Every creative person struggles with getting past a creative block. Let’s face it, turning on the tap and having water start flowing isn’t how creativity works. No, creativity does not operate in this way. You must be inspired by something in your environment to create something artistic. It’s not as simple as it sounds to be creative and work in the creative industry. Every creative person encounters challenges of creative block. Maintaining creativity all the time can be intimidating. No matter if you are a writer, artist, or graphic designer, you will occasionally run into a creative block.
What is a creative block?
Having a creative block prevents you from coming up with fresh concepts. It can happen when you’re working on an ongoing project or when you’re trying to come up with something entirely new but aren’t sure what the subject matter should be. You experience a sense of slow growth and emptiness as if your creative well has run dry. Despite your best efforts, you are unable to come up with anything original or novel. There are typically a variety of factors that could contribute rather than just one particular thing:
What results in a creative block?
The ability to be creative can be seriously affected by mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. When you’re depressed, it’s very challenging to be creative because you frequently feel flat and listless. It’s simple to feel overwhelmed by the lack of inspiration you’re encountering if you suffer from anxiety, which makes your anxiety worse. Please visit a doctor if you’re experiencing mental health problems.
Reduced Energy Levels
Lack of sleep can also result in a lack of inspiration or a creative block, as well as helpless or overwhelmed feelings that suppress creative thinking. It’s really difficult to think of nice ideas when you feel like a zombie. There’s a reason why some of the world’s most imaginative people frequently take naps. In addition to sleeping for a full 6-8 hours every night, you need to take quick naps during the day.
You may feel a creative block as a result of daily stressors like financial concerns, relationship issues, career fears, family responsibilities, and more. You don’t have time for anything else because you’re so preoccupied with all the other stresses in your life.
Another common cause of feeling like your creativity has run dry is perfectionism. You feel as if you can’t let go of something until it’s perfect. The problem is that perfection is an impossible goal to achieve, and the more time you spend attempting to perfect your work, the less progress you will make.
The truth is that creative block is not a disease that can be cured with a pill. If only it were that simple! The causes vary widely and are unique to each individual. So, what you can do when you hit a creative block? Do you try to push yourself, work harder, and redo your work until you get that “wow” feeling? Or do you simply step away from everything you’re doing?
A creative block can last for days or even hours at times. This occurs as a result of stress and a sense of overwhelm, which prevents your creativity from flourishing. It is, however, acceptable to take some rest and relax your mind until you can reunite your creative juices. So here are six strategies for breaking through a creative block.
6 Tips for Overcoming Creative Block
1. Digital detox
How long has it been since you last wrote something with a pencil (or pen) and paper? With computers and smartphones, the number of people writing on paper is decreasing. In the digital age, the majority of our work as designers is created digitally. However, there are times when going back to basics is all that is needed. Writing on a blank sheet of paper causes you to think in a non-systematic way: you think better in the form of letters, in all of their contexts, and you exercise a creative side of your brain.
Step away from your desk and go for a walk with your sketchbook. When you switch from a glowing computer screen to a pen and paper, you might be surprised by the ideas that start flowing through your head. Most creative people always carry a small notebook with them when they go to the bakery in the morning, at lunch, and especially before bed. Every thought that comes to them is jotted down in the notebook they always have with them. Next, they write down all of these ideas on post-its, sorting them by relevance, degree of difficulty, and category. This way they do not run out of innovative ideas.
2. Acknowledge that creativity isn’t forced
Sometimes the only thing you can do is give yourself some space to get out of a creative block. If nothing seems to be working, here’s a piece of advice: don’t push it. Your mind can wander when you’re “not doing anything,” and your subconscious has time to work. That is why free time and creative leisure are essential for allowing creativity to flourish: they help you discover your playful side, which feeds the mind. Everyone loses steam at some point. It’s fine to walk away and try again later after your brain has rested. You may be pleasantly surprised to see what happens after a little recharge time.
Leaving unfinished tasks can make them easier to complete the next day because your brain will be continuing to think about them after the day is finished but your task isn’t. Cognitive points are left open in your mind, which may be filled with new ideas through activities outside of work. Allow yourself to use some of your days to conduct random research. When you read something and a concept confuses you, do some research on it. You’ll eventually learn a lot of new things that only spark your curiosity and help you keep your level of creativity high today.
3. Find a source of inspiration
I’m not suggesting that you steal outright. Don’t do it! If you’re stuck, look at the work of people you admire and draw inspiration from what you enjoy doing the most. You’ll frequently discover new paths forward that you hadn’t considered before, as well as new techniques that open the door to entirely new ways of working. illustAC is the best place to start this creative journey. You can find a lot of creative assets there from which you can take your inspiration.
A creative person requires a good source of inspiration and nourishment. A creative block is more like an ailment; as soon as you’ve cured it, you’ll be back to work. Fuel your inspiration engine by bookmarking relevant ideas. Always write down anything that comes to mind. To be honest, creativity does not come from magic or sitting around waiting for an idea to strike. Feeding your mind with what interests you is an important part of inspiring creativity.
Our critical sense is a function of the mind that is active for the majority of the day. It performs critical functions such as analyzing and judging the facts that we encounter as we are exposed to them. Otherwise, we would accept whatever they told us and take it for granted. The point is that this Critical Sense also analyses and searches for flaws in what we think. How many times have you struggled to come up with an idea for a school or work project? The reason for this is that you are already criticizing your ability to generate new ideas before you even realize it. In those moments our creativity is impaired.
4. Monotonous task
Sometimes you just need to do something to relax, whether it’s taking a bath, cleaning the house, or going for a long run. You need a clear and simple, task to give your mind a break and a reboot. Our bodies relax when we take a shower or engage in other leisure or recreational activities, which already reduces the activities of Critical Sense. We don’t consider what to do or how to do it while taking a bath. We have performed this action countless times, so for us, there is nothing novel about it, and we carry it out in “automatic mode.”
We then went into a mild trance, similar to when a computer goes into “Sleep” mode. It is turned on and activities are being processed, but it is using very little energy. At that point, our imagination comes into play. Our mind “realizes” that it can work again and begins to process and interpret different ideas. Connecting seemingly unrelated information, and with a low criticism, these ideas and insights reach our consciousness more! You most certainly already know the answer to a problem while showering or cleaning your room.
5. Don’t resist failure
As we previously mentioned, perfectionism can be a cause of creative block. There is no such thing as perfection, in reality. Simply read some excellent book reviews on Amazon if you want proof. No matter how fantastic the book is, some readers will still find problems. Don’t let your fear of failure prevent you from coming up with something fantastic. For many people, what is only “good enough” for you will be incredible. You must also accept the fact that not everything you produce won’t be a flawless masterpiece. Don’t let your desire for perfection prevent you from sharing your artistic creations with the world. Once you’ve decided that something is “good enough,” learn to let go.
6. Make everything manageable
A task or project can occasionally seem so large and overwhelming that we lose sight of what is truly important and become stuck. It’s time to step back. The big picture can easily overwhelm us, which can occasionally put us through a creative block. Your creativity may be destroyed. Look for ways to organize your projects so that they can be broken up into more manageable portions. You can deal with each one separately, and the overall picture will start to take shape as you go.
Despite how annoying it is, experiencing creative block is common. Don’t let it drive you to the brink of hopelessness. Don’t assume that the loss of all your ideas means you’ll need to start a new career. There are plenty of ideas available to come out of this creative block. You simply need to find them. Apply a few of these tactics we mentioned the next time you feel yourself running low on energy. The creative juices will soon begin to flow once again, and you’ll be humming along nicely.