#1: Find a quiet place where you can be completely alone.
Embrace that alone-ness. Breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Reflect on your day, your week, your last month, your last year(s). The good and the bad. Just process it.
Ask yourself: What was the best part of today, yesterday, etc.? What challenged me this week? How have I grown? What am I feeling right now, in this moment?
#2: Carry a journal with you and write whatever comes to mind.
This can be random, funny, serious, sad, contemplative. Write questions, write answers, write your latest thoughts, write memories. This doesn’t have to make sense (and probably won’t…but this will become a springboard for ideas.) You can then form what you’ve written into a lyrical piece of writing, a blog post, or even a story. But this is where you start.
Ask yourself: What am I thinking? What makes me happy? What am I wishing for? What do I miss?
#3: Play some soft music that makes you relax.
Close your eyes, lay down, and just listen to the words or melodies.
Ask yourself: What do these lyrics/rhythms/melodies remind me of? How do they make me feel?
#4: Doodle. Anything.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an amazing artist, or if you struggle to create stick-figures. Just draw what comes to mind when you are sitting in silence, when you look out the window, when you listen to music.
Ask yourself: What do I notice? What am I drawing? What could my drawing look like? What does my picture remind me of?
#5: Go on a walk and bring a camera.
Look around at the world, take in the temperature, the weather, people around you, the landmarks. Take photographs of things that you pass by every single day.
Ask yourself: What makes these things so mundane? So regular? How can I see them in a new way? What if they weren’t there? Would my life change?
#6: Write a list of all the things you love.
This can be people, places, foods, colors, etc.
Ask yourself: What is my favorite ___? How did this become my favorite? Who introduced this to me? What is my most significant memory with this favorite thing?
#7: Spend time flipping through a scrapbook, photo album, or collection of photographs on a social media site.
Scroll through the memories, study the colors the brightness and contrast in the photos, the expressions on people’s faces.
Ask yourself: What am I feeling right now as I go back through these memories? What do I miss? What do I remember about this specific picture? How old was I? What did I/we look like? Can I remember the smells, the temperature, the feelings I had in that moment?
#8: Get an abstract coloring book or blank sheet of paper with markers.
Begin to fill in or draw patterns and add color, methodically or without reason. Fill your page with swirls, shapes, checkerboards, lines, and dots. Focus on the page and nothing else. Let all distractions and frustrations go as you color.
Ask yourself: What is on my mind? What is bothering me? How can I let that go? Can I erase this negativity and bring in happy thoughts? What is happiness?
#9: Find a random object around your house and study it.
You can try to draw it (don’t focus on the quality of your drawing, but rather how you begin to notice small details about this object as you study and replicate it).
Ask yourself: What do I notice about this object that I didn’t before? What is beautiful about this object? What drew me to this object? What are the challenges I have in creating this object on paper? What does this object lead me to think about/remind me of?
#10: Go into nature and try to take the most beautiful photographs you can.
Photography is not easy, but whether you are good at taking photos or if this is your first time, study nature.
Ask yourself: What is beautiful? What can I capture? What am I feeling right now? How can I take a photograph that captures my emotions in this exact moment?
#11: Listen to music and just dance.
It doesn’t matter what kind of dancing, or whether it’s beautiful or crazy. Just dance. Dance with friends. Dance solo. Jump. Laugh. Be silly. Let go of your insecurities and dance the way the music makes you feel.
Ask yourself: What makes me happy in this moment? What am I afraid of/what holds me back from dancing like this all the time? How does the music make me feel?
#12: Get a book and dive into it.
Find a quiet space and invest in this book, whatever type of book it is. Really read the words, let them resonate in your skull. Contemplate what they mean, imagine yourself as the character.
Ask yourself: What is happening in this story? Who are the characters? Do I relate to these character(s)? Am I different than these character(s)?
#13: Find some poetry online or in an anthology and read it.
Take time to really take in the words, one by one, line by line, stanza by stanza.
Ask yourself: What are these lines saying? What is the poet trying to tell the reader? What sticks with me? What words are beautiful? What do I like about poetry?
#14: Spend time with someone you love, or observing someone you love.
Try to draw them, try to draw symbols of them. Or create a list of their physical features.
Ask yourself: What makes this person beautiful? Unique? Individual? Different? Handsome? What traits to I admire in them? What things do I love about their physical appearance? What about their personality?
#15: Attempt to write a poem.
Start by describing–use descriptions, details, and your senses to explain this person, object, idea, concept. Build off of this. Use feeling. Use imagery. Be specific. Be abstract. Have fun.
Ask yourself: What am I trying to say? How can I use words to describe? What details can I add to make this draft feel real, tangible? How is poetry difficult? How is poetry beautiful?