What to do when creative block comes knocking at your door

Whether you’re a music producer, musician, photographer, designer, it’s likely you have experienced creative block at some point in your career as a creative. There will be times where you struggle to find inspiration and you become completely devoid of ideas, making it hard to find a path towards the finish line. Being in a creative field is full of pitfalls, and it’s easy to head down the rabbit hole of endless fine tweaking or becoming overwhelmed by the limitless options and infinite possibilities. It’s part of the process to feel the weight of these endless outcomes.

Creativity is a funny business and sometimes it requires funny solutions. We all need a renewed passion for the work that we do from time to time. That’s the biggest challenge with being in a creative field, if you’re not always doing something new to rejuvenate your creative spirit, things can get stale pretty quickly. When you fall into routines, part of your creative self may begin to wither. It gets boring and lazy, and eventually, it starts to die.

Luckily, there are several methods creatives use to motivate their flow and jump back on the productive train. Keep these steps in mind when creative block comes knocking at your door.

Acknowledge that it's normal

It’s so easy to think that it’s just you. You’re the only one who experiences blocks of barrenness. But even for the most innovative people, creative blocks are common. Once creativity leaves the room and you’re stuck with this feeling, don’t beat yourself up, rather take a few deep breaths and start focusing on what you need to do to overcome this hurdle.

Take a break

There will be times when you feel exasperated but are locked in and determined to keep working and getting the job done. Forcing yourself to keep going without whilst feeling like this will definitely become counter-productive. Taking a 5-10 minute break is healthy and necessary to recharge your creative energy. Whether it’s 30 minutes, a day, or a week, take some time away from your desk/guitar/studio/drawing pad to clear your head and not think about the project you’re working on.

Taking walks has long been a proven creative block-breaker, but feel free to enjoy any of your favourite activities. I find that grabbing a piece of paper and a pen is a great release and just letting the mind go and jot down whatever pops up first. Being in a creative field myself I try and get up every hour to catch some fresh air and jump back in the pilot seat after taking a stroll in my garden or taking my dog for a walk. Not only is this good for your mind and creative drive, but it is also good for your physical health if you’re in a chair for most of your day.

De-clutter your workspace

They say creative people often have messy workspaces. If this definition applies to you as well it might be the one thing impeding your creativity flow, your cluttered desk/workspace. It might not be the case for everyone, but this one plays a huge role in my day-to-day. If there’s a dirty mug or empty water bottle from the previous day standing on my desk, I always clean up my desk before starting my workday and make sure everything is in place. Tidying up your work environment can be a good way to help yourself switch into a more proactive mood and allow your flux of creativity to flow again.

Mix things up

Fear is often the biggest culprit to your creativity and doing things differently means that the outcome is unknown and it’s in human nature to fear the unknown. We often credit past experiences to dictate how we move forward, but this can be a dangerous path if you don’t have the right approach. Self-doubt can validate your fears and habitual thinking sabotage your creative impulses, which are unconventional by nature.

If madness is “doing the same thing and expecting a different result,” it’s time to take a closer look at your work-flow when creating.

Is there a certain aspect of your creative flow that you approach the same way every single time? Find two or three things you do every time, and forbid yourself from doing them – at least for a while. In fact, if there’s an exact opposite approach to your creative approach, try that for a while and see where it takes you.