There is a simple act you can do daily that has the ability to radically propel your art forward, in whichever medium you work.
Think of the inside of your brain as a vast constellation of stars. Each star is a thought or an experience. Your ability to uniquely connect or coagulate those stars to form something new is the talent of being creative. It's why you're an artist, writer, musician, photographer, etc.
The easiest way to add to your constellation and enhance your skill at making disparate connections is reading books. They're like the perfect brain food for artists. They provide ideas, inspiration, and perspectives different from your own. They shake up your sensibilities in a way that can reveal new undiscovered visions.
Sadly, there is a significant challenge to reading: the frenetic nature of emailing, texting, social media interaction, and news feed scanning. It has a proven deleterious effect. All these quotidian acts condition our brain against settling in for a long read, and cause mild agitation when trying to do so.
To get past the agitation and to avoid the knee jerk reaction of picking up your phone, leave electronic devices in another room. Grab a book, find a comfy spot, and start reading. When you feel a tug of distraction, look out your window, take a deep breath, then turn your gaze back to the story. After a few times, you'll start to feel less of a need to divert your attention.
When you read a story, you're committing to a journey of the imagination, immersing yourself in another world, traveling without moving. After as little as thirty minutes you'll be imbued with a different perspective that will aid your creativity. Turn book reading into a habit and you'll continually shake up the constellation of your imagination and add to your genius street cred.
Are you reading a book right now? Do you have one sitting next to your bed, or on your kitchen table? If not, get one today and help celebrate World Book Day, you'll be glad you did.