Creative output happens in different ways for different people. As a writer, I need to have a light and serene space to work. In order for the creative juices to flow the area has to be completely clutter-free, light and away from distraction.
I also like a bit of comforting background noise, and living in a country cottage, Iím serenaded by a variety of birds, frogs and the distant bleating of sheep. In the evenings, itís quiet music or the crackling of a bamboo-wick candle.
This is my home office
This space instantly relaxes me and settles my mind to allow the words to flow. Even when Iím in my car, making the long scenic commute to work with quiet music on the radio, the ideas begin to flow and I often find myself pulling the car over to jot down notes.
This is the view from my office window
The same is true for most aspects of my life. In order to express myself creatively - whether it is through my work, my writing, or enjoying everyday activities - I need the space, freedom and well-ordered environment to do so. If Iím constantly surrounded by noise, clutter or chaos, Iím not operating at my peak and my creativity is stifled.
This is in contradiction to a study conducted in 2013 by Vohs, Redden and Rahinel that found an ordered environment in most instances stifled creativity, whereas chaos and clutter generated more diverse thinking.
Image courtesy of stuart miles / freedigitalphotos.net
In support of this theory, I know a lovely lady who is an artist and her studio is filled with all the things that inspire her. Itís a wonderful jumble of colour, texture and movement. My colleague at work surrounds herself with piles of documents and folders, but manages to find just the thing sheís looking for when she needs it. We often tease each other about our completely different working styles.
When my children were younger they did their homework accompanied by loud music or the blaring television. Without it they had difficulty focusing.
If youíre having difficulty expressing your creativity, think about what may be hindering you. Surround yourself with whatever it is that inspires your creativity, whether itís chaos or calm, clutter or cleanliness. For me, the minimalist approach works best.