Contributed by AMF Intern
As a musician, you are in the business of being creative. However, as we get older, busier and more set in our ways, it can feel as though our creativity is on a continual decline. Each new song, album or music video gets harder and harder to produce, and the blocks to creativity seem to increase. Thankfully, creativity is not just for the young. Creativity declining with age is not a real and present danger, and you are 100% capable of creating fresh and relevant ideas.
Musician or not, we can all benefit from out-of-the-box thinking. Taking different approaches when solving problems or creating art can lead you down a bountiful path into the unknown – and that’s exciting.
To prevent yourself from suffering from a loss of creativity, try out some of our suggestions below:
1) Surround yourself with imaginative, diverse people. Gathering together musicians and/or songwriters from different backgrounds can really evoke fresh, out-of-the-box thinking. Everyone has different experiences and ideas that can elevate your own level of artistry if you surround yourself with them and listen.
2) Stay connected. Attend conferences, classes, panels, etc. Not only will you probably learn something new, but you can potentially meet your new band member or manager. Staying connected also means keeping yourself connected to the present moment and observing what is going on around you. Creativity lives in the most unexpected of places – keep your eyes and ears open!
3) Be curious. It’s dangerous to know what you like. We’re all victims of ordering the same thing at restaurants, taking the same route home, falling into the same routines – but it hinders our potential discovery of something bigger and better. Always ask “what if” and remove the fear of failure from your ideas.
4) Take risks. This takes bravery, especially if you’ve already established yourself as an artist. It’s easy to stick to one genre and play at the same venues, but we encourage you to dare to be different! Risk-taking has the potential for huge rewards – don’t be shy.
5) Learn a new skill. Step outside of your comfort zone and pick up a new instrument or learn some new dance moves. Experimentation can lead to an awesome new discovery that gives you the extra edge on the competition.
6) Take a break. We’ve all experienced a “eureka” moment in the most unexpected of places. Whether it be the shower, just before you fall asleep or while you’re exercising – it’s good to get away from your work and live life. Concentrating on a task for too long will leave you bogged down and spent. Know when enough is enough and get some coffee or take a drive so that you can reset your brain.
7) Don’t force it. If something doesn’t sound right or a really cool lyric just isn’t fitting, don’t force it. There will be plenty of opportunities to implement your idea when the time is right. Go with your gut, it will never let you down.
8) Keep a journal. We said it once, we’ll say it again: creativity can be found in the most unexpected of places. Make sure you’re ready for it by keeping a journal on you at all times. Anything you see that spurs an idea should be written down immediately!
9) Get moving. Staying physically active is a great way to get your blood pumping and creative juices flowing.Take a hike or bike ride outdoors and find inspiration from the natural surroundings and fresh air – we hear it’s good for you!
10) Un-clutter. When you’re really stuck, try to clear your mind of all worries and to-dos. It can be hard to empty your mind when we are so used to multi-tasking and thinking about what’s next, but try to meditate and free yourself of any unfinished business – it will work wonders.
Basically, the one secret to successfully remaining creative throughout your musical career is to do something else the second you feel comfortable doing what you’re currently doing. By constantly challenging yourself to try new things, your right brain will function at higher and higher levels, giving you the foundation you need to be artistic, inventive, and ultimately – successful.