How to Overcome a Creative Block
Being creative is a trait shared by people in many career fields, not just artists or designers, but writers, web designers, even bloggers. Regardless of how creative you are, there are times when it seems we all “hit a wall.” What do you do when you hit a mental block? Do you try to push through it, thinking that those creative thoughts will come if you just keep trying, or do you step back, take a deep breath and clear your mind for a moment?
It’s easy to become overwhelmed, stressed, and unable to spark those creative ideas when you hit a mental block. However, while clearing those cobwebs out of your brain you can also boost creativity!
Here’s how to overcome a creative block:
1. Fill up on inspiration.
Just like an athlete needs to be hydrated before a race an artists or designer needs a good source of ‘inspirational nourishment’ before and during projects. Find, gather and hoard the things that inspire you. Bookmark your favorite inspiration websites, have good sources for visuals
2. Indulge your senses in music.
Music can motivate, stimulate, and help you develop a positive attitude. Some people are more efficient and better at concentrating when soothing music is playing in the background, and music has been proven to increase Serotonin (feel-good hormone) levels in the brain.
3. You need a schedule, and an office.
Creative types are often busy, and don’t think about developing their creative talents further. Feel like you never have enough time to create? Mixing work with family and everyday tasks just doesn’t work for many of us. Choose a time and place to create, and commit to it whether that space is a home office, or a corner in the living room. Set a scheduled time for work each day – when you think you will get to it later, life gets in the way and later never comes!
4. Consider whether your space lends to creativity.
Your environment has a huge impact on your creativity, and if it’s dusty, cluttered, or dark and depressing, it will affect how well your mind works, how your ideas flow. Surround yourself in your favorite colors; clear the clutter and organize. Include artwork, family photos, those comfortable things you love. You’ll be surprised at how creating an environment you’re happy in sparks new ideas. Create an art studio in your home – here’s how
5. Put technology aside – at least for a little while.
Laptops, tablets, cell phones – most of us are immersed in digital technology, and it can be a drain on your brain. You need downtime, which means time spent reading a book, doing something you love outdoors, time away from all of the technological gadgets at our fingertips today. The learning process is slowed when your brain is constantly “plugged in,” so give it a break!
6. Stress free doodling.
The repetition and thoughtlessness that goes along with doodling can help you get past the creative block. When your thinking too much and hit the creative block, decompress with mindless doodles. In addition, paying continuous attention places a strain on the brain, and doodling may be just the break your brain needs to keep attending without losing total interest. In fact, doodling will likely activate your brain’s “unfocus” circuits, give your “focus” circuits a break, and allow you to more creatively and tirelessly solve a problem at hand..
7. Don’t stay isolated.
If you’re like most artists or designers, you thrive on alone time and working independently. It’s actually very difficult to create and work on projects with interruptions and chaos. You need your own quite space. However this quite space can get lonely and you can feel isolated especially when your stuck and need some help. Connect to Facebook groups of like-minded people. Meet up in person for an ‘art date’.
8. Capture ideas in a sketchbook.
How a source besides the phone to capture your thoughts and ideas. Carry sketchbooks where ever you go!
9. Change your thinking.
Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Expecting instant and perfect results without going through the process can lead to a creative block. You know how it is… the harder your try the worse it becomes. Mentally you pressure yourself, get frustrated and use all the creative energy fighting it. Take a step back, change your thinking. Often acceptance helps to overcome the block.
10. Be good to yourself.
Do the things you enjoy, and that relax you. Sometimes being creative is exhausting, so take a nap, enjoy a long, hot bubble bath, meditate, get a good night’s sleep. An overworked mind isn’t good for anyone! Reinvigorating your body will reinvigorate your mind as well.
Try some of these things yourself, and see if it helps remove those mental blocks and get your creative juices flowing again! Above all, don’t force it. Creative blocks are an ebb and flow. Lean into it, trust your process, step away when you need to. Don’t fear that you’ll never get your vibe back. You will.