Have you ever faced creative blocks and wondered how to overcome them with simple steps? Read more to find out about 5 simple steps you can take to live through your creative rut gracefully and overcome your creative blocks.
There are moments in life when you feel like nothing you do is creative or new. You feel completely stuck. Maybe you are in the midst of a creative winter season when ideas go dormant to bloom again later?
Step #1 to overcome your creative blocks: Stop resisting your creative winter, it’s ok to feel stuck.
I think we’ve all had times in our lives when we’ve felt the need to overcome creative blocks. Perhaps you’ve recently struggled to connect with your creativity? Or maybe you’re resisting the urge to play, write, doodle, or create in general. It could be, also, that you’re struggling with the idea of not being productive right now.
Because of these feelings, we often let our deepest desires get lost in a sea of stress and pressure. There is one important thing we can do to help us get through these ruts and creative winters. Here is step one to overcome your creative blocks:
It is simply to accept that we are stuck and to embrace what we are feeling.
There is probably a reason for the feeling.
Be curious and explore this feeling of being stuck, maybe find its origin or what it can bring you. Give yourself permission to explore (creatively or otherwise) where this feeling is leading you.
And make sure you take the time you need to recharge your creative batteries.
Remember that you may be experiencing one of your creative winters. You are entitled to rest from time to time! Spring will eventually come, and your creative well will flow again.
#2 – Know the Difference Between Being Stuck and Being Uninspired
One of the reasons our creative ideas hibernate is, occasionally, that we don’t put them into practice. The problem is that many people confuse standing still with being uninspired. We can feel stuck when we give up and think the moment will never come, rather than being inspired to act.
To tell the difference between being stuck and being uninspired, ask yourself what inspired you in the first place. If you never get around to putting your creative thoughts into action, try jumping on the bandwagon and find out why! If you have lots of ideas and never get around to implementing them, your problem may not be a lack of creativity, but a lack of planning.
What can you do now to get back on track? There is a reason it’s called a creative practice.
Rome was not built in one day.
Start with small steps.
Step #3 to overcome your creative blocks: Seek inspiration in the world around you
Where do you look when you’re having trouble finding inspiration? Perhaps you can first look around you for inspiration.
Do you like to watch television or read articles or books? Inspiration can come from something you see on TV or read online. It can also come from a distant friend or a current influence.
Explore your surroundings with an open mind.
Ideas can come from anywhere.
Make it a daily habit to let your mind wander as you explore your surroundings.
Don’t judge your thoughts, let them flow in your head.
In other words, let your thoughts stream in your head without thinking about them too much or making judgments about them.
In the end, you may be surprised at the new ideas and inspirations that come from this practice.
#4 – Get active, include Nature in your creative pursuits.
While our creativity usually flourishes in a natural environment, it can sometimes wane in the artificial environment of big cities.
Take a walk in the woods or a park to collect samples, for example. Bring a journal and make a list of trees, birds, or anything else you see. Take pictures with your phone camera if you have one. Write down a series of keywords, phrases, or ideas about the trees, plants, animals, or whatever you saw. Is there a connection between them? Is there a pattern or theme that you can discover as you go along? Explore these ideas and the thoughts that come to you. Can creative connections arise from these ideas and reflection?
You can also go for a walk in a natural area near you, merely to refresh your mind, with no specific goal in mind. Let your mind wander. Pay attention to your impressions, your thoughts, or just let yourself go and enjoy the moment. Enjoy the benefits physical activity can bring you. Even for a short walk.
If you live in a city and you have no natural area near you, maybe look up at the sky and see if there is something there to enjoy. Sometimes we can see around us unexpected things that can spark creative inspiration
Often a moment of stillness, in Nature, has a very profound impact on our ability to think creatively.
Step #5: Find the child in you.
How do you find your inner child?
If you think about it, you will remember times when you struggled with creativity and lack of direction. These times may be similar to what you are feeling right now. The challenges of our past sometimes seemed, at the time, endless and frustrating. These challenges can also be similar to some of our current challenges, when you feel like there is no end in sight. Yet, in time, they pass, and you find your inspiration to be creative again.
There is one important thing to remember that can help you.
If you watch children, you will see that they have unique abilities to meet challenges:
And often, as we get older, we lose sight of these abilities. Yet, through them, children explore without judgment and challenge their environment. These abilities allow children to go beyond what they initially think is possible.
It represents creativity at its best.
Try to remember, right now, a time when you were a child and felt that wonder, that joy, that curiosity. Or observe how children do it. Keep that in mind the next time you feel frustrated and creatively blocked.
Keep your mind non-judgmental and open to possibilities. It is the most valuable advice for unlocking your creative mind.
You can also play like children do for a moment. What do you have around you that you can play with for a short moment?
Get back to work
Being aware of these steps to overcome creative blocks may help you to live these periods more serenely. You may also be able to come up with ideas more quickly and feel freer to move forward when you’re ready.
Remember that the creative process never stops; it changes, it evolves, just like us. Give yourself the leeway you need and the time you need. We never ask winter to pass faster (although we sometimes wish it would). Nature takes its course, and so does our creativity. We don’t always see it, but there is a time for everything.
Take it one step at a time.
Now, get back to work 😉
PS : If you have another idea or tips for overcoming creative blocks, feel free to share your simple steps to overcome creative blocks below.
PPS: Looking for a simple exercise to jumpstart your creativity? Check out our mini-course here (in French)