By Kaitlin Ruby
You know those moments where you’re producing lots of content, everything is going great, you’re crushing it, and then – wham. Everything suddenly goes blank, you’re overwhelmed, you’re frustrated, and you feel trapped?
You may have just come down with the ultimate and most feared creative disease: a serious case of The Creative Block.
Creative block can be a truly terrifying thing, especially for those of us who rely on our creative pursuits to pay our bills. You never know when it’s going to go away, and sometimes it’s hard to find the root cause of it so you can tackle it head-on. Here is a breakdown of some of the main psychological causes of creative block in case you're wondering why.
While we aren’t professional therapists here at RAW, we are creatives who can give you a few tips and tricks to try and avoid the Plague that runs rampant in the artist community.
1. Follow other artists that inspire you on social media (as well as IRL)
In the age of addicting social media and constant comparison – it’s getting increasingly difficult to be online without going certifiably insane. However, if you curate your social media feed by solely following artists, hashtags, and people who inspire you and motivate you, you can really change your social media/creative experience for the better. Hot tip: follow the #RAWartists hashtag on Instagram for some quality, wholesome art content #shamelessplug.
Mute those accounts that do not serve you. If they do not contribute in a positive way to your life and creative journey and you notice that you are always comparing yourself to them – chances are it’s time to hit that unfollow/mute button. Silence that comparison demon by only following accounts that inspire you.
Following artists and people that motivate you to create can be incredibly beneficial and is a great way to take advantage of your social media addiction in a healthy and productive way. Maybe even try and start a dialogue with that person you admire! Ask them some questions about their current endeavors, or just cheer them along on their creative journey. Which leads us to our next tip...
2. Get a jam sesh going
Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be just for musicians. Create a little weekly gathering with your friends to talk about ideas and works by other artists who inspire you. Keep up a dialogue about hot button topics/debates in your industry and develop some talking points to discuss. Once you get a ton of passionate people in one room together, it is a great way to remind yourself about why you love what you do (hint hint RAW hint hint)!
3. Take a walk
You probably hear this all the time, but honestly, it’s true. Taking a walk is literally proven (by Sanford!) to make you more creative. Not only is walking helping with blood circulation, which improves brain function, but taking a stroll in an area that may be unfamiliar is great at sparking creativity and inspiration!
4. Refer to your idea book
If you don’t know what this is, take a look at this post.
5. Make a vision board
Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned vision board to inspire you! What do you want to accomplish this year (or, in your lifetime)? Find photos online of how you would like your creative journey to pan out. We recommend using a cork board so that you can switch out images as goals and inspirations change!
6. Journal about it
Look, sometimes you just need to talk yourself through it. Creative ruts can be super frustrating, which in turn blocks creativity even more! This is a good tool to use if you just need to vent about all of your feelings about the Creative Plague in a judgement-free zone.
7. Force yourself to create something (even if you end up hating it)
One of the best things to do for creative blocks is to just paint/write/draw/make ANYTHING – even if you think it turns out to be garbage.
Yes, you read that correctly. Even if it turns out to be garbage.
Don’t overthink it and don’t try to make it the “next genius idea” you have. Just sit with yourself, and create the first thing that comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be great, but it keeps your creative juices flowing. Keep trucking along and the rut won’t last as long. And, you never know... sometimes bad ideas can lead to good ideas.
8. Explore other creative disciplines
Broaden your horizons by going somewhere or doing something new! Take that pottery class you’ve been wanting to take! Or what about that writing class you’ve been promising yourself you would go to but you have just been “sooooo busy”? Take this time when you are feeling blocked and unmotivated in your current field to go explore something for the first time. You’ll access new parts of your brain, and who knows, you could find yourself with a hidden talent that you never even knew existed!
We hope these tips and tricks help you when you come face to face with that infamous affliction called Creative Block. Give each suggestion a try and see which one works best for you! But, whatever you do, don’t give up. Some ruts last longer than others, and it’s important to remain calm and comforted by the fact that it will eventually go away and you will feel inspired again. Keep going, you got this!