Being a creative is awesome, I honestly love being a designer and getting to create things every single day, until I don’t. How do you get rid of your creative block for good? How do you end those stressful days where you’re staring at your screen and nothing comes up?
Losing your inspiration sometimes means not making a deadline, loosing some income, and so much anxiety. For those of us whose livelihoods are based on a creative career (I’m talking to you: artists, writers, photographers, graphic designers, architects, bloggers, makers etc), creative blocks can be terrifying.
I’ve been there pal, and let me tell you, the way to get rid of your creative block is by… being creative.
Bear with me! I know that sounds super strange, but it’s totally true. Creative blocks are weird in the sense that, once you’re in the rut, you need to re-focus your attention and energy into creating or doing something else to get rid of it. Here’s how to get started:
Figure Out How You Got Stuck in the First Place
Try to figure out what caused the block in the first place. Did you suddenly become overwhelmed with the amount of work? Do you feel pressure to meet a certain deadline? Do you feel like you are not good enough? Is something going on in your personal life that has your mind preoccupied?
Most of the time creative blocks happen as a result of our mind being distracted. The more your frustration sets in for not being able to create something, the more the block stays. Figuring out what triggered it is a good place to start.
I know that if I had an argument with my mom or hubby with no resolve, my creative block sets in and it’s as stubborn as I am with them. I seriously cannot work. Once I get that resolve and move on, my mind is free and my creative block goes away.
Refocus Your Attention on Something Else
Sometimes a creative block can be as stubborn as a mule. Seriously, you literally can’t force yourself to be creative, but you can trick your mind. Stop working on the project you feel blocked on and focus your attention on something else. Go take a walk, go to Target and browse, draw something. Basically do anything else that will take your mind off the project.
I was struggling with a shirt design and was extremely frustrated with myself. Keal suggested we go to Target, grab some Starbucks and just browse. It totally worked, I exposed my brain to a new environment and while browsing the book section I saw this beautifully designed cover full of type treatments and LIGHTBULB! I started getting so many ideas for that tee design. I found the answer guys, Target gets rid of your creative block for good! Haha.
Go Out and Socialize!
Sometimes talking it out with someone is all you need. When you say things out loud, things sort of start falling into place. When you brainstorm, your wheels are turning and problems start making more sense. You need to get out and socialize! Grab coffee with a friend and talk it out, get a mastermind group and brainstorm. The idea is to get out of your own head. Sometimes listening to others puts things in perspective for you. Then again, having someone listen to you makes you listen to your own thoughts and find your groove again.
When I experience a creative block, Keal says I get this grumpy pouty frown on my face (we work together so he is literally at a desk beside me). Anytime he asks me what’s wrong I immediately go into this verbal vomit. I vent my creative frustrations and end up brainstorming with myself. Sort of talking the problem out. He doesn’t ever chime in when I start talking nonsense but the fact that he’s listening is enough for me to get back into creative mode. He says that witnessing my process on getting back to my creative space is cool to watch.
Work on Something Mundane
Have you ever done something on autopilot mode? Like you don’t really think about what you are doing and your mind is somewhere else? It could be washing the dishes, folding laundry, maybe painting or walking your dog. Think of those times when you are walking around not really thinking and then POP! A solution to the problem you were having suddenly pops into your head.
When you stop focusing on the problem (aka your stubborn creative block) and move on to other things, your mind gets a reset in a way. So when you least expect it, new fresh ideas will blossom.
Remember that you need to find what works for you. I have my own tricks up my sleeve that I know get me out of that creative block. Keal has them too! Whenever he feels like his brain is fried and cannot work he goes for a drive. He loves driving aimlessly, he says it clears his mind. When we returns he feels fresh and continues working with no more creative blocks.
See what I mean? That would not work for me, I like going out and changing my environment so my go-to is Target. I don’t buy anything I just browse and let my mind wonder.
Always remember these wise words from Maya Angelou: “You can’t use up creativity, the more you use the more you have.”
What do you do to get rid of your creative block? What are your go to exercises to beat it? Let me know in the comments. 😻