Ray sat at his desk, staring at the computer. All the ideas for his short story seemed to vanish as quickly as they struck him the night before. His page wasn’t completely blank; there were words and phrases scattered down the page in an unconventional list.
Describe the images of loneliness, chaos, anger, etc.
Add some light maybe???
You can find inner peace when you go your own way.
Putting yourself first.
No love genre cliches. Must be unconventional.
Growing agitated with frustration, Ray blurted out, “What am I even trying to say here?” Ray closed his eyes and rubbed his temples, feeling defeated by the ‘simple’ challenge he set for himself. I just want to have something to show for myself, he thought to himself.
Whether you call yourself a creative person or not, we have all been stuck in these creative ruts. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation as Ray trying to make something but can’t seem to put all the pieces together.
This is a universal challenge that (I believe) everyone faces when making content, whether it’s for a blog or a report at work. As I’ve had many experiences with writer’s block and creativity in general, here are a few tips that helped me get my creativity flowing after a drought.
Don’t go looking for creativity; let it find you.
When we force ourselves to be creative, it often goes in the opposite direction, leaving us more frustrated and clouded than before. Our best ideas tend to burst into our minds at random times, like when we’re on the edge of sleep or a hike with friends. It’s maddening to be patient and wait for those moments, yet they make the creative process more spontaneous and enjoyable.
However, there’s a fine line between waiting idly and waiting actively. It’s normal to take a break from finding inspiration, but if you shut off your creative brain entirely, it will be much harder to reignite your creative flame. So, if you semiconsciously engage your creativity by freeing your mind from artistic burden while being aware of your surroundings, you will be prone to creative sparks.
Mix up your routine.
Waking up every morning, turning on the computer, and sitting down to work with a cup of coffee becomes very boring after a while, especially when there are only one or two days in the week that this routine proves productive. Unproductive days are unavoidable, but changing your routine will help you feel like you’re getting more out of your day.
I start some mornings with writing or editing, most start with exercise, but some mornings, I’ll admit, I turn on my Xbox and get sucked into video games till I feel I’ve gotten my daily fix. Most days, I work at my desk, but some days I sit at the dining room table or outside if the weather is nice. I work most days, but some days I don’t work at all and take a ‘me’ day.
Mixing up your daily routine can help you see your life from a different perspective and unlock more ways for your creative eye to see the world.
Find things that make you happy.
Creativity and serotonin levels go hand in hand. Depending on your artistic style, you may benefit from low, medium, or high levels of serotonin. I’m most creative when I’m happy because my art doesn’t benefit from the weight of anxiety or sadness; I despise writing when I’m stressed out.
Therefore, I tap into my creative mind by finding activities that elevate my mood. As a nature lover, my creativity sparks when I’m biking or hiking. However, your mood can also be linked to your environment and the people you choose to surround yourself with. If you’re not finding your inner artist, it might be time to change your workspace or spend time with a friend that knows how to enjoy being in the present moment.
Elevating your mood will unleash your creative mind.
Surround yourself with like-minded people.
Having a network of people that share similar passions motivates you to persevere through difficult times. It can be hard to make new friends, let alone connect with people in your artistic field; however, the internet offers unlimited opportunities. There are apps like Bumble BFF where you can meet people near you or DeviantArt, where you can post your art online while connecting with other artists.
I wanted to connect with more photographers to collaborate, so I turned to Instagram to find and reach out to local artists. I’ve found many local photographers this way, but a local photographer and videographer found me through Instagram’s hashtags which resulted in a creative partnership.
It’s important you surround yourself with hard workers that inspire you because you can ask for their advice on your next project; in turn, their presence will help you find the determination to keep creating.
Take advantage of your creative blocks.
What’s stopping you from starting or finishing a creative project? Why did you pursue this project in the first place? Reflecting on your creativity and the cause of your creative block can help keep you grounded in your artistic message.
If reflection brings no redemption, step back from being creative and take a break to focus on something else. Some days you won’t be able to be creative, so take advantage of this challenge by completing other tasks on your daily to-do list. Clean and purge your space, call a friend, do yoga, read a book, etc. Taking breaks from being creative is non-negotiable; doing something productive will help free your mind from the burden of doing it later and may spark your eagerness to keep creating.
Ray got up from his desk and went for a walk down Main Street. It was a beautiful day, and the sun on his face helped him feel rejuvenated. He headed into his favourite coffee shop and ordered their new banana coffee. He walked down to the canal and dialed his good friend Amy. Ten minutes later, she met him at the canal, and the two decided to grab a late lunch at a nearby café. Ray discussed his short story with Amy, who asked questions that clarified the story and its meaning. The two shared a dessert and parted ways afterward. Once he got home, Ray didn’t even sit down; he leaned over his laptop and began typing everything he and Amy discussed earlier. A week later, Ray had his story finished.