When we talk about creative block, what are we really talking about? You may have heard of Writer’s Block, Art Block or Blank Canvas Syndrome however, they all describe the same situation: you get down to create yet you have no idea what to do.
As far as I know, this is one of the most common problems we creatives face every once in a while. I’ve read a lot about this topic and came to the conclusion that we are not really blocked by the lack of ideas but we feel blocked by the number of ideas we actually have, therefore we can’t decide where to start.
Why does this happen? If we actually have the ideas, the time, the tools… why can’t we just start? In my post about fears, we discussed what could be holding you back from embarking on your creative project.
All in all, I’d say I have some tips that personally work wonders for me when I’m feeling creatively blocked.
1. Get some rest. I always preach about how important rests are for nurturing our body and mind, and in consequence our creativity. Take some time off and take a nap, sleep a few more hours or just do nothing (meditating is also a good one to keep into count). I’m usually more prone to start or keep going with a project when I had some good rest the day before.
2. Read. Reading itself it’s a creative activity that stimulates the brain and puts your imagination to work! So when you’re feeling blocked, you could approach your creativity from a different angle by reading a book.
3. Go for a walk. This is the tool I use the most: I think going for a walk is the solution for most of my problems. Leave yourself breathe some fresh air, go to a café or a park; try to see things you still haven’t seen in your hometown or around your block. The whole idea is to change your environment and once you’re back, you’ll probably feel lighter and with more ideas.
4. Journal. I’ve already talked about journaling and the benefits of doing it regularly, (even made a video about it). However, this time I propose you to take journaling as a tool to write down all the thoughts that are stopping you from keep going, how you’re feeling, your frustration, your fears… Let it all out and you’ll feel cleaner and with a clearer perspective (plus, you might get some ideas to start creating)
5. Don’t force it. If all the rest is not working, or just not for you, don’t force it. I know today’s your day off and the only opportunity of the week to keep writing that book, painting that picture or keep on going with that collage you started last week, yet you don’t know what else to add. The best thing you can do is let it go for today, accept that maybe you need to rest in order to let your creativity flow and give it a try tomorrow.
Another idea I’ve borrowed from Austin Kleon and Christoph Niemann is playing with blocks! Recently got myself a set of Legos and every now and then I sit down on the floor and start playing around for no reason. Sometimes even my boyfriend joins me! It really works as a therapeutic and relaxing activity, yet I come out refreshed and with some ideas in mind.
-I found this article on Good Therapy to be really interesting if you want to go deeper on the psychological causes of Creative Block and this one from 99U about the different types of Creative Block and what to do about them.
Do you have any recommendations for the Creatively blocked people? Let us know in the comments below!