As creatives, we’ve all run into a seemingly impossible space where the ideas just. won’t. flow. Writers seem particularly susceptible to this dilemma, but we’re not the only ones! Fortunately, since I’ve consciously employed the following strategies, I’ve been circumventing that pesky creative block. Next time you’re up against a blank screen or blank paper, try one of these seven ideas to get the bright ideas glowing again!
7 Simple Strategies for Breaking Through a Creative Block
Do something you’re terrible at to switch gears.
It’s not to make you suffer:
Not only will you encourage your mind to switch gears, you’ll also appreciate your own craft more when you return to the task at hand. I wouldn’t advise delving so deep that you get frustrated, but sketching instead of sewing or cooking instead of computing can help to reroute your creativity and knock down creative block.
Bust out a coloring book and get to stress-relieving.
How it helps:
It may be “mindless,” but this lets your thoughts wander and morph, potentially leading to a breakthrough. Plus, there’s something super satisfying about coloring inside the lines and sharpening fresh pencils (or is this just me?).
There’s a reason grown-up coloring books are everywhere, and it’s because kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from getting their scribbles out.
Get out of your comfort zone to discover fresh perspective.
Rather than holing up in your office, or gluing yourself to the work table until the project finishes itself, take your work space out of the equation.
For me, this means chasing my kids and/or engaging in adult conversation. Both serve as brain-distracting tasks that take me out of my creative prison! When I return to my work, it’s a welcome change to jump back within my own mind and creative process.
People watch for inspiration.
Bonus points for venturing out into a public place, since this can be done via your favorite sitcom. Yes, this is explicit permission to load Netflix and begin binge watching!
But don’t just mindlessly indulge:
Make sure to keep an eye out for visuals, topics, or character developments of interest.
Check out others’ work for innovative ideas.
I always get a jolt of inspiration after reading others’ blogs, or analyzing the copy on their business websites. Look to a peer (or idol) in your genre to see what they’re up to.
Definitely don’t plagiarize, but consider expanding on idea they’ve shared. Or, try a project in the same medium they use. As long as the end result is uniquely yours, no one needs to know which artist or entrepreneur you secretly stalk.
Plan an event or outing to check off to-do’s for a refreshing change of pace.
Upcoming birthday? Far off vacation? Need to make a grocery list?
Now is the perfect time to start on another task- either necessary, or frivolously enjoyable. Diving into a personal project can refresh your desire to work on, well, “work.”
Plus, thinking ahead to your to-do list ensures that you’re making progress in your personal life too, not just the business arena.
Give yourself an assignment to encourage meaningful work and end ongoing creative block.
I always work most efficiently with a client’s guidelines (and timeline) in my toolkit. For my own projects, I have to develop each from scratch, and decide on the parameters.
I’ve found that following a template and answering key questions always get me on track for writing my own blog posts and developing content. Revive the meaning behind what you do, by following ‘rules’ for completion, and guarantee that you’ll consistently turn out work you’re proud of.
Think you’ll try one of these strategies to get rid of a looming creative block? Or do you have your own secrets to get the brainstorm brewing?