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Writing is challenging; if it were easy, the imaginative 5-year-old down the street would have written the next Harry Potter series by now. It takes practice to perfect the art, and the right environment to cultivate it.

In nature, your creativity can run wild. From listening to the tree leaves rustling in the wind to watching water skip among rocks, the great outdoors is where you can free your spirit and your muse.

“Nature is a place where our mind can rest, relax and let down those threat responses,” said Ruth Ann Atchley, professor of cognitive/clinical psychology at the University of Kansas, who conducted a 2012 study on the topic. The study followed a team of backpackers, who were 50 percent more creative after they had spent four days on the trail.

So grab your laptop, phone, tablet or – old-fashioned paper and pencil – and head to one of these outdoor destinations to jot some notes.

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Let your creativity run wild in nature. Bring a paper and pencil with you to jot down some of your best ideas.

1. The Lake
OK, not everyone can afford a picturesque lake house (if you can – lucky you!), but hopefully you’re within driving distance of a public lake. The calm waters not only put your busy mind at ease, but also into a default mode that’s associated with daydreaming, imagination, and insight. This mode, as defined by Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, is important for finding creativity.

“We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken,” Nichols writes in “Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do,” published in 2014.

2. The Forest
It’s easy to overlook the forest; we’re told you can’t see it for the trees. Yet there’s something about the trees that provides strength and stability.

creative writing
Draw from a tree’s strength and stability for creative inspiration.

If you’re a person who doesn’t like to feel alone – this is the place for you. In the forest, you’re surrounded by squirrels, birds, and other lively, forest creatures. On a sunny day, rays of light play peek-a-boo through the leaves. This interaction with nature is like a playground for your mind.

3. The Garden
You don’t have to be in the wilderness to find creativity. Sometimes, creative moments happen in your own backyard, or perhaps the backyard of a great friend.

If you’ve ever visited the homes of our nation’s top leaders, you know that these innovative thinkers revered their gardens. From Thomas Jefferson to E.I. du Pont and John Dr. Rockefeller, these men touted their home gardens as a showpiece for visitors, but also a place to find rest and inspiration themselves.

In the midst of daily chaos and stress, it’s comforting to surround yourself with the organized peace that a garden can provide.

4. The Meadow
Not everyone works best surrounded by tidy gardens. In the meadow, beauty lies in chaos, and the unexpected is expected. It’s here in this place that weeds are accepted and even embraced. When they swish in the breeze, all seems right with the world.

It’s here where the most scattered and eccentric thinkers can feel free and uninhibited by the pressure of deadlines and the daily grind.

5. The Rocky Shore
Crashing waves and jagged, uneven rocks can be soothing in their own right. That dependable rushing sound of water every few seconds can calm you.

The best place to gather your thoughts here is sitting atop a rock, overlooking the endless sea. For just like the sea, your imagination is infinite and cannot be contained. In this place, you can let your mind wander and your creativity flow.

Of course, if none of these places trigger your eureka moment or a great writing frenzy, you can always count on us for your content needs. Media Shower powers your business with words to drive searches and sales. Create an account and order three free content ideas today!