Writer’s are notorious for being people watchers, but sometimes we do get busy and stop paying attention to the world around us. The truth is, creativity is all around us and each of us has the ability to be creative – it’s just a part of who we are. Sometimes it comes easy and sometimes it doesn’t. If the latter is the case for you and creativity seems challenging, it doesn’t have to be. All you need to do is train yourself to be creative and you’d be surprised that it can be as simple as practicing your powers of observation and becoming better aware of your surroundings.
Here are some tips you can try that will help you improve your observation skills that will in turn help improve your creative skills.
Go to a park, coffee shop or some other public place with a pen and notepad – Like I said earlier, writers are notorious for people watching, but sometimes we do tend to get out of the habit, especially if life starts taking over and your creative well gets pushed to the side. Set aside some time to head to a nearby park (or anywhere public) and observe those around you. Pay attention to how they walk, what they’re wearing, and how they interact with others.
As you observe them, begin to write down different details. Pay attention to your senses and write about things you see, hear and smell. Don’t spend too much time thinking, just write whatever pops into your head. Again, not only does this help you improve your observation skills, it helps you learn to focus and be mindful of what’s going on around you. And as you do this exercise and begin writing, you’ll start using those creative thinking brain muscles that need to be exercised.
Extra tip: Be careful not to stare. Do try to be a little discreet. 😉
Pay attention to details – this one requires you to slow down and be mindful about what you’re doing and where you are. For example, when you get dressed, pay attention to what you do first, second and so on. When you leave your house, look at and notice the color of the door. Little things like this will help you learn to be present in the moment, no matter what you’re doing and this can carry over into creativity. When you’re mindful of what you’re doing, you see things in a different light and your creativity begins to come alive.
Do something different – sometimes all it takes to not only hone your observation skills, but to also get the creative juices flowing, is to simply take the time to do something different. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate like running off and taking an exotic vacation, though. It can be something as simple as visiting a new place locally you’ve never seen before. When you do something new, you’re more aware of what’s going on around you because you’re paying closer attention while observing what it is you see, smell, hear, feel and taste.
Being mindful and observant is a skill we can all improve upon. Too often we go through life missing many of the details, but if you make it a point to notice what’s happening around you, you’ll soon find many creative ways to use what you learn in your writing, artwork, or other creative endeavors.
Schedule some observation time into your day or week so it doesn’t get neglected.