Cars & Creativity: 7 Ways Cars Can Boost the Creative Writer’s Mind

This is a guest post by author Ginger Gregory

Ginger Gregory is a creative and technical writer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She holds a degree in writing with art and literature concentrations and a Spanish minor. The young author writes to entertain, but also to inspire people and change the world for the better—one reader at a time. When Gregory is not writing, you can usually find her reading, playing tennis, or walking her poochon (poodle/bichon frise), Mario. She is also a Zumba instructor and enjoys teaching dance, especially in the forms of reggaetón, soca, merengue, salsa, and cumbia. Ginger Gregory is a Tulsa native, but she has spent several years in New York City as well. “I’m a New Yulsan, and I’m grateful for my two homes. I realize that they have both given me an incredible ability to relate to readers.” Perhaps that is why her novel, The Adventures of Sylvie Sedan, is popular among remarkably diverse audiences.

Most of us have been there—snacks set, coffee cup full, sitting poised like a president with pen in hand. And yet…

Writer’s block has temporarily turned our minds into a desert with not even one droplet of an idea.

I don’t enjoy battling writer’s block, but as an author and freelance writer I finally realized that defense wouldn’t be enough. Not only would I have to shield my mind from memory-to-mush activities (e.g., endless hours of watching t.v.), but I would also have to find an offense strategy that worked. I needed a rich source of inspiration: cars!

Most of us either own a car or know someone close to us who does. While cars do help us move from place to place, they can do so much more. I’m here to reveal cars under a new traffic light. Keep your eyes on this reading road because you won’t want to miss the tips along our short journey.

7 Creativity-Boosting Car Tips

Creativity-Boosting Car Tip #1: Take a road trip. Why? Because—as a wise soul once said—the experiences make the writer. Staying in the same place can stagnate your imagination if you’re not careful. I love Tulsa, Oklahoma. The city is my home, but sometimes I need to travel somewhere else for fresh inspiration. Not only does the trip open your mind to new “roads” of creativity, but it also helps you to better appreciate where you came from.

Suppose you travel through a town that abounds in open field space. You might be inspired by the serene green grass, the cows roaming around. Or you might grow nostalgic as you realize how different this place is from your city home. Either way, the experience can easily crack the creativity pipe and send streams of ideas gushing. Sigh…I’m ready to hit the road in my car right now!

Creativity-Boosting Car Tip #2: See the “errday” in a new way through your car windows. When I stand and look at a sunset, I see its beauty. When I look at a sunset as I drive, however, I see the sunset’s beauty in a new way. I see the sun slow-dancing with my car, stepping closer and closer with every sunset step. Our imaginations can awaken to new ways of seeing the everyday as we see the world around us through a moving car.

Creativity-Boosting Car Tip #3: Watch for the beauty of God’s creations. We can see much more in a short period of time when we watch from our cars. During a drive to a friend’s house, for example, I noticed an elderly couple holding hands, birds flying in V-formation, kids riding bikes, and three dogs running toward their owner. All of these are God’s living creations, and I couldn’t help smiling when thought of how He brought earth to life in such diverse ways.

Look at the clouds too. Gazing up at a light-blue sky, I can spot dinosaurs and dolphins, flowers and fountains—all sources of creative inspiration. If He painted in the clouds, then I’m honored to paint with words.

Creativity-Boosting Car Tip #4: Seat yourself in a space set apart for reading and writing. One of my most favorite places to write is my car. During my time at ORU, I was a social person, but at lunchtime I loved retreating to my car for some quiet time. Reading a book while munching on Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish Grahams? Yep, that was me! And I still love sitting in the back seat of my car with my feet up so I can read.

When alone, the space inside a car is your own. Once those four doors close, no one can remove you from that creative car space. I write there often, and I want to encourage you: take time reading and writing in a vehicle. You will likely be surprised as the time flies and creative juices flow.

Creativity-Boosting Tip #5: Listen to songs in your car’s surround sound to spark creativity. Another great reason to spend time inside a car is music. Have you ever noticed how awesome songs sound inside cars? Many manufacturers put quality time and effort into creating some of the best surround sound systems around (of course abusing the system might lead to cracked bass, but that’s beside the point). As I listen to a song with clear instrumentals, my mind is inspired. The songs spell new stories in my mind. Perhaps you’re a painter and suddenly envision a serene sunset as you listen to “Sunshine” by Matisyahu (one of my favorite songs ever!). The next time you’re struggling to create, sit inside a car and listen to songs. Classical, inspirational, and reggae are some of the best creative-sparking genres.

Creativity-Boosting Car Tip #6: Try journaling inside your car. The art of journaling allows you to write your thoughts without worrying about perfection. Whether you enjoy writing about everyday life or a particular subject, putting ideas on paper is healthy. Maybe you need to pour a broken heart out on the page. Great! Not about the broken heart, but guess what? You’ve released negative energy that would otherwise hurt inside, and you have a rough draft of a scene for a story. Now isn’t that much better than venting on social media, which will only get you some likes and emojis before everyone forgets what you said anyway?

I’m a spiritual person, and I personally enjoy journaling to the Creator. I love beginning my morning with a letter to God, thanking Him for His blessings and asking for His favor upon my life and those of my friends and family. Whenever I can write an entry to Him in my car, it seems to take the experience to a new level. My writing is often more poetic and thoughtful.

Creativity-Boosting Car Tip #7: Think of cars as metaphors. We’ve talked about how to looking out of a car inspires creativity, but we can also find creativity when we look at the car itself. What does the vehicle sya as its engine sounds? Does that engine mirror the human voice in some way? What can we compare a wheel to? Consider this example:

Planet earth is like a wheel, constantly spinning as the Driver designed it to spin.

Cars come in many shapes and sizes. Whether you’re driving or riding, with friends or alone, count on the car as a source for countless creative ideas!