How To Break Out of a Creative Block
Creative blocks. They're bound to happen. Unfortunately, they always happen at the wrong time. Like when you have a deadline coming up, or the day before you're supposed to publish #content, or when you actually feel like doing work but you physically can't because of a stupid creative block.
How are you even supposed to get out of them? Is there some sort of voo-doo magic to make them disappear? Sadly, unless you know voo-doo magic (I don’t), there's no perfect solution. However there are (some) things that may help stop you from sulking when things get difficult.
1. Take a break
Occasionally I just sit and let my mind wander, hoping some form of inspiration will come to me. Sometimes it doesn't, but usually it does. I'm normally listening to music through my earphones (probably trying to tune the world out and let creativity take over me) but it's also good to embrace the silence and just think.
2. Seek out inspiration
If you really want to escape a creative rut, face it: you have to do it yourself. I love to go on Pinterest, watch YouTube videos, read magazines, search for new and upcoming creatives or even listen to my visual playlist. I know it sounds weird, but I have a playlist on Spotify filled with songs that create some sort of emotion within me or image in my head. I often draw inspiration from them.
3. Talk to family, friends, strangers...literally, anyone
It doesn't matter if they're creative or not; you never know who might say or do something that will spark an idea. Collaborating with other artists may also help—especially when it comes to creativity, two heads are always better than one.
4. Create a mood board
I use my bedroom wall as a canvas; I blu-tack magazine pages, photos, and things I've printed as a collage. The amount of joy it brings me is ridiculous. Plus it's a great way to put all the things you love together in a visual way; who knows, it might even help you think more clearly. Whenever I feel emotionless or bored with my wall, then I know it's time for a change and new sources of inspiration.
5. Look at previous work
Revisit what you love, what you could improve on, and what you regret not experimenting with; it all helps. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses gives you a great starting point and then you can allow the ideas to flow from there.
Creative blocks are frustrating and unpleasant. And yes, you’ll feel helpless and won't know what to do with yourself. There's no tidy step-by-step process; just deal with it when it happens.
What I can promise you is that after this obstacle, you’ll create some of the best work you've ever produced. A huge weight will be lifted from your shoulders, and you’ll finally be able to breathe and create stuff happily. Until you get another creative block, that is…and then the whole process starts all over again.
By Alex Dawson-Banson, 18