Even if you're busy doing online school for eight hours a day, there's no doubt that you've had a lot more free time lately. How are you spending it? Watching TikToks? Eating? Jerking off? Maybe you've wanted to use this time to get started on that book you've always wanted to write. Perhaps you wanted to finally spit some bars and become the SoundCloud rapper you've always aspired to be. Regardless, unless you have a surplus of serotonin and dopamine (wow, what's that like?), you haven't been able to do any of the things you've wanted to do. Here are six tips to get those creative juices flowing in quarantine.
Turn off the music, the TV, and anything else that stimulates your brain.
As someone who brags about their creative mind all the time (therefore making me an expert on the topic), this is a technique I've found useful when I'm struggling to do creative work. Although this may seem contrary to your current creative philosophy, this is actually a powerful tool in producing ideas. Here's how it works: your brain is really good at entertaining itself when it's bored. By temporarily stopping all stimuli, your brain is forced to create its own ideas in order to entertain itself. Try it out.
If you're trying to make music, start with making covers.
If you've ever tried to write a song, you know that it's a daunting and overwhelming task. Especially if you're producing everything yourself, you know that there are a lot of things you have to do to make anything worth listening to. To get those musical juices going, it's a good idea to start with making a cover of something in the same style as the song you want to write. Then, maybe try to rewrite a verse. Once you're in the right mindset and the lines start flowing, then you can move on to producing your own original content.
Quantity > Quality when you're coming up with ideas.
A surefire way to cripple your creativity is to filter out any ideas you have. The trick is to not filter anything you come up with. Think of it like cutting a piece of wood. You can always trim it back if you cut it too long, but you can't reattach wood you've already cut off. A useful exercise I learned from an entrepreneurship class is to think of a topic and then come up with 100 ideas relating to that topic as fast as you can. For example, we were tasked with coming up with 100 ice cream flavors as quickly as possible. Because I wasn't filtering any ideas, I had flavors like "vanilla pubes" and "toilet seat." Point is, even though those might not seem too tasty, there's bound to be dozens of decent ideas in that batch of 100.
Take a break and see the sunlight for the first time in weeks. Look at the trees and leaves and grass and whatnot. Don't even try to come up with ideas, just let nature hand them to you. Especially if you've been facing writer's block for a while, it can be really useful to take a step back and give your brain a break. Always remember that the best ideas often come from unlikely inspiration!
Don't be afraid of making something that sucks.
In the words of Jake from Adventure Time, "Dude, sucking at somethin' is the first step towards being sorta good at something." If you're still struggling to come up with ideas, then your audience is the last thing you need to worry about. Particularly in this day and age where everything is going to end up on your Insta or Snap story, it's a good idea to start doing things for yourself and only yourself.
It's okay to quit.
Especially since we're going to be in quarantine for God-knows-how-long, don't be afraid to throw in the towel and try something else. Even if you're bad at writing rhymes, you might be really good at painting, so don't invest too much time and energy into something you suck at. If things just really aren't going your way, you might benefit from just doing something else. You have tons of time, so use it wisely!
Now that I've written all this, it's time for me to finally get back to that album I've always wanted to drop.