Creativity in writing, design, art, music and any form of expression will always be at the forefront of the discipline, it’s where new ideas, new paths, new ways of looking at the world and the leading edge of your chosen art form lie. But like ‘Writer’s Block’, struggling for creativity can happen (and has happened to many artists).
However, most blocks are just temporary, caused by trying to force something and a lack of patience, this leads on to panicking that you’ll never complete what you’re working on and the spiral continues.
But there is hope, as mentioned, it is just temporary and sometimes the best thing to do is to simply stop for the day. It’s so beneficial to rest and get back to it after a good night’s sleep (it’s surprising how much differently you look at what you’ve just created/worked on after 24hrs).
There are many ways to get back in to your creative flow, all of them are easy to do and maybe just a combination of a couple will get you back on track.
One – Get up and get out
A lot of creativity happens while in a stationary environment (writers, painters, designers etc.), you need to get up and get the blood flowing in your veins. Go out into the fresh air and go for a walk, run or bicycle ride, the change of environment, fresh air and exercise all help to stimulate your creativity (and it helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a true win-win).
Two – Rest
As mentioned at the beginning, creativity needs concentration and focus, nether of these can you bring if you’re completely tired. A good night’s sleep is vital to creativity, being alert and well rested is a must if you want to be productive. So, make sure you get 7 to 8 hours to quality sleep each night (ditch the cell phones while your lying in bed, they really don’t help).
Three – Get inspired
Whatever your chosen art form, seek inspiration from its giants, this maybe reading classic novels, going to an art gallery, watching a movie or visiting several websites. Observing what the best have done can breed inspiration.
Four – Push past your comfort zone
Doing something that initially scares you builds confidence and forces you to think creatively, it could be public speaking, joining a group, a new sport, trying a new art form, promoting your book to publishers or selling your art at a craft fair (the list is endless). Of course, make sure what you’re about to do is safe and appropriate, but pushing your boundaries is a great way to increase creative thinking.
Five – Clear your mind
Sometimes overthinking can be your worst enemy, if you’ve never tried it before consider meditation, this centuries old practice is used by millions of people around the world today and some of the most successful creatives swear by it. Give it a try, there are hundreds of instructional videos on YouTube to show you how, it’s so much easier than you think and you don’t have to be sat cross legged by a waterfall either!
Six – Free write
Free writing can be as simple as doodling and jotting down thoughts and daydreams, there’s no pressure, no agenda and no right or wrong outcome. Just grab a pad of paper, pencil or pen, relax and see where it takes you.
Seven – Have a routine
Knowing when you are at your most creative is something that many don’t give thought to, it may be that you work best at 5am or you could be fired up and ready to create at midnight (it’s different for everyone of us). But YOU will have an understanding of what works best for YOU, so try to plan your routine to exploit your strength, it may not always be possible to do this for every day, but you should be able to plan for at least two days of each week.
Eight – Practice
Regardless of how good you think you are, you still need to practice, the leaders in any field of art became leaders through thousands of hours of dedication and practice, if you want to be great you need to put the hours in.
Nine – Learn new skills
We live in an age where all the information you could ever want is just at your fingertips, but do you utilize this? Whatever your chosen artform is, there is always something new to be learnt, a new skill to be attained and an existing one to be polished and mastered. There are lots resources out there, but websites such as Udemy is brilliant for this, if you don’t want to spend any money then YouTube can also be a good resource too.
Ten – Work with others
Working with other people within your field can be scary (especially if you normally create alone), but it can also be inspirational. It gives you an opportunity to learn and forces you to raise your own game, working with others exposes you to different ways of creating and looking at the world.
Book cover designers.