7 Tips To Help When You Are in a Creative Block

Affected by a creative block? It happens to the best of us. Those in creative jobs, such as musicians, writers, artists or performers, are more likely to be affected by inspirational barriers. Creative blocks can last days, weeks or even months, and can directly affect performance and general wellbeing. But don’t despair! Read on to learn 7 tips that will help you unblock your creativity.

Creative Blocks: Overview

There is no denying that there is something about the creative process that requires you to stay focused and inspired. Therefore, creative block is every artist’s worst nightmare. Truth be told, it’s the last thing you need when your entire career is built on being inventive.

A creative block can be experienced by anyone, at any time, and for a wide array of reasons. Almost every artist, writer or musician will experience phases of stalled creativity at some point. Overcoming a creative block is definitely not easy, but becoming aware of it can help you address the issue and prevent it from returning in the future.

Self - criticism, generally useful to develop ourselves as professionals, can eventually end up dominating our feelings or behavior. Iconic artists like Picasso, Pollock, Monet or Bourgeois admitted to having suffered creative blocks throughout their careers. If, like them, you rely on your creativity to pay the bills and build a reputation, you can’t afford to be short of ideas.

Types of Creative Blocks

Not all the creative blocks are the same, and different issues require different solutions. Below you can find some of the most common barriers to creativity. Have a look and see it any rings true for you:

  • Emotional Barriers: Some writers, painters or musicians may be scared of what their work will reveal about themselves, especially when the subject matter is embarrassing, painful or just plain weird.
  • Mental Block: This is when creatives get caught in an overthinking trap and fail to see other options and possibilities.
  • Non-effective Work Habits: Some people work in a way that is not compatible with their creative process. You could be working too early, too late, too long, or maybe not long enough.
  • Personal Problems: Creativity demands a great deal of attention, and it’s not easy to concentrate if you are dealing with divorce, addictions, grieving, or money issues, for example.
  • Overwhelm: Sometimes, a creative block can come from having too much on your plate. You might have taken on too many commitments, and, therefore, feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming information.

Working in the creative industry can be great, but staying enthusiastic and permanently inspired can be tricky. Below are some research-proven ways to get your creative juices flowing again:

7 Ways to Overcome Creative Blocks

Blank page crisis: we have all been there. Luckily, the following methods will spark your inspiration and help you overcome blocks in your creative career.

1) Establish a Routine

Working within a routine will not only increase your overall input but will also help you come up with more fresh and new ideas. All you have to do is to commit a specific period of time to your creative work. Your new goal will be to create something every day, regardless of its quality.

2) Step Away from Your Creations

Unlike many people think, taking a break from your creative work can do wonders. If you happen to find yourself ruminating on the same piece of work for upon hours, taking a break may do you some good.

3) Go for a Walk

Physical exercise will boost your creative inspiration. Every time you find yourself in a creative slump, take a short walk around the block or inside the office. You will be surprised at the results.

4) Change Up your Scenery

Heading out to a park or stepping into a new café can refresh your vigor for working and awaken your inspiration. If you need a major change,  go on a trip or spend some months abroad. This will improve your capacity for creative thinking and problem-solving.

5) Get a Notebook

Write down your thoughts, observations and quotations about books and articles you have read, films you have watched and anything that has caught your eye. A notebook will help you create an arsenal of inspiration you can go back to when feeling stumped.

6) Finish What You Have Started

Delivering your complete work can be daunting, but it’s the most compelling catalyst for change. Also, completing projects invites learning, and knowledge leads to success.

7) Explore Other Creative Disciplines

Inspiration can come from anywhere: fashion, photography, music, film, design… Immersing yourself in particular disciplines you wouldn’t normally be interested in could result in unexpected mixed-context inspirations.

If none of the above seems to be working, here’s a bonus tip: don’t force it. It’s pointless. Everybody can lose steam at some point, but it’s ok to try again later. Give yourself a break, do something else, and let the ideas float in the back of your head. Whether is running or cleaning the house, make sure you do something different to clear your head and help it think straight. Any simple, but methodical task, will reboot your brain.

Unblock Your Creativity. It’s Doable

Your creativity is likely to hit a snag at some point. However, creative blocks don’t necessarily have to stop you in your tracks. All you have to do to overcome your mental blockage is to go throughout list of tips.

And remember: you should allow yourself to fail. Stop holding yourself back! Shake your worries off and push through. Taking risks will help you sharpen your skills. As a consequence, you might find yourself creating designs, paintings, sculptures or any other creative works you never dreamed possible. As Henri Matisse stated, creativity takes courage.

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