Spark Your Creativity

9 Ways to Spark Your Creativity When You Are in a Rut

Sometimes events can drain you. They are a lot of work and can cause stress. This can lead to the slow draining away of your creativity. And then you feel stuck. What can you do when you don’t know where to begin?

Start with figuring out what creativity even means to you. For the longest time, I did not consider myself creative because I studied to be a civil engineer. Most of my work was dependent on what gravity wanted to do. But through years of practice, I realized that I could develop creative solutions to problems – “creative” as “non-standard but functional.” But with that shift in mindset, I realized that I could carry that creativity in other aspects of my life.

Many inspirations come from something random, sometimes by seeing something new, other times from straying from your routine. Therefore, you need to expose yourself to as many new and unexpected things as possible. Or to see the same things with new eyes. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Change Your Route

If you are a regular walker, change your usual route. If you can not vary it, do it in reverse. Or if you don’t walk through your neighborhood much, start with just five or ten minutes that you usually do by car. You will be amazed at the difference in perspective.

If you live in a place where driving is the norm, change your regular route to the supermarket, office, or anywhere else you go regularly. Not only can this help you find a quicker commute, but it will give you the chance to see new parts of your neighborhood that you may not have even been aware of.

Spend Time in Nature To Spark Creativity

Just spending some time outside can cause you to look at things differently. Even if it is just stepping out onto your balcony rather than looking out the window. We live in a townhouse with not much outdoor space (about the size of a two-car garage), but there is still enough room to have a small garden. And it is natural enough that hummingbirds will come and visit. Even just stepping out there for five minutes to pull some weeds or cut some herbs can send my mind in a different direction.

Hummingbird: Spend Time in Nature To Spark Creativity
Photo by James Wainscoat

Read a Magazine on a Topic That You Have Never Considered

Go to your local bookstore or library (or its online equivalent) and browse the magazines. Then buy or borrow one that you have never heard of. Look through every page. Read the ads. It’s even better if you can find a foreign magazine.

Spin the Globe to Find a New Cuisine to Try

If you don’t have a globe, scroll through a map online and stop at a random place. Then start researching their food culture. Then find a recipe to make something tasty, or if you would rather not cook, order delivery. 

If you consider yourself worldly, research a specific region within a country. Ecuador is a tiny country, but the traditional dishes on the coast are entirely different from what is typical in the mountains. You will find dishes based on seafood, coconut, and plantains on the coast, such as pescado encocado. You will find dishes based on potatoes, avocado, and corn in the mountains, such as locro de papas.

Related: Wedding Henna Art: Bridging The World Of Tradition And Modernity


Even if you do not consider yourself an artist, find some crayons or markers and doodle on a piece of paper. Something creative may appear.

Photo by Nick Fewings

Ask a Friend to Send You Their Playlist

New music can be an inspiration. Many people have their favorite songs and artists, but hearing something new can change your outlook. Consider asking friends who do not share your taste in music to share their favorites with you. What you hear could be inspiring.

Redo an Old Concept

Think about one of the first events that you designed or planned. What would you do differently now if you had to do it again? Would you change the color palette? Would you use more sustainable decor? Maybe you’d have made sure there was enough sunscreen for guests? 

If I had to plan my own wedding again, I would have hired a day-of coordinator – our wedding planner did not provide that service. At the time, I did not think it was a big deal. It was. Since my wedding was held at a family property with everything contracted out, I spent a lot of time at my own wedding getting questions from catering about where the cake was stored, from the band about electrical outlets, etc. It caused me stress, and if I had the chance to redo it, I definitely would.

Talk with Someone from a Different Generation

Whenever I feel I have everything figured out, a quick conversation with a child gives me something new to think about. My kids seem to have ideas about the future that I could have never even dreamed of. Or when I’m stuck on a project, talking to someone in my parent’s generation can give me some perspective on how it would have been handled in the past.

Find the Opposing Perspective

Think of a benign but relevant topic on which you can comfortably argue for. Then do some research to try to persuade yourself of the opposite. This is not meant to start a fight. It is meant to see if your starting assumptions are actually constraining you.

If you are a florist, really consider why you always choose roses rather than carnations. Is it the look? The meaning? The smell? The style? The price? The availability? After thinking it through, maybe carnations are actually better than roses in some cases. Maybe not. But now you know why.

Just Try

Try one of these activities. Or try them all. Just remember that getting stuck does not mean you have lost your creativity; it just means that you may need to work harder to find it.

Bonus Tip – Write a list

Summarize what you know to spark creativity. Sometimes, seeing all the information that has already been provided to you can spark some insight. Especially when all put together. So take all your notes and emails and combine them into a Thymebase event, and you may just see your answer right there in front of you.