If you want to understand something thoroughly, dig deep. Great scholars do large amounts of research. Classical musicians study music history and theory. Digging deep not only makes you more knowledgable, but it promotes creativity.
Digging deep doesn’t have to be long, hard study, it can also come in the form of travel. Recently, I traveled back to places I lived as a kid. It hasn’t immediately made me more creative. However, the experiences and images of revisiting my youth will likely influence my future creative works.
Digging Deep Into History Through Books
One way to learn more about any topic under the sun is to read about it. When I was a graduate student I did this with two topics: cults and music.
My college graduate experience started by studying cults. My goal was to write my master’s thesis about the cult I was exposed to as a kid. It wound up that there was too little written information about the cult of my youth, so instead, I decided to study the music of Woody Guthrie.
I read shitloads of books about Woody Guthrie, probably everything written about him, and by him. This led to reading books about Pete Seeger, Ledbetter, Bob Dylan, Springsteen, Bob Marley, and dozens of others. I also listened to craptons of music. All of this study rubbed off on me and my own musical creative process.
In the end, my study of cults led to writing my first novel, A Train Called Forgiveness. Writing the first novel led to a trilogy.
Travel Promotes Creativity
Another, less studious way to promote creativity is by traveling. When we travel, we use all of our senses to experience the places we visit. In the past, I’ve often found that travel worked as an almost immediate cure for writer’s block. When I was younger, I’d travel by train all around the country. When I returned home, I’d write songs by the batches.
Recently, I took a trip to visit places where I lived as a kid in Maine and New Hampshire. Although the experience hasn’t immediately spurred on any new books or music, it has sunk deep into my psyche. Chances are good that I’ll create something that was inspired by that short trip back in time.
I’ve travelled to every state but Florida, Hawaii, and Alaska over the years. I’ve learned about many regions through museums and local folklore. Travel leaves great impressions on our minds which leads to creativity.
Is There Something You Want to Create?
If you’ve always wanted to write a book, score film music, or be a painter, you can. It just takes a little effort and dedication. Digging deep will help you to become more creative. Learn the history of the art and the artists you love. Travel to the places that might help inspire you. Then use that information and experience as you start on your own creative project.
Although there’s no secret formula to becoming more creative, digging deep creates a magic of its own. I encourage you to dig a little deeper today.