If you are a writer, you probably hope for those times when your ideas feel passionate and writing flows wildly. You may try all kinds of ways to get into that state to write your next novel.

Those moments can be productive and rewarding when they happen, but what about all the other times? Wouldn’t it be great to cultivate a consistently nurturing creative life?

I recently discovered a website by Ken Robert, called Mildly Creative; Leading a Life of Quiet Inspiration. He states, in How to be Mildly Creative,

Perhaps you’ve imagined, as I have, churning out ideas at a feverish pace, breaking new ground in unchartered territories of human thought, and producing piles and piles of powerhouse material. You want to be wildly creative like a mad genius high on paint fumes, because you think this is the way to break through the creative blocks that hold you in.

He states that the wild ideas he was trying to apply, as recommended by various creativity and writing gurus, were often leading to “lame results.”

I believed that creativity was some sort of manic state I had to whip myself into, and who could really blame me? Various gurus of creativity suggested things like writing at a breakneck speed, drinking gallons of coffee, and whacking myself on the side of the head.

Then, he took a different approach that makes a lot of sense.

Over time, my focus changed. I wanted to know how to cool myself down rather than fire myself up. I wanted to know how to settle down and actually produce something. I wanted to know how to train my mind in order to think and act like someone becoming a writer and, most important of all, to enjoy the process. When I’m able to do these things, I find that I think better, work smarter, and feel infinitely more sane.

Ken summarizes his ideas about being mildly creative.

For me, these are the keys to being mildly creative.

You quiet yourself in order to hear what you have to say, rather than shout at yourself to be more creative.

You allow yourself to work in small chunks, rather than force yourself to work in large blocks.

You focus on asking small, interesting questions, rather than on demanding big, amazing ideas.

You develop simple habits, rather than create complicated rituals.

You bring the act of creating down to earth rather than place it in some sacred realm.

You draw inspiration by living your life, enjoying your friends and family, and taking care of your health rather than by trying to lock yourself away for hours or days on end, starving yourself of human contact, and beating your brain and body into innovation.

I really appreciate Ken’s thoughts and approach to cultivating creativity. I have also burned myself out in the past. But now, I prefer to cultivate a more consistent and calmer path to creativity. And, with this more grounded approach, I enjoy the passionate flow of creativity (when the muse gets jumping) without burning out my flame. Enjoying life, being a part of the world and connecting with others is much more a focus in my life and is a great source of creative inspiration.

I encourage you to explore Ken Robert’s website, Mildly Creative, and sign up for his newsletter. You can follow him on Twitter at @MildlyCreative, I do. And, I look forward to more of his posts.

Happy Friday to everyone! Have you found ways to be mildly creative?  Let’s talk about how we’re doing this week. Have a chat in the comments or drop us a line on Twitter at #writerlbsOff.