12 Most Well-Versed Opinions on Creative Flow from Brilliant Writers

12 Most Well-Versed Opinions on Creative Flow from Brilliant Writers

There is no shortage of creativity at 12 Most. Every week writers from around the web come together to offer their best to the community. Heck, most of our readers are amazing writers in their own right. You should totally think about guest posting here with us.

Influenced by Kim Phillips’ and Peggy Fitzpatrick’s thoughts on the topic, I began to think more about my own creative process. I realized that I had access to a brilliant group of writers in the 12 Most tribe and posed this question to them, “How do you sustain your creative side?” Below are their answers.

1. Rosemary O’Neill

“I keep my creative juices flowing by remembering to do the things I loved to do when I was 13 years old. Drawing, reading novels, running around outside, talking on the phone with true friends (that was before texting).”

2. Kim Phillips

“Creativity for client work comes from finding what speaks to the end consumer, by using tools like a creative brief, lists of disparate elements, a thesaurus… it doesn’t happen by magic; it takes work.”

3. Paul Biedermann

“My job is generating new ideas every day, whether I feel like it or not. And deadlines don’t acquiesce, so waiting for a creative bolt of lightning to hit is out of the question. I always feel recharged after I make time to go out, explore, look and listen. This means everything from going for a drive in the country and gallery-hopping to walking the streets of New York City and listening to great music.”

4. Becky Gaylord

“I use different ways to sustain creativity, which to me is more like shaking off a case of the ‘stales.’ They include listening to music, going for a walk, reading really amazing writing, laughing at something really silly and taking a short break from work.”

5. Lily Zajc

“I explore my creativity by playing the piano, singing and creative writing. Exposing myself to new ideas, music and the news piques my interests and gets the creative juices flowing.”

6. Tracy Schulz

“I unleash my creativity by coloring pictures with my children while listening to some good ol’ rock-n-roll.”

7. Steve Birkett

“I try to work with the ebb and flow of my creative side, sitting down to write when feeling particularly inspired but allowing it to rest, recuperate, and come back brighter when any blockage occurs. In the latter case, a walk, shower, music, or time with my family tend to rekindle the flame.”

8. Jen Brass Jenkins

“I am most inspired creatively by participating in the local arts culture around me, like regularly attending the opera and symphony, checking out art shows, and phone-photographing everything.”

9. Brian Vickery

“• watching a sports event and observing athleticism, sportsmanship (or lack thereof), teamwork, etc.
• having coffee with my wife and bouncing off ideas/dreaming a little bit
• having dinner with very quick-witted Vickery girls who can feed off of each other when it comes to humor, movie quotes, plays on words, etc.
• working out in front of a bank of TVs at a gym”

10. Monica Matthews

“I get my creative juices flowing when I run. My mind wanders and it’s amazing how much work I can get done in my mind as my legs take in the miles. Love it!”

11. Susan Silver

“I recharge by talking to friends and family. I am usually inspired by a snippet of a conversation. Pop culture, and specifically music, have been good sources to sustain my writing sessions. Either with new ideas, familiar scenes, comforting tones, or applying their energy to the writing process.”

12. Definition of creative flow by Peggy Fitzpatrick

“What is the flow? The ultimate goal of the creative spirit. When your creativity flows and you lose track of time, ideas and images flow feverishly from your brain to your fingers. The term emulates water flowing as your ideas are born.” ~ 12 Most Innovative to Get Into Your Creative Flow

Can you describe your creative process in one sentence? How do you sustain your energy? What inspires you?

Featured image courtesy of (matt) via Creative Commons.

Susan Silver


Susan is a copywriter who crafts content strategies that rank. She is also the community manager for Gygax Magazine. She shares information on business, social media, and writing.

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Jule Phelps
Jule Phelps

Peggy Fitzpatrick said my words for me. The automatic flow that takes over happens when painting as well as in writing. At times it is even scary, as it seems I am being remotely controlled. Trick is to embrace it anyway and give it free rein. Wondrous things can then happen.

If I feel blocked in writing, I just start writing words anyway.

If I feel difficulty in getting into a painting, I clean the paint scabs off my palette.

The ritualistic routines of beginning are key to me.


I'm honored to be included in this list!  Thanks Susan!  :)

Brandon Christian
Brandon Christian

Interesting answers. I have received the advice from plenty of books that the secret is to write everyday whether you feel like it or not and you create a rhythm. There are different ways that different writers and artists gather inspiration, but it does seem like although you may be inspired by the silence or by music it often is in the practice of writing often that you will use that time to channel it for the writing you know you have set time to do.


Thanks for including my comments, Susan. Inspiration can strike from anywhere. Since a lot of my own blog posts tend to be fitness-minded, I definitely have the sports theme going! I'm like you, also, in that I get ideas from snippets of conversation. That is one reason why I downloaded the Wordpress app to both the iPhone and iPad, so I could capture those ideas as they happen.


Nice to keep a running backlog to draw upon for any given week.


It's pretty interesting to see how similar some of these ideas are, and how different others are! We all have our own ways of finding our creativity. Thank you for these tips (from everyone)! 

Latest blog post: Getting Back into the Groove


@Jule Phelps  You really can't control the muse! You just have to ride it. 

I see your point here Jule. There is something about rituals that can kick start our creativity. 

When they become habit, it has an almost anticipatory effect. Because you sit in the same chair, or you grab that first cup of coffee in the same mug, or you use the same pen, it can be like instant inspiration.

I do, I actually keep a special pen for when I am working. I only use it in my notebook that I write my rough drafts in.  


 @Brandon Christian Never thought of it like that before. It makes sense. I do know that writing more has improved my writing the most. Like any skill, you get better over time. 


 @dbvickery Very true. I started working on a backlog. Though when I look at those posts they seem terrible. I have a great writers story to tell some day about the time I got a D on a college paper worth a hefty portion of my grade. The ending of the story, I still managed to eek out an A. 


 @annedreshfield I really appreciated the wisdom everyone had to share. I think there is a lot of comfort in the diversity of opinion and how it comes together. We all have something to offer that we can share.