One of the most frustrating experiences as a creative person is facing a mental block.
This often manifests as struggling to find inspiration, not knowing where to start with a literal or metaphorical blank page and feeling generally quite stuck in a rut.
There are many ways around this. It might be looking for prompts online, going back to old drafts of work to attempt to rework them or choosing to step away for a while and come back with a fresher perspective.
For some TikTok users, though, the answer is going for “weird walks”. As you do.
What are weird walks?
If you regularly go for walks around your neighbourhood or city, you likely stick to what you know by following the same paths every time and often doing the same things each time, like popping into the shops.
A weird walk has a different objective. Instead of using the walk to get in a certain number of steps or to run errands, weird walkers keep walking until they find something “weird” to spark embers of creativity.
So far, so interesting.
The thinking behind this isn’t that creatives should create art around the “weird” thing that they saw, but instead that in the motion of trying to find something weird, you notice more of the world around you and have a more mindful walk that helps you see the world in a little more colour.
Emilie Leyes, a hypnosis and brain training specialist from New York, says that when you take more weird walks, you’re “priming your brain to be more curious, be more open to new ideas, thinking outside of the box and help you to feel more inspired”.
How to go on a weird walk
You can do this however feels best for you. You can take your usual path or go somewhere completely new (though make sure that it’s safe, especially if you’re going later in the evening!).
Once you’re walking, look for things that stand out. Strange patterns on tree trunks, birds behaving slightly oddly, flowers growing in cracks of pavement or even some slightly offbeat graffiti.
What you do with what you find is also up to you. You can use it to get started on a new piece of art, take a photograph of it, explore how it makes you feel or simply acknowledge it and carry on walking.
Getting out of your routine and out of your comfort zone can bring you to a new place creatively so why not do it “weirdly”?