I don’t know about you, but trying to force creativity backfires on me 99.9% of the time. Whether I’m writing an article for work, dreaming up my next blog post, or brainstorming a new item for my Etsy shop, it’s challenging for me to sit down to a blank page and tell my brain: “create!”
In fact, when I take that route, all I end up with is additional stress.
Can you relate?
So what can we do? How can we cultivate an atmosphere that’s conducive to creativity? What do we need to feed our inspiration and help it flourish?
If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, or you’ve battled the dreaded creativity block before, then you’re in the right place.
Read on for my 10 favorite tips to rediscover your creativity once again.
Break Through Your Creativity Block With These 10 Strategies
Get Some Fresh Air:
One of my favorite ways to get the creative juices flowing is stepping away from my project and getting some exercise. Whether I take Bruno for a walk around the neighborhood, head to the gym, or take a yoga class online, exercise clears my mind. What’s more, it helps release any built-up tension, and return to the project with fresh eyes.
Pursue Something Unrelated:
Sometimes when I’m working on a project and things are progressing smoothly, my creativity block springs up out of nowhere.
After responding with some version of: “Where the heck did you come from, creativity block?! This project was going so well! ARGH!”, I remind myself that this happens with almost every project I pursue. It is completely normal. And I just need a break.
What kind of break, you ask?
Anything your heart desires, as long as it’s completely different from the task at hand.
Sometimes I look through cookbooks and go grocery shopping. Other times I grab my husband and make him play a game of scrabble with me (he hates scrabble; it’s my favorite.) Occasionally, I engage in a totally different creative process. If I’m facing writer’s block, for example, I might grab my watercolors and pretend like I can paint for an hour.
So whether you need an hour, a day, or a week to step away from your project, take it! Have some fun planning your next vacation. Get started on your spring cleaning. Heck, head to the nearest furniture store and get lost in their large dresser selection. The key point is simply pursuing something else, and allowing your creativity the rest it needs.
Why Did You Begin In The First Place?
Sometimes when we’re feeling stuck, reflection is the answer. Grab a notebook, and take some time to write about why you started creating in the first place.
You might write broadly about what interested you in practicing the art form, or you might write about why you started this specific project. Both approaches help spark our thoughts and get us considering our project from a different angle.
Ask For An Assignment
This is a particular favorite of mine, and especially when it comes to blogging.
Occasionally, when we sit down to create, that darn creativity block is already in place. We don’t know where to begin, and in turn, we feel like throwing in the towel before even getting started.
“I don’t even know where to start; I’ll just work on something else…”
Have you ever felt that way? I know I have.
When I run into this problem, I like to ask someone for an assignment. As I mentioned, I often use this technique for my blog.
I might post a question on my Facebook page, and ask you lovely readers what you’d like to hear more about or any challenges you’re facing at the moment. Similarly, as you’ll see at the bottom of this post, I always ask a few questions. It lets me know what you’re interested in, and it often sparks ideas for later posts.
Try A Different Artistic Medium
If you typically express your creativity through photography, pick up a paint set. If you usually write, try your hand at crocheting. You’re still pursuing your creativity, but you’re coming from a different angle; this can simultaneously help remove the block and spark new ideas when you return to your traditional craft.
Take A Class
Is there something you’ve always wanted to try, but never seemed to get around to it? Here’s your chance; try taking a class!
Not only do you have guided instruction, but you’re also surrounded by other creative people. I find this especially inspiring.
What’s more, when you take a class, you’re exposed to additional viewpoints and opportunities for conversation, which – again – gets your creativity flowing.
Try It A Completely Different Way
When pursuing creativity, we often rely on strategies and approaches that we’ve used for years. And luckily, most of the time they work.
Unfortunately, when we run into a creativity block, those usual techniques don’t always help.
So what should you do?
Try coming from a different angle.
Are you a writer who always creates an outline? Then try free writing and see where it goes. Do you usually write without a plan? Then try using an outline.
It’s all about shaking things up.
I know, I know. This sounds absolutely terrible. But sometimes, the best thing to do is start fresh. When you’re staring at a project that you just. can’t. get. right. no matter how hard you try, grab a new canvas, sheet of paper, or piece of clay, and try again. See where it goes. And keep doing this a few times.
Then, lay out the different versions in front of you. Look at the differences. Consider your progress. What do you like about each one? What can you learn from this?
Whenever I experience writer’s block for either my job or the blog, I dive head-first into research. I choose a subject of interest, and I research everything I can. It fuels my curiosity, gets me thinking deeply about the topic, and often helps me push that creativity block out of the way.
“Peace out, creativity block. I have work to do.”
[bctt tweet=”Peace out, creativity block. I have work to do. #creativity #writersblock #blogging #artist” username=”BusyBeingPaula”]
This is a fun one.
Think about your project, and try limiting yourself in your approach: you can only use the technique of XYZ; you must restrict yourself to these three colors; stick to a time limit: do what you can in 45 minutes; only let yourself use one type of material, etc.
Setting limits forces you to get creative, in turn helping you sidestep that stubborn creativity block that doesn’t want to move.
And there you have it, friends! My 10 favorite strategies to plow through your creativity block and spark your inspiration once again.
Looking for even more ideas? Get a list of 36 techniques here! Hang it in your office or studio, and use it any time you’re feeling stuck.
What are your favorite ways to break through a creativity block? Do you face any challenges when it comes to creativity? What is your favorite way to exercise your creativity? Scrabble: love it or leave it? Let me know below!