Igniting Your Creativity

A My Blog Guest Special Feature

Tips on Inspiration and Creativity

Igniting your creativity

Being creative is not just something that happens to people accidentally. You might start off with a spur of excitement concerning one idea or concept, but when it comes down to remaining creative over a longer period of time most people struggle. The term writer’s block is famous amongst all those working in a profession where creating text is key, but similar concepts apply to those in performing arts, visual artists and other creative professions. This article will provide a few tips on how you can maintain your creativity and potentially enhance it.

Listen to music

Music can set the mood for your day, but it can also help spark that creative light in you. If you feel stuck and don’t know how to move forward with a project, create a playlist that will push you forward. If you are writing, think about what your character would listen to or what genre your interview objects are interested in. If you are painting or creating visual art focus on the mood of the idea you already have and search online for artists reflecting that mood. Look at their lyrics and see where they take you. Maybe you find a story in them that compliments what you are working with, or maybe you are taken in an entirely new direction. Either or, it is sure to stir something up you can use.

Write it down

You never know when a great idea would come to mind. It can sneak up on you and take you completely by surprise. This is why so many artists and writers carry a notebook around with them. Take little bullet point notes of what you see, experience, feel and it can come in handy when you are trying to recall a memory or find inspiration later on. If you have a blank wall in your home hang up a large chalkboard. These won’t ruin the style of your home, and can be a valuable tool when you want to stay creative. Write down your bullet points on the board as soon as you come back home, then draw or expand on those bullet points. The chalk board will stop you from hanging post-its or having loose pieces of paper floating around, and it will allow you to gather all your ideas in one place.

Use the Internet

If you are stuck, there is nothing worse than just staring at your screen or your work. However, use the internet and get inspired. Use search engines to find images, music, text and so on about the topic you are working with. This might sound obvious but there is more to it than this. Look at the bullet points you made on your chalk board or notepad. Make a spider diagram by putting in words and phrases you find online. Soon you will start to see a red threat in you notes and this is the path you should follow when you feel ready to start work again.

Do not stop
Make sure you don’t let the block take over. If you feel stuck maybe you have gone down the wrong path. It is never too late to start over. The project you have developed can be picked back up at a later date when you might have had new experiences and challenges that will help you finish it. You are in charge of your creativity so don’t let the block control you, take charge.

Bio:
Ingunn is a creative personality writing about the arts and interior decorating, with a special love for chalkboards.

 

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Writing Your Own Music: Sound and Lyrics

Writing Your Own Music: A My Blog Guest Post on Composition in Sound, Lyric and Musical Endeavors

An Intriguing and Impressive Guest Post from rising star in creative writingNicola Winters 

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Writing Your Own Music by Nicola Winters

(on behalf of Phoenix Software, a student store that provides software for students)

What happens to your musical skills when you leave school for university?  You may have spent years practising your scales on whichever instrument you chose to play when you first started secondary school.  Your parents probably forked out a small fortune in lessons and there have probably been hours spent arguing and nagging about not practising enough to warrant the expense and threats of sanctions unless more practise is done.

You’re probably glad to get away from it all, but, once you’ve got yourself established at university you may surprise yourself by missing the playing of an instrument.  It’s at times like these that you may find the urge to write some music of your own and this, in turn, leads to finding like-minded people, forming a band and dreaming of making it rich without the necessity to study and hand in that next assignment!

Whilst some people are quite self-contained, apparently needing no other collaboration and relying simply on their own creativity to write music; others benefit greatly from other people’s input and welcome constructive criticism from family and friends.

People often find it relaxing to write music simply because there’s no right or wrong way to do it.  Unless you’re a student studying music composition and are following a specific curriculum; you can never really make a mistake – a refreshing change!  Collaborating with others brings so much more to the completed product in terms of originality – no other band would have that same mix of minds so you could end up with a completely unique sound.

Involving a mix of people who have skills with different instruments can also help you create your own individual sound, and if you feel you’re not making progress or you’ve hit a rough spot, perhaps consider introducing a new instrument into the mix which will change the dynamics and may help you out of the rut.

If writing music is something you’d like to do but struggle to actually put into practice, then perhaps choosing specific music composition software would be the right option for you.  An example would be Sibelius 7 Academic Student Edition which is sophisticated enough for top composers but simple enough for beginners and students.  This software is described as being ‘the easiest way to write music’ – and if you’re unsure that you’ll be able to operate it you have the peace of mind knowing it comes with 90 days of complimentary assisted support.

Writing lyrics is a totally different skill – some artists prefer to start with the lyrics and compose the music around them while others work in reverse.  You may find that, whilst you have the talent to write a great melody, you lack the ability to actually put words to your music.  Working in collaboration with a wordsmith is a pretty good idea – famous collaborations like Elton John and Bernie Taupin who worked separately with little interaction still managed to write masterpieces which remain popular today.

Whatever you choose – remember to have fun – you’re doing this because you want to – not because you have to!

This is a guest post by Nicola Winters on behalf of Phoenix Software, a student store that provides software for students.

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