Creative professionals have it tough – being constantly and consistently creative is no small task. It requires artistic stamina and resourcefulness. When you‘re feeling down and out but need to keep those projects churning, try these tips to keep your creative spirit well-fed and full of energy.

Write a letter to your Muse

We all need to be coddled now and then. The spiritual embodiment of your artistic urges is no different. With pen and paper, begin a letter with “Dear Muse,” and simultaneously let your mind wander, stream-of-consciousness style, without ever stopping the pen from moving across the page. Apologize for working so late. Ask questions. Thank her for the great ideas you used on that last project. Get all the things bothering you off your chest. Even doodle if you have to. Your Muse will awaken and respond to the positive attention — and you may just feel a lightbulb or two come on.

Give your right brain a rest
Give your left brain something to do for a change and let the right brain take a vacation. Next time you need some time away from a creative project, try doing a crossword puzzle or word search puzzle. It will give your creative side a break while keeping you mentally stimulated.

Volunteer with children or the elderly
Very simple: help others with their creativity, and the Gods of Creativity will reward thee. Visit your local dollar store for cheap arts and crafts supplies and come up with some fun ideas for projects.

Try something new
Take a trip outside your normal comfort zone. Try a new food – escargot is quite delicious! New activities or sports will awaken your body, firing synapses to your brain, opening up new possibilities of thoughts and ideas. Wear a crazy hat. Read a different genre of novel or watch a different genre of film than you‘re accustomed to, and see how your imagination reacts.

Revisit past projects
Take a gander at your own best work, creatively & professionally. Where did that *spark* come from for those projects? In what ways could you emulate that now?

Make an inspiration board
Make a visual splash page of your ideas. These can be focused thoughts, such as if you have a project at hand, or totally unfocused if you‘re simply brainstorming. Create a vibrant collage of daring “what-ifs?” Stand back and observe. Notice anything?