I come from a very creative family. My mother was incredibly skilled with fabric, fleece and yarn, and could turn a bale of raw fleece into a beautiful throw blanket, finely woven women’s suit or a durable floor rug. My father also had creative ability, especially when it came to completing the cryptic crossword in record time.

It’s only in recent years I have realised I too am creative. Despite not being able to draw, paint, knit or decipher a single cryptic crossword clue. To my father’s bemusement.

My creativity takes the form of baking – brownies anyone? – and writing. However, the time needs to be right for this. I bake as a form of stress relief, and the more stress I’m holding the more creative I am. It’s really difficult to successfully bake if you’re not 100% in the moment. And being 100% in the moment means you’re not thinking of whatever is worrying you. Ergo, stress relief. It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a sweet tooth!

creativity in the wild

Photo taken at Mt Tambourine

The other time I’m really creative is when I’m travelling. Take me out of my home office environment and ideas flow. It’s no coincidence the majority of my blog posts are written at my favourite local cafe, in airport coffee shops, and when I’m travelling for work. I’ve had some of my best business ideas when I’ve been relaxing at our family holiday house at Killcare or just out for a walk in the streets near my Brisbane home.

Yes, I use the word travel quite loosely!

I have a lot of travel over the next few weeks – Melbourne, Sydney, Byron Bay, San Diego and a road trip across the United States from San Diego to Nashville (you can follow me on Instagram for updates – I’m @melkettle). While I used to detest the time spent in airports, now I use it to bash out a few hundred – or thousand – words. While I don’t yet pull out my laptop on the plane (economy class is just too squishy), I do maximise my time before boarding.

My goal for this travel time over the next few weeks is to write about 20 blog posts – let me know if there is anything you want me to add to my topic list.

Why am I telling you this I hear you ask. Creativity is essential for communication professionals as it allows you to create more interesting content that will drive engagement. Think about how you can spark your creativity. Can you go for a walk, write more, read more. Did you know there is evidence from Stanford that indicates walking increases your creative output by 60%? No wonder Steve Jobs went for a daily walk!

Where does your creativity spark? And what does it look like? I’d love to know.

Mel Kettle works with associations, not-for-profits and businesses to help them communicate effectively and authentically so they attract, retain and engage their members and customers. To inquire about working with Mel, please email mel@melkettle.com or call her on 0404 600 889.

Order a signed copy of Mel’s book, The Social Association – 5 key skills not-for-profits need to increase member engagement, generate ROI and create a thriving online community, published in February 2018.

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