Creativity and writing are a process. Some days you might feel inspired, as if creativity is flowing through your veins. Other days you may feel like the only thing you can accomplish is organizing your desk. The trick is to remember that the creativity is in you and the more you embrace it, the easier it will be to access. The following three tips come from years of research by creativity experts from around the world.

Take a break – Did you know that the second stage of the creative process is called “incubation”? It’s what happens when you walk away from a problem and do something else. For writers, this is when plots are made richer, characters more complex and interesting, and great writing happens. It’s why you should always carry a notebook with you so you can write down your inspiration. Write for 50-90 minutes and then force yourself to get up and walk away. Do something else. Exercise, clean, walk the dog or head to the supermarket. Allow this incubation period to work its magic.

Be curious – Start asking more questions. When you’re talking to someone, dig deep and learn more about them. Read, a lot. Investigate questions as they pop into your mind. We have access to so much information now, there’s no excuse to not research. Learn something new every day and strive to broaden your horizons.

Create a writing practice – Identify your creative time of day. Maybe you feel more inspired and energetic as the sun is going down. Look to also carve out niches of time where you’re not hindered by distractions. Then create a ritual that helps set the stage for your imagination to fire up. It’s a lot like a sleep ritual that lets your body know that it’s time to start winding down for sleep. However, in this case you’re letting your mind know that it’s time to write.  It could be a food stimulus (many writers drink a cup of coffee before they sit down at their keyboard). Embrace your senses. Music, smells or even a quick look through yesterday’s writing can help.

Consistently embracing your personal creativity takes confidence and commitment. It’s not magic and it isn’t limited to “special” artistic folks. You are a creative person, you’re a writer. Begin stretching those muscles on a regular basis and allow creativity to become part of your daily life.  Check out 7 Tips for Boosting Your Creativity for more ideas on how to tap into your imagination.