I haven't reach that kind of level yet.. but I've heard of the following:
- visit foreign websites in languages unknown to you(french, spanish, russian, german,etc..)
- attend courses
- read more
- interact more with strangers(not the same old pals)
- do things opposite to what you've learnt (throw the rules out)
- take a long break away from what you're doing
:dunno: does it sound generic?
I still have lots to learn and not reach the fixed pattern yet.
follow where your heart leads you.....unto to and pass the abyss of hell. Keep an open mind , take chances not foolish risks, try every thing once but do this wisely or it will be the first and last time. Meditate, go sabatical, take up a new hobby, take more to children, commune with the spirts, find a muse, create a muse, eat wasiba raw and freshly made. learn what it is to be alive. be fresh....phhhat this aint fresh from Madascar.
hmmmm beyond my scope but I want to give this question a shot.
first i guess i have to realise that in my course of work, play etc i am reverting or stuck to old patterns, habits. with this realisation, then i can try to steer away from falling back to the old comfortable ways.
a concept i like is "space". you have to make space for things to happen - whether the sudden spark of inspiration or toiling, experimenting till "creativity" comes into the space. so part of this is letting go of space - that's previously taken up by old habits etc.
it seems to me that some good writers share a common trait: they have a habit. Everyday, perhaps at a specific time, they sit down and work at their writing. It's ok if there's no spark: they simply make themselves "present" at their task.
for that matter, whether you are a painter, sculptor, composer etc you probably have some sort of "practice".
i think having a practice can be quite helpful for creative growth.
personally, my most "creative" period was last december where i set a simple goal to compose a tune a day. it didn't matter how complex or how good the tune is; my goal is just to get a tune down on paper (or more precisely for my case, into computer) each day.
i also like what ellery said about following where your heart leads you. i think ultimately the goal is simply to be alive.
Hunting for inspiration has usually been a futile exercise for me. I think you often have to wait till it comes to you. During the lull periods when creativity seems to take a dip, take a break away from shooting pictures and instead read up books on your specific area of interest. And then go further and explore books on certain kinds of photography that you've hardly tried.
In the end this might be more useful than walking aimlessly down a street and hoping to find the shot of the day. In such cases you'll probably be more preoccupied telling yourself that you MUST shoot something good that day, and will then miss seeing something when it's actually right before your eyes.
Old path, fixed pattern and old habits could be changed if only you want to change them at will. If the change can improve your life either in the short term or longer period does not matter. But can you fore see the benefits?
In the case of doing photography you may be spending a year or two on acquiring the basics, some may be still fumbling with aperture, shutter speed, focusing issues, normal or flash exposure, composition
fundamentals and the likes. Once you get over these things you will
be tempted to take a step further into specialized subjects like marco,
street photography, abstract, buildings, fireworks, portraiture, nudes etc.
But after spending two more years enjoying what you are doing, how
have you been exploring photography and still loving it because of
the brillant pleasure you derive from it. I wonder why people
didn't discover that no matter what, he must make himself
hapy in making new pictures.
Here are some clues for the purpose of sharing:
music, movement in dance, sound of the waves, vibrant colours,
clothings and styles, hairdo and makeup, singing, riding a bicycle
for a tour, make changes in seconds, make pictures in an empty
football field with only one prime standard lens. (You can add
more to this list)