If you’re a creative of any kind—artist, writer, musician, photographer, architect, etc— you know that creative block is a real thing. When it hits, sometimes the best thing to do is give up on your work for a few days and do something else entirely. But there’s a way to get out of a funk and get inspired to create again. Here’s how to beat creative block in 10 easy steps:
- Write immediately after waking up
The subconscious generates ideas constantly, but sometimes we leave this resource untapped. To tap into this ever-flowing fountain of ideas, we can try to turn our dreams into words. All through the night, our brains run through new, creative scenarios. Why not try to channel this into writing?
- Make a random list
Random lists are an excellent way to get inspired. They have the added benefit of being short. When you find yourself feeling stuck in a rut, you can revitalize your thinking by doing one of these lists:
- Things to tweet
- Things to finish
- Things to google
- Things to remember
- Things to appreciate
- Things you love
- Things you forget
- Do something new
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your day-to-day routine and fall into a rut. If you’re feeling uninspired, it might be time to push yourself out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve never done before.
Here are five fun ideas to get you off the sidelines and into some uncharted territory:
- Try a new activity
- Try a new food
- Start a new hobby
- Take a class
4. Ask another creative
It’s not embarrassing to ask for help. Seek out another creative, and ask them what they do when they deal with a creative block. They may be able to point you to material that inspires them, or ask questions you haven’t thought of.
5. Interview someone
Find someone with a completely different life than yours, and ask them to tell you all about it. This doesn’t even have to be in person, oftentimes people on the internet are perfectly happy to talk about themselves. When you run out of your own experiences to pull ideas from, try and pull from others’.
6. Read a book
Reading requires you to focus, which can take your mind off of your day-to-day worries and problems. So, if you’re feeling too stressed to create, reading can distract you enough from your worries that you forget you’re stressed in the first place.
Reading can also broaden your worldview. By exploring new ideas, you give yourself a new perspective on old problems. That helps you come up with better answers.
7. Make something bad
Sometimes the best thing we can do is perform the actions until shifts. If you’re a writer, write something terrible until you’re back in your flow. If you’re a painter, throw some colors together until you find a winning combination. It’s better to create something bad than to not create at all.
8. Go outside
Nature can be inspiring for many reasons — and you don’t have to go to some far-flung park in the Amazon jungle to get inspired. When you go outside, look around you and take note of the nature around you. Use whatever inspires you — take a photograph, sketch out an idea, or jot down a few notes.
Then, when you’re stuck inside, go back to your notes and start creating.
9. Face a fear
Fear is a powerful thing. It’s a motivator and a deterrent. Facing your fears is healing, and will wake up your mind to new questions. For example, you will definitely be asking yourself why it’s so damn scary. Make something to commemorate the moment!
10. Talk to yourself
An idea isn’t tangible until you get it out of your head. Chat with yourself like a friend, and see what conversations you string together. You may be surprised how much easier it is to brainstorm out loud.