4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

A while back I read a great article about how travelling can enrich your writing. In it, the author outlines how travel is unpredictable, fosters empathy and reflection, and creates authenticity in your writing. Now that travel is slowly getting to be possible again, it seems like a good time to remind ourselves of how much it can add to our lives. Here are four more ways travelling is good for creativity (even if you don’t go any farther than the other side of town)…

It breaks up your routine

Even the most imaginative person needs inspiration, and, as many of us have learned these last couple of years, nothing is less inspiring than doing the same things and seeing the same few places over and over again, day after day. Going somewhere new shakes you out of your rut, gives you a fresh perspective, and re-ignites creativity.

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Alex Zhernovyi on Pexels.com

It helps you learn

If you go somewhere you’ve never been, you’re bound to learn something, whether it’s a few words in another language, facts about local history, or even a new skill (so many places offer classes and workshops for tourists). What you discover can be the spark you need for your current project, or the inspiration for something new.

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It gives you the chance to be a different kind of creative

There are all kinds of opportunities to be creative while you travel, and if you can do so in a new (to you) way, even better (I’ve written before about how creativity begets creativity). Take pictures, write a journal entry (or poetry, short fiction, a song…) about your trip, sketch what you see, take part in a workshop, visit galleries and bookstores, talk to interesting people you meet along the way. Use it all as creative fuel.

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

It can help you in unexpected ways

When I was having trouble finding the right image to use for the cover of Love Lies Bleeding, a photo I’d taken in Paris turned out to be just what I needed (I posted about it here). My Paris trip photos also came through for the cover of Blood Magic, and I have a third one in mind for the next book. I didn’t go to Paris to take photos for my covers, but my travels led to exactly what I needed. You never know what going somewhere new could end up doing for you.

4 Ways Travel Can Help You Be More Creative, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com

You don’t have to travel to be creative, but it really does help. Even if you can’t make it to another country, try exploring a different nearby town, or visit a neighbourhood in your own town that you’ve never been to. The important thing is to break out of routine and try something new. It could lead you to places you never expected.

Has travel helped your creativity? Share in the comments…

Download my books and find out how my travels have influenced my stories, and not just the covers…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

Books in Miniature

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale
Found on Etsy

Miniatures are perpetually fun. I don’t know if it’s because they remind me of my childhood toys, or if it’s simply the wonder of seeing everyday objects rendered tiny, but I never get tired of miniatures. And if those miniatures happen to be books (especially the kind that can still be read), then get me a shrink ray and point me to the nearest dollhouse with a library (finally, an affordable real estate investment)!

If you’re a bibliophile, mini or otherwise, I think you’ll appreciate these tiny works of art….

I’ll start with a mini bookcase and books after my heart (found on Etsy). Can I also get this full sized?

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, vampire. vampires. coffin, creepy

This is a library I would love to get lost in (check out the artist’s site!)

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, Marc Giai-Miniet
Room by Marc Giai-Miniet

Or how about this amazing doctor-themed bookcase?

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale
Found on Etsy.

The only thing better than this book with a secret hiding spot for a potion (or poison?)…

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, secret potion

…Is this Illuminated Medieval Manuscript by the same artist! Anyone who doesn’t think this is a work of art probably also says beige is their favourite colour.

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, illuminated manuscript

According to the etsy listing, each of these 150 miniatures has been designed to resemble a real antique book. Who wouldn’t love to explore these shelves?

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale

I adore this little book on bats. Unfortunately, I found it on Pinterest with no source given (an image search didn’t help). If anyone knows the artist or source, please share in the comments!

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, illustrated, illustrations, bats, Pinterest

This is the library from Astolat Castle, the world’s most expensive dollhouse, appraised in 2015 at $US8.5 million. I take back what I said earlier about affordable real estate. But at least looking is free (see more here).

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, Astolat Castle, world's most expensive dollhouse

Finally, if you’ve been inspired by all these miniature books, here’s a tutorial for making your own (and here’s Part 2, as well). You never know– you could end up building your own miniature library (or castle!)

