Graphics by Nicole Bae
Check out our previous editions of WERS Companion Guides here!
WERS Blog Editor Lily here to talk directly to everyone!
Normally I don’t write these companion guides in the first person, but today, we’re talking about something especially near and dear to my heart: Ways to stay creative during the quarantine. As a writing student here at Emerson, I’ve always got some creative project going on, whether it be for a class or part of a personal endeavor. I’m the kind of creator that draws a lot of inspiration from my day-to-day life – which I know many other artists do – so it’s been a bit difficult when my day-to-day has turned into changing from one pair of pajamas into another. Whether you’re a writer, filmmaker, painter – try out some of these tips (brainstormed by the WERS Professional and Student Staff) to get those creative juices flowing once more!
Stop Staring at the Same Four Walls and Get Outside
Almost all of us agreed that getting some fresh air does the creative soul some good! Staff Writer Simru Sonmez-Erbil says, “Take walks outside when you're in a creative rut and draw inspiration from the things you see.”
See something out of the ordinary in your neighborhood? Start a story off of that! I actually create some of my best dialogue when going for walks with my dogs: As I’m walking, I’ll start talking as if I were one of my characters and let the monologue flow. Dialogue sounds best when you test it by speaking aloud first! You could also find something to paint/draw. You might have never realized just how beautiful your own backyard is. You can also take the filming outside, and get some great shots for that short film you’ve been dying to finish.
Start a Playlist Specifically for When You Create
Music can both inspire and keep you motivated when you’re looking to get creative. However, I find that not all music is conducive to my productivity. I prefer to curate music that matches the mood of the project I’m working on. For example, if I’m writing an action scene, slow piano music isn’t gonna cut it – but that’d probably do for a romantic scene! The same goes for any medium you’re working in: Listen to music that fosters those creative vibes. You can also draw inspiration from the lyrics of songs! A challenge for everyone reading is to put your music on shuffle and pick your favorite lyric from whatever song comes first and use that as a prompt for a mini-project!
Spice up Your Journaling Game
Social Media Coordinator Sam Woolf says, “I really like guided journaling when I'm feeling in a rut. I have a couple of journals with prompts that I own, but there are tons of prompts written out online for free!”
You can find a lot of great said prompts on Pinterest, that’s where I get most of mine. Journaling is a great way for anyone to reflect on what they’re going through, and use that as inspiration. Like I said before, quarantine life can feel like nothing but a drag, but as I’ve experienced – and I know so many others have – there’s a lot of emotions going on during this time. Jot down your feelings, both positive and negative, and see what they might spark in you.
Bounce Some Ideas off of Others
Video Coordinator Haley Mendoza says, “When I have a creative block, I usually try sharing stories with people I can talk to. My family or even my friends via phone are always eager to share stories, and sometimes one sparks an idea.”
From my own experience, it’s sometimes difficult to share ideas, but other people can bring new viewpoints to a project that you never would’ve considered before! It’s also interesting to see what questions people might have so you can discover those pesky plot holes or anything else you might’ve missed.
Have Fun With It
Above all, creative projects of all mediums are meant to be enjoyable. During these crazy times – even if being a creator is your 9-5 – it’s important to let your creativity be an outlet and not an obligation. Now is a great time to get out of that creative rut you’ve been in, or rediscover your love and passion for bringing a piece to life. When I stop having fun in my writing, I like to ask, “Well, what if this happened?” Let the “what if’s” of life take over, and allow your mind to run wild.