Feeling stuck in a creative rut? Can’t get your creativity flowing? That’s what has been happening to me this month! For 2016 I have decided on at least two blog posts a month (rather than my lofty goal of two a week for 2015). But I have found this month tough. No inspiration. What can I write about? And then, whilst thinking about what to write I thought about the old adage ‘write what you know’ and what I know right now is what it feels like to be stuck in a rut! And when most of my work requires creative energy, lots of things suffer when that goes stagnant. So here’s a list of things I’ve found useful to get creativity back.
In no particular order….
I find when I’m on the phone is the best time for doodling. I think it unleashes creativity as we aren’t trying to control anything. We’re so busy chatting, that the creative flow just spills out uninterrupted!
- Talk to someone. Or write in your journal.
Sometimes a creative block is there for a reason. It’s like your body is saying “No creativity until you solve this emotional problem!” Sometimes we can’t solve the issues, but we need to honour the fact that they are there. Writing down your worries, and talking through your problems with a friend really lets the pressure out.
- Don’t fret.
The more time that goes by without anything creative happening, the worse you can feel. But don’t worry. Sometimes it’s natural for creativity to go away. Let it go sometimes, it will come back. But to help it along, sometimes it’s a good idea to…
- Set a deadline.
This means that no matter how you are feeling (bored, stuck, anxious) you’ll do something anyways. Like this blog, I’m aware that the end of the month was coming up and I hadn’t gotten out a single blog post! So having that line really corralled my creative forces.
- Put perfectionism aside.
Let good enough be good enough. The longer you go without creativity, the more pressure you put on yourself for something great to come out, as if to make up for the lull. That’s not necessarily going to happen. Anything needs to happen, no matter what it is.
- The process is the creative goal.
A lot of the times we are focused on the outcome, but in fact the creative energy is that actual process of creating. So don’t worry about the final product, but get yourself into a state of flow by simply being there for the making.
- Do it anyway.
Similar to the above – sometimes it is laziness or bad habit that has tripped us up. So don’t expect to wake up one morning feeling super creative. It ain’t gonna happen. Just do it anyways. Make a crappy painting, write a below par speech. Laziness grows unless you cut it down to size with a bit of effort!
- Listen to creative people.
- Get inspired.
Sometime we rush too much that we can’t see the inspiration that is in front of our faces. It’s time to slow down. Disconnect from devices and get outside. Breathe in the fresh air and just BE. Don’t even look for inspiration. Just set everything aside. Inspiration comes when there is room for it.
- Take a break.
A change of scenery awakes curiosity, which we need for creativity. Take a break from the doll drums of routine and spend a day in a different town, or walk a different route. Even something as small as eating a new type of cuisine. Taking a break wakes up something exciting inside, something that can feel wonder.
- Clean up – but also, don’t worry about cleaning up.
If you find you are cleaning up to be able to start work, you’ll always be cleaning. What you need is an organized system that stops that constant tidying and cleaning and putting away. Despite that, sometimes you are going to have to work in mess! It’s a bit of a skill, but learn it. Sometimes it’s better to work, than have a clean kitchen counter!
- Feed the birds.
I’ve let my creative thinking go loose on this last one! Birds are my inspiration. I love them, so I have bird feeders right outside the window so I get to see flashes of colour all the time and it just invigorates me. So do your own feeding! Perhaps it’s buying something beautiful to put on your desk, like a gorgeous vase full of fresh flowers. Maybe a new blanket to put over your office chair. Feed yourself some beauty!
I hope my words have inspired you today. I’m going to take my words to heart here and let this article be good enough! Thank you for reading.