10 Ways to Overcome a Creative Block

A desk that is holding a grid notebook, a bunch of rolled up paper balls, a dirty coffee mug and a bunch of sticky notes. The image is the header for a blog post on how to overcome a creative block.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I work a full-time 9-5 job as an analyst for a tech startup. Creating content for the blog, Etsy shop, and Instagram, and working at my day job, is extremely time-consuming. The worst part is when I start to become overwhelmed with creating content, and my brain goes dark. Working through a creative block can be difficult, but I found a few ways to spark that creativity to overcome a creative block.

Creative blocks can happen to anyone: content creators, creatives, and people searching for some creativity. We find ourselves staring into a blank canvas, scratching our heads and asking what are we going to do now.

I used to think that if I just kept thinking, my creative block would just disappear. Nope, it does not work that way. And if we don’t treat it, the block will continue getting bigger and bigger until we feel discouraged to defeat it.

But do not worry. Here are a few tips to help you get turn creative mode on.

Go Somewhere

You don’t need to be attached to your computer, notebook, or whatever medium you are working on. Detach yourself from your working environment and find some inspiration. Go to the movies, museum, or library, or anywhere new that can help you find inspiration. Stepping out can help re-wire our brain and avoid negative self-talk.

Take a Brain Dump

Are you into taking brain dumbs? Grab a piece of paper, and release everything that is on your mind. Write down what you want to accomplish, what you would like the final product to look like and any good or bad idea that pops up on your brain. Brain dumps are a great way to get all of your cluttered thoughts into the world and clear up space in your brain. That extra space should help you overcome a creative block.

Go for a Walk

A few years ago, Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration. Read the study here to prove that you should get some steps in and some fresh air.

Remind Yourself

Why did you start doing this creative project? Did you miss writing or just enjoy painting? Reminding myself of the reasons why I started my blog helps me overcome my creative blocks because it reminds me how much fun I actually enjoy it. Always remind yourself of moments where your creativity brought you joy.

Make Something Bad

In my junior year of undergrad, I took a creative writing course that I loved. My professor told us that we should write without going back to our words if we found ourselves in a creative funk. I would write short stories without looking back to remember what I wrote before or remind myself of the character or plot. Y’all, those stories SUCKED. But you know what, I went back to fix them over and over again until I had something great. I still use this tip in content creation. I create bad drafts to fix them until I am happy with the result. It is a great way to start something.

Re-Evaluate Your Sleep and Eating Habits

Taking care of yourself is essential to the creative process. If you don’t sleep, your brain will slow down brain function. This will lead to your brain not developing new ideas or remembering ones you had before. And if your diet sucks, well, that also affects your creativity. A few years ago, a British Journal of Health Psychology report found that eating more fruits and veggies will increase curiosity and creativity. Take care of yourself to help those creative juices get of your brain and into your creative medium.

Set Boundaries

I am pretty grateful that my husband and brother respect my wishes when I ask to be left alone to create content. If you find your family, friends or housemates not respecting your creative time, set boundaries and let it be clear that you need time to focus. You are not a bad person asking others to respect your creative alone time.

Break It Down

Sometimes projects can seem so large and daunting, and the fear can cause creative blocks. One way to make it feel more manageable is by taking a step back and figuring out how you can break the project down. By breaking down your project, you will be able to just focus on a block and it will allow everything to come together nicely. Not only will breaking it down help you build it up, it will also help you overcome a creative block.

Talk It Out

Sometimes I just start talking to myself about what I want and expect from my blog posts. Hearing my ideas out loud changes my perspective and sparks that creative light. I also recommend talking to friends and family and bouncing ideas off them. Ask them what they think, what they would do differently, and watch your creativity come back to life.

Go on a Detox

Take a digital detox. I don’t know about y’all, but a good portion of my day is glued to a screen. Watching others in my niche creating incredible content can feel intimidating sometimes, and cause insecurity. By taking time off social media, you can focus on what you want to create without the need to compare yourself to others.

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