New year, new ideas! We’re all planning our writing for 2023 now, but we need to make sure that we prime the pump throughout the year. Here are seven ways to jumpstart your imagination that you can write right into your calendar:


Take a walk.

Walking has been proven to enhance our creativity. A Stanford study recently revealed that creativity levels go up when you’re walking—and they continue to remain high even after you sit back down after your walk. So take a walk!


Spend time in nature.

According to a Danish study, spending time in nature boosts creativity by making us more curious and flexible in our ways of thinking. Being out in nature is particularly beneficial during the first two phases of the creative process: preparation and incubation. So when you’re looking for new ideas, go outside. Ditto if you’re just coming up with an idea and are trying to develop it. Let Mother Nature help you.


Paint your writing studio blue.

According to color theory, blue is the color that most inspires creativity. A study by the University of British Columbia revealed that because blue is associated with images of peace and calm, like the ocean and the sky, blue helps us feel relaxed and more comfortable—the optimum emotional states for creativity.


Go on an artist’s date.

In Julia Cameron’s classic The Artist’s Way, she promotes the idea of outings, where you jumpstart your creativity by going to a museum or a concert or a movie or any activity that encourages the artist in you. Find a friend and go.


Play games.

Preferably with a child. Creativity is play and sometimes we grown-ups forget how to play. Children know how to play and even better, they know how to play pretend. Playing pretend is what creativity is all about.


People watch.

Go to an airport or a park or a city bench and just have a seat and watch people go by. Make up stories about them; dream a little about who they are and where they’re going and what their lives have been like and what they’re going to do that day. That’s creativity in action.

Note: This is a fun game to play with a friend.


Sit still.

Meditate. Focus on your breathing and just be still. Let your thoughts float across your mind like clouds. And one of those clouds is bound to pay off in creativity.

Imagination, said Einstein, is more important than knowledge. Here’s to a new year of creativity and good writing for us all!

This post originally appeared at Career Authors.

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