As a creator, you live by the quality of your ideas. Your stock in trade isn’t cameras, software, keyboards or computers. Those are merely tools. Your most precious resource is your imagination.
In many ways, this is what makes being a creator so great: there’s nothing better than self-expression, and pearpop makes it easier than ever to collaborate with other talented creators and keep those creative juices flowing. But what about those times when, for whatever reason, you hit a roadblock? The ideas just seem to dry up. You feel stuck. Call it writer’s block or creative burnout, but everyone has those moments when you dip the ladle into the ol’ imagination reservoir and come up empty.
If the search for fresh ideas seems hopeless, take heart. At pearpop we specialize in helping creators stay at their best. Here are six tips to try when you’ve run low on inspiration:
You spend most of your time at your computer, creating and editing. We understand: that screen is a portal to limitless worlds. But sometimes we all need a check-in with the real world. Especially nature. If you live near a park, take a break and go for a walk. Our minds also respond positively to exercise, so walking (or jogging) in nature has a double benefit.
If you live in a concrete jungle, drop by a museum or library, do some window shopping or people watching. You’ll be amazed how many ideas you can get just from listening to snippets of overheard conversations. Beyond the comfort of your desk, there’s a wild world out there, full of inspiring characters and stories. Paradoxically, sometimes taking a break from a struggle with ideas is the best way to achieve a breakthrough.
Routines are good but sometimes we get so trapped in our usual way of doing things, life begins to take on a dull hue. If you feel like the fizz has gone out of your ginger ale, metaphorically, one good way to add some carbonation to your imagination is to do something out of the ordinary. As the famous Apple computer slogan said, “think different.”
Even the slightest change in a daily routine can help inspire new ways of thinking. Try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. Zag when you used to zig. Walk backwards. Speak to your cat in French. Do a handstand. Scramble your omelette. Whatever. The point is to create new neural pathways in the brain and that happens every time you challenge yourself to learn something new.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but when you’ve had your nose to the grindstone and been struggling to come up with a great idea, sometimes the solution lies in taking a step back and dispassionately observing your state of mind. Mindfulness can be as simple as occasionally pausing to take three deep breaths or a more formal meditation practice. For beginners, there are lots of apps to help you get started, including Headspace, Calm, and Smiling Mind.
But mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated, technical or mysterious. It boils down to just bringing clear awareness to whatever is happening in this moment. Mindfulness can help reduce stress and gently re-set our creative process, it has no side effects and it’s free!
Cold brew. Espresso. A fancy cappuccino.
The cheap stuff they sell at the corner deli.
Whatever your preference, coffee can give your creativity a kick in the pants when you need it. Of course, it’s the caffeine that matters, so you can also try green tea or even Red Bull. But let’s be honest: the great creative geniuses didn’t drink Monster Energy Drink. Bach wrote a sonata about coffee. Benjamin Franklin hung out in coffee shops before it was cliche. And Teddy Roosevelt drank a gallon of coffee a day. Where did that get him, you may ask? Well, he did become the 26th President of the United States. Though as of this writing, Roosevelt has completed zero pearpop challenges. Coffee can only get you so far.
If all else fails, draw the shades, turn on the white noise machine and get horizontal. You may be thinking: “But if I’m sleeping rather than grinding, won’t my career go into hibernation mode?” Not at all. Sleep is not a passive activity. It’s actually when your brain cleans up its internal hard drive and gets rid of toxins and waste. When you dream, you gain access to a font of unconscious images and ideas. One of the most famous classic rock songs“ of all time, Satisfaction,” was written by the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards while he was sleeping. (Fortunately he was smart enough to leave a tape recorder running before he passed out while noodling on his guitar.) So next time you hit a creative dry spot, take a power nap, and let yourself sink into a deep relaxing slumber. Who knows what you’ll dream up?
If none of the tips above work, we have one more sure fire way to get your inspiration fired up: every week, pearpop offers a new challenge, giving creators a chance to pair their own content to a specific piece of music: https://pearpop.com/challenges/
These pearpop challenges are an easy and consistent way to find fresh ideas, and connect with other members of the creator community. And with every challenge video you post on TikTok, you have a chance to turn inspiration into cash. More views = more money. That’s what we call an inspiring formula.