travel, you open yourself up to lots of new and exciting experiences. New sights, new sounds, new smells, new tastes, new textures. And they all have ability to form a reaction with something else.
Don't have time to hop on a plane to India? Take a day trip to a town you've never visited. Or, if you can only spare a few hours, seek out a park you've never been to or a museum you've been meaning to see or even that new cute little shop that just opened. You can always find somewhere new to visit no matter how long you've lived in same city. And if you're truly desperate, try walking around your neighborhood on opposite side of street in opposite direction you normally walk. (It can help jolt you out of rut.)
3. Open yourself up to new things. Of all of these, this one is probably scariest. But, it also has potential to be most powerful.
Take time to try new things. Meet people outside your normal circle of friends. Attend associations, nonprofits, hobby groups outside of ones you usually go to. Listen to speakers on topics you know nothing about. Take a class at a community college about something outside your scope of knowledge. Or even have dinner at an ethnic restaurant you've never tried.
Now I'm not just talking about "typical" creative things, like taking an art class or learning to belly dance. If you're a creative professional, take a class on doing your own taxes or budgeting your finances or repairing your car. (Oooh, I bet all you creative folk felt a chill when I mentioned that.) The point is to really stretch yourself past your comfort zone. Make yourself uncomfortable. It's not only a great way to grow, but it's a fabulous way to keep your muse fat and happy.
And that helps keep ideas flowing.
Creativity Exercises -- Prepare banquet
Over next month, I want you do to at least one tactic from each of above three techniques.
1. Read something you know nothing about. Even if you only spend five minutes skimming an article about quilting when last time you tried to sew a button on a shirt you stabbed yourself with needle and got blood all over material.
2. Travel somewhere you've never been before. Even if it's an antique shop and most antique piece of furniture in your house is a bookshelf your parents bought from Sears when you were a little kid.
3. Stretch yourself in a different and potentially scary way. Even if it's attending one of those Home Depot gardening workshops despite every plant you've tried to grow didn't and if your thumb was any blacker it would fall off.
You know how you work better when you're not hungry, see how well your muse starts churning out ideas after a good meal.
Michele Pariza Wacek is the author of "Got Ideas? Unleash Your Creativity and Make More Money." She offers two free e-zines that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She can be reached at http://www.TheArtistSoul.com. Copyright 2005 Michele Pariza Wacek