Break Through Your Creativity Block With These 10 Strategies

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Start Over

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?

Research

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.”

Peace out, creativity block. I have work to do. #creativity #writersblock #blogging #artist Click To Tweet

 

Set Limits

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.

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Question:

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!

39 thoughts on “Break Through Your Creativity Block With These 10 Strategies”

  1. It helps when I get some fresh air or change of scenery. I usually take a break when I have creativity block. It’s annoying sometimes, especially when I needed to finish something as soon as possible (I shouldn’t procrastinate haha). But these are great strategies! Thanks for sharing!

  2. These are some awesome tips for helping break creativity block. “Starting Over” seem so drastic at times, but I agree that it can be very necessary. Keep on being fabulous!

  3. I do struggle with creativity for sure. I went through a very long stint of writer’s block early in the year. I ended up just having to wait it out, because nothing seemed to be working, but I think that normally, do something totally different than the task at hand helps!

  4. I love these tips! I always find a lot of inspiration from my old work. It’s so helpful and starts my mind thinking on things that have inspired me before.

  5. I hate creative blocks. Luckily, Pinterest really kicks me out of them. Unfortunately, Pinterest is also really bad for productivity…haha

    1. Ha – Yes! Pinterest is a joyful inspiration and a time-sucking curse all wrapped up in one giant search engine 😉

  6. (Love scrabble lol) I usually get some fresh air/change of scenery or sometimes I window shop in a random store. Sounds weird but it works for me to just walk the aisles and see if anything inspires me to make myself

    1. That is a brilliant idea, Tina! I love it; it not only gets you up and moving around, but it also puts you in new scenery with new ideas all around you. I’m definitely going to try that next time 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  7. Thanks for the great tips! So often I find myself in the position where the creative juices just aren’t flowing. I usually come back to it later or get some inspiration when I’m stuck but I’m going to try some of your tips as well now!

    1. Thanks, Megan! I agree – sometimes simply stepping away is a great solution to creativity block. I hope my other tips help, too 🙂

  8. So many great suggestions to help with this Paula! I’ve worked in marketing my whole career and more recently in advertising where I had to come up with never been done before ideas for clients – on a tight timeline! So, basically forced, fast turn around creativity. My best way to be creative is to do it early (I’m a morning person) and to work in a creative environment – if summer, in a park or anywhere outside. A coffee shop always get’s me thinking creative too. But basically, it’s all about switching up the environment – and writing down creative ideas whenever and wherever they pop into my head! 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness – talk about stress!
      As a fellow early morning person, I love your tips to dive in early and work in a creative environment. I’ll have to head to a coffee shop one of these days when I feel like I’m in a rut. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. I completely agree! We need to listen to our bodies; when it needs a break, take a break! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I really love taking classes, too. It such a great way to discover new ideas, meet new people etc.

  9. Fresh air helps in so many ways! I like to go for brisk walks when I’m feeling overwhelmed and I usually come back with a clear head.

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