If you are a creative person, perhaps a writer, artist or musician, then you will know how easy it is to run out of inspiration, ideas, or simply fall into a creative rut. Thankfully, I’m here to help you learn how to get out of a creative rut.
Consistently coming out with interesting, innovative ideas is a difficult task, and everyone runs out of steam every now and again.
It is almost too easy to fall into a creative rut, but the important thing is that you do not get down about it.
You simply have to dust yourself off, and get back on the creative train all the way to imagination station. The hardest part is just knowing how.
With this simple guide, we have some easy and inspiring ways to get your creative juices flowing again.
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How to Get Out of a Creative Rut
One of the main reasons people get lost in the creative process is because they lose interest, drive, and end up doing the same things they always do, without creating anything new or extraordinary.
Take inspiration from the world
Eleanor Roosevelt once said ‘do one thing every day that scares you’, and she could not have been more right.
Make sure that you always shake things up when you are feeling creatively drained. Try something new, go to new places, and find some inspiration in the world around you.
Listen to people’s conversations while commuting, watch people interact in your favorite coffee shop, or take a walk through nature and see how the environment around you ticks. Of course, do these things while protecting yourself during this global pandemic.
You really can find inspiration in anything; whether it is the shape of the clouds above you, the feel of crunching leaves below you, the passers-by in the park…just take a moment to listen, and get back in touch with what inspires you to be creative.
Keep a journal
This is a big one. We cannot stress enough to you how important it is that you keep a journal, sketchbook or notebook with you at all times.
You will never know when inspiration strikes, and you will be surprised at how little and random things can help you get creative again. With a journal on you, you can jot down or sketch out your ideas before they slip away again!
Work it out
You may have already started your next big wonderful idea, but lost interest someway between starting it and actually making it happen.
This is completely normal. People can lose interest in anything! However, being stuck in a rut is often caused by the mind and your willingness to do something about it.
Try to see the project through, or look at it from a different angle and perspective to gain a new, keen interest in it and motivation for completing it.
Yes, this is easier said than done. However, we can all get caught up in life.
Keeping track of plans, diets, social interactions, jobs and workloads can put a lot of pressure on us. This can sometimes halt our creativity and keep us feeling down in the dumps or stuck in a rut.
Try to separate things that are bothering you, and just focus on one thing at a time. Focus completely on your creative process, and take the project slowly. Ideas will come to you!
Don’t be afraid of failure
You do not have to force yourself back into the game. If you are seriously suffering from writer’s block, or really stuck in your creative rut, then do not try too hard.
Pushing yourself to create something of value may not work. It is perfectly okay to take a step back, rest, re-energize yourself, and take a break. Inspiration will strike, just be patient.
Maya Angelou once stated that ‘You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.’ Just because this project might not be going in the direction you want it to, does not mean that you have failed.
Creativity comes and goes, and sometimes you can be stuck in the stages where inspiration seems to be impossible.
You are a creative person for a reason, you are a writer, artist, musician, dancer, whatever you are for a reason. It will always come back to you.
Broaden your horizons
Switch it up! Try new things, read books you would not normally read, try foods you have never eaten before, and listen to music that you have never heard of!
Shake up your normal day and find new things to take an interest in. This can lead you down new paths, and you may find new means of being creative.
Listen to your subconscious
We find inspiration in the strangest places. You could be participating in the most menial tasks and all of a sudden, an idea will hit you like a ton of bricks.
This commonly happens when you are sleeping. You may dream up some wonderful, fantastical ideas, as your subconscious mind is often more attuned with your life during REM sleep than you are while awake sometimes.
As soon as you wake up, write down what happened, or what came to mind when you were resting, before you forget it.
You can then draw some new, fresh ideas from your subconscious.
Take time for yourself
A creative rut can become stressful and overwhelming, especially if it is slowing you down, halting your progress or stopping you from meeting deadlines.
However, being anxious and stressed out is not the right frame of mind for finding your next great ideas.
It is vital that you take some time for yourself. This can mean relaxing and taking some time to participate in some self-care or prayer. Or it can simply mean regathering your thoughts and ideas.
We recommend that you take a moment to separate all of the different thoughts, plans or ideas currently in your head. Organize them with a diary, planner or some post-it notes to break down everything.
You can then build easy to reach steps and goals, and work on them slowly, making your way through them one step at a time.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by life, but by breaking things down and taking time off to clear your head, things will be much easier, and you will have much more space to invest in new ideas and creative activities. And when you’re rested and ready to be creative again, try some different creative activities to spark your inspiration.