3 Ways to Make Winter Your Most Creative Season

boost your creativity in winter
Photo by Thanun Buranapong

Between marketing, invoicing, and actually working, freelancing can feel like a grind. Add a bit of cold weather, some post-holiday ennui, and a bit of same-old, same-old and the new year may feel more like a long slog than a clean slate. Fortunately, there are some tried and true was to kick your own butt out of a rut and make winter your most creative season. Try these tips to reclaim your creativity in the new year:

‘Tis the season. Gift the creative in your life something special – check out our curated holiday gifts

Take a Field Trip

There’s no place like home—and sometimes a home office can feel just as boring as that cubicle you sped away from the day you went freelance. Fortunately, a quick change of scenery can help you bust out of your rut. It may not be Aruba, but your local coffee shop, library, bookstore, or coworking space can be a great place to recharge your batteries and remember why you love creating in the first place. And don’t forget the power of simply experiencing something new. Make a point to catch a new exhibit at your local art museum, attend a meetup on one of your interests, or just take a long walk in a different neighborhood. Want bonus points? Make a list of several places where you can see or do something new, then choose one at random when you feel bored or antsy.

Support Other Artists

Sometimes the best way to refuel your art is to put it aside and look at what other people have accomplished lately. It might seem counterproductive to spend your time reading other people’s books and articles, watching movies, or browsing galleries, but connecting to other artists’ work can give you perspective, inspiration, and a bit of good karma. Feeling sensitive about other people’s accomplishments? Tell the green-eyed monster to talk to the hand and remember—other artists are colleagues, not competitors. Like what you see? Take time to write a piece of fan mail or congratulate your peers. It will put a smile on their face and you just might form a new, supportive connection.

Step Up The Self-Care

It’s tempting to ignore your basic needs when you’re peering out over the abyss that is the dreaded creative dry spell. Many freelancers step into a pattern of punitive self-talk, neglecting their needs and slamming themselves during challenging times. News flash: you’re your own boss, so why not be a nice one? Commit to taking care of your #1 employee (you) by fostering a caring, supportive environment. And don’t let yourself fall victim to the habit of working in your PJs, eating only junky takeout or failing to get out of bed in the morning. Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you don’t matter, so care for yourself like you mean it.

The tips above might seem basic, but they build the foundation for a curious mind and a consistent creative practice. Commit to one and you might just break through that block. Commit to all three and you might just make 2015 your best year ever.

‘Tis the season. Gift the creative in your life something special – check out our curated holiday gifts

Erin Blakemore FOLLOW >

Erin Blakemore is a library school drop-out, historian, freelance writer, and author of the award-winning The Heroine’s Bookshelf (Harper). She dishes about books, history, and channeling your inner heroine at www.erinblakemore.com