Creating full time – professionally– can be stressful. Lord knows it can be stressful. So there will come a point in your career where you have — er– performance anxiety. It happens to everyone,eventually. Creativity is weird like that sometimes. As creatives it is our duty to share tips to overcome a creative drought.
When “creating” is your job things can get hairy, pretty fast because your creations are how you pay your bills.
Your clients and the light company do not care that you’re stuck in a artistic rut.
So what can you do to do when you’re stuck in the quicksand of creator’s block? These are my 7 tips on how I like to overcome creative block.
Do not be afraid to unplug from your phone, the internet or even your loved ones. The energy, ideas and thoughts of others can run interference with your ability to create smoothly. Do not be afraid to retreat into seclusion for a little while to sort yourself out. This includes going out alone, staying off social media, hitting the library/study room and putting your phone on airplane mode.
I find that my creative energy amps up when I am consuming things that inspire me. I like to get inspiration from doing things like going to the local art museum, watching documentaries, TedTalks or reading romance novels. These things have nothing to do with my career field per say, but enjoying the creative fruits of another ends up inspiring me to be better in my field.
Don’t Force It
You’ve been at it for hours, days or maybe even weeks. Just walk away. Walk away. You can come back later, but for now just let it be.
I like to play music without words or music that is in another language. My mind doesn’t get caught up in repeating the words I’m hearing. If the music has no words then obviously I can’t do that. If the music is in another language (usually, Hindi or Arabic) I have no clue what they are saying. The music creates a solid and soothing noise background that lets my mind relax on the task at hand: creation.
This is some of my favorite music I like to listen to while creating especially when I am writing.
It is very easy to get caught up in your professional label. Don’t do it. When you label yourself, you limit yourself. For the sake of making things easy though you must label yourself, professionally. So, yes you may be an internet marketer, content creator, photographer, writer etc but don’t get caught up in your “title”. Create as you see fit. Create what you want, where you want. Don’t just create because you’ve been hired to do so. Don’t ever neglect your passion projects. So what if you’re an internet marketer who likes to craft candles on the side? Don’t become a slave to titles. Don’t limit your creative energy. Let it flow. Let it rip. Your new found outlet for expression may even inspire you on the job.
We live in a society that heralds being “busy”. Well, as one of my favorite bloggers @Mattieologie stated: “Being “busy” is just overcompensating for under performing.” We love being busy so much that down time is frowned upon. For some reason a lot of people don’t like it when people are just out relaxing with no ulterior motives. It has become a crime to just enjoy your day and life as it comes at you. I feel that this is vital though when it comes to the creative process. This tip is in sync with don’t force it. Take a day to stay in your PJs and watch Netflix. Veg out.
Be Weird. It is OK.
To get into my comfort zone to create, a lot of weird things must happen. I have to light incense. I have to have music or even my favorite show Time Team playing in the background. I get up from my desk once, twice or maybe three times. I fidget about at the desk. I scribble ideas across post it notes. I make a cup of milk + jasmine tea. Then finally, I sit down to start the process. None of these things I do seem to have any rhyme or reason. Fighting this part of my process just makes me anxious. It makes it harder for me to create so I have to give into it.
What techniques do you use to get your creativity flowing again?