Self Improvement

How I Deal With Creative Blocks

posted on June 28, 2019 | by Ariana Pena

How I Deal With Creative Blocks

We’ve all been there — you’re working on a project and everything is going great. The outline is perfect, your head is filled with ideas, and then just as you are about to execute, you hit a wall. Suddenly the words slip away, everything looks wrong, and all inspiration dissipates.

Whether you’re a blogger struggling to piece the right words together, a photographer who can’t seem to get the perfect shot, or a simple girl trying to put the right outfit together, I think we can all agree that creative blocks are annoying, frustrating, and down-right disheartening. And since we can’t always sit around and wait for creativity to strike again, here are a few things you can do to get your inspiration back.

Change Up Your Creative Space

I know it sounds too simple to be true, but changing up the space you create in can do wonders for your mind. I’m not saying you have to move the furniture in your room or completely redecorate your space (although that can certainly help), but even something as simple as rearranging the items on your desk or bringing a candle or vase full of fresh flowers into your space can help to get your creativity flowing again. If changing your physical space doesn’t help, try changing the tools you create with. For you, this could mean photographing with a different lens, using a new brush, pen and colors, or using a different design application than you normally use to create.

When I’m feeling particularly uninspired with my writing, I step away from my keyboard and turn to one of my favorite journals. There’s something so refreshing about actually putting pen to paper to write out my thoughts instead of staring at a blank word document on my computer. It forces me to slow my thoughts down (turns out my hands don’t write as quickly as my fingers can type, ha!) and makes me feel like I’m just creating for myself instead of working on something that has a deadline.

Give Yourself Permission to Create With No Parameters

One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever received was, “You cannot write with an editor’s brain.” I don’t know about you, but every. single. time. I gear up to create something, I always try to perfect it as I go along. I’ll spend five minutes writing three sentences then immediately spend another 20 minutes reworking what I just wrote. Not only is this is a horrific waste of time, but it quickly drains me of any creative spark I had when I first began.

If you’re experiencing a creative block, try creating something entirely new with ZERO parameters. No rules, no theme, no time frame, nothing. Simply create for the sole purpose of creating. It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to make sense, you don’t even have to show anyone. Just give yourself the space and permission to create whatever comes to mind and I promise it’ll take the pressure off.

Eliminate Distractions and Go Outside

Maybe this is just me, but whenever I’m feeling stuck creatively I instantly want to turn to social media. I find myself itching to check Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts that inspire me or I try to find music that’ll change my mood — anything to get me inspired. While it can be sometimes helpful to look at other works of art that inspire you, I’ve realized recently that all this really does is distract me from my original ideas and causes me to compare my creativity with others.

Instead of searching for inspiration from other people’s work, put down your phone, walk away from your desk and get outside. It may sound silly, but I’ve found that going for a walk around my building or sitting outside when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to create eases my tension. It forces me to focus my attention on what’s happening around me instead of what I’m trying to get done. And oftentimes I find that I’m easily inspired by the change of scenery.

Challenge your brain in a new way

Okay, this one may seem like a wildcard, but I promise it’s related. For the most part, I draw inspiration for my writing from what’s currently going on in my life or things that I’ve been through. I think it’s safe to say a lot of other people create in this way as well. So when I’m feeling tragically uninspired and when my creative blocks last for what feels like forever, I try something completely new to shake up my world a little bit. I’ll take a new workout class at my gym, try new recipes in the kitchen, take a different route home, try a completely different method of creating (don’t ever ask me to draw or paint anything), or pick up an entirely new hobby (guess who has two thumbs and can officially ride a skateboard? This girl!).

I find that this forces me to use completely different parts of my brain than I’m used to and pushes me out of my comfort zone. This often gives me plenty of new experiences to write about and is usually a pretty quick way for me to clear my mind of the rut I was stuck in. I understand that picking up a new hobby every time you’re feeling uninspired is not the most convenient, but it can be as simple of a change as you want it to be.

What are some of the ways you deal with creative blocks? I’d love to hear some of your ideas in the comments down below!