We’ve all experienced creative constipation. It’s the pits. I have literally stared at a blank screen typing and deleting the same sentence over and over. At attempt 15, I even thought that I'd never have a creative idea again. That's it, creativity. Thanks for showin' up all these years. I'm 27, we've had a great run I guess.
But, inevitably, I come to my senses and recognized that i'm temporarily blocked. It happens for a million reasons, maybe you've been burning the midnight oil and need rest. Or, perhaps you're not letting your ideas flow because you think they should look a certain way. Who knows why the creativity fairy has decided to skip you, but it happens.
The stagnation we feel can be especially worse when our jobs depend on innovation and shiny new ideas (YIKES). However, being a creative genius 24/7 is just not feasible. Sometimes you need some extra help to get the ball rollin'. Here's what I do on days I'm feeling a bit plugged.
Take a field trip
We forget the wonders this works for us. Getting outside our usual workspace changes our routine and allows fresh ideas to come in. For me, book shops do the trick. There is something I adore about them. The aroma of fresh java and new book scent, the endless rows of words and knowledge... it’s my jam.
It could be that I am an ambiance kind of person, but coffee shops really put me in an inspired state of creativity. I’ve long been a believer that we are all connected, and I could swear my mind is literally cradled into a lull of artistry when I walk in. It’s led to some of my best work!
Save some juice from your creative crack outs
When I get into one of those creatively cracked out phases and I am having ideas pour in like a Twitter feed during the Oscars, I take notes like a mad woman! Down the line, I know I can use them the day I'm in a creative funk. At that point, I can take that idea out for a walk, retracing the original steps I took to get there and make something sassy. Boom.
Put down your artist wand
Drop the pen, laptop, paintbrush or whatever poor artist wand you are about to throw at something. Life is all about the ebb and flow, so sometimes you just have to roll with the contrast.
I like to massage the other part of my brain when my creativity takes a raincheck. The poor logical side that often gets left in the dust... that guy. I get my to do list (because this part of my brain is all about the lists) and start crossin' some stuff out. It's probably the only time I get around to cleaning the fridge or microwave (you KNOW this gets neglected!).
In short, go ahead and give your left brain a sick day. It deserves one.
This is huge! When all else fails, be the observer vs. the creator. Art inspires art; it inexplicably multiplies like yawns. It’s fantastic. When I'm creatively constipated and I've already taken a walk, checked the old idea arsenal and vigorously cleaned my cabin... I wave my hands to the art gods and surrender. Time for me to experience another person's art. Isn't that the point any way? We spend time creating, and then sometimes forget to experience art. Duh?!
In my case, I browse other talented writers' blogs (which I love doing, especially when they're different than mine), walk to Wynwood Art Walls and see physical artwork... or turn on Netflix and watch an indie flick.
Most likely, you’ll be prompted to jot something down and get your own ideas going. Like I said before... the yawn effect. To reiterate, put your unique take on anything you produce from YOUR inspiration. Never, ever take another’s work as your own. It's perfectly acceptable for someone's expression to remind you of something from your own life, but don't steal art. That's bad karma!
Stay creative my friends,