Books in Miniature, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Books, mini books, miniatures, dollhouse, dollhouse furniture, mini rooms, 1:12 scale, tutorial

What do you think of miniature books, or miniatures in general? Share in the comments…

Looking for a good book that you can read without a magnifying glass? I’ve got you covered…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

10 Ways to Inspire Your Creativity

10 Ways to Inspire Your Creativity, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Creative, inspiration, art, writing, create.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Everyone has times when they need to be creative (even those of you who swear you were born without the creativity gene). Whether you’re trying to turn random ingredients into dinner, or are writing an epic novel, creativity is part of life. But there are times when the creative energy seems to burn out and your perspective on your current project has gone stale. If you need help getting the inspiration flowing again, here are ten things you can try to renew your creativity…

Don’t Force It

No matter how often people claim to work best under pressure, stress doesn’t usually produce quality results. Unless you’re aiming for quantity rather than quality, trash those arbitrary goals (1000 words every day! A new painting every week! Ten new ideas before lunch!). Take a deep breath, and relax. Don’t be afraid to walk away for a bit, if you need to (whether it’s for a five-minute break, an hour-long nap, or to start a new project entirely). It’s amazing how well the ideas come when you’re not forcing them.

10 Ways to Inspire Your Creativity, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Creative, inspiration, art, writing, create, color, colour, pencils, crayons.
Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

Try Something New

When your comfort zone feels tapped out, it can help to look for inspiration elsewhere. If you’re a painter, try listening to (or playing) music. If you’re a writer, bake something. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s something out of your ordinary. Creativity begets creativity, and being creative in a new way can spur you on in your usual field.

Take a Walk

Interrupting desk (or wherever you do your work) time with a walk may seem counter-intuitive, but a Stanford study found that a person walking, whether on a treadmill or out in the world, “produced twice as many creative responses” as someone sitting. The benefits continued even after the walk was over. The next time you need to brainstorm, consider doing it on the move.

10 Ways to Inspire Your Creativity, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Creative, inspiration, art, writing, create, walk, walking
Photo by Dhyamis Kleber on Pexels.com

Travel

Now that travel is possible again, you can temporarily trade the familiar for foreign shores and exotic sights. But you don’t have to go far– even a few streets over can do the trick. Check out a part of town you’ve never been to. Try a restaurant that serves a kind of food you’ve never had. Meet new people. Go exploring. Be open to new adventures and see how far you go, even if the actual distance is short.

Be Inventive

Try this exercise: take everyday items and come up with as many unusual uses for them as you can. What else can you do with hair ties, forks, or a shoe, for example? Imagine yourself in different situations (desert island, post-apocalyptic…) trying to make the most use of everything in a world with few resources. This re-inventing of common items is a form of creative thinking that can then lead to more creative breakthroughs.

10 Ways to Inspire Your Creativity, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Creative, inspiration, art, writing, create, gallery, museum
Photo by Una Laurencic on Pexels.com

Let Others Inspire You

Enjoying other people’s work and ideas can prove inspiring. Spend time in museums, art galleries, and libraries. Go to concerts or take classes. Read books and explore favourite websites or magazines. Even people watching can be a great source of inspiration.

Create Without a Plan

When you’re stuck, start making something– anything– even if it’s “just” doodles or stream-of-consciousness journal entries or putting together fabrics you like. As you create aimlessly, ideas will start coming to you and you might end up motivated to complete an old project or start something new.

Be Prepared

Ideas can happen anywhere, and often when you’re in the middle of something else. Make sure to always have a way to record your ideas: a sketchbook, notepad, app–- whatever works for you. Don’t be afraid to drop whatever else you’re doing in order to get everything down while it’s fresh (the Muse doesn’t linger and you will not remember later, no matter what you tell yourself!)

10 Ways to Inspire Your Creativity, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Creative, inspiration, art, writing, create.
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Work Somewhere New

A change of scenery can sometimes be all you need to light a spark. If any part of your work is portable, try taking it to a park, coffee shop, or anywhere else that appeals to you. Or try rearranging/redecorating your office/work space.

Change Your Perspective

Consider your project as though you’re someone totally different (whether someone specific, or just a generic “character”). How would that person approach the project? What might they see that you don’t, and what would they do about that? See your work through their eyes.

Have you tried any of these (or any other) techniques? What did you think of them? Share in the comments…

Want to help keep an author inspired? Download my books!

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas