Let me guess: you were able to create just fine until one day, the page remained blank. In a state of denial, you sat there staring at it but you couldn’t seem to find anything that would enhance the page besides just leaving it blank. The next day, the same thing happens. And the day after that, yada yada yada. After coming to terms with the fact that you’ve fallen into a creative rut while it seems like everyone else is still able to create, remember that this can happen to even the most inspired of us. Here’s some tips to help fill your page:

  1. Don’t Wait for the Best Idea

Go with your worst idea! Apply your perspective to the mundane! There is no best or worst idea – it’s all subjective. What could very well be the worst idea you’ve ever had may be genius to others.

  1. Question Everything

Why is the sky blue? What if it wasn’t? What would the world be like if the sky was red? Curiosity often leads to ideas that are worth following through. Anything can be infinitely fascinating if you make it.

  1. Get Different Perspectives

Ever hear the saying “every new person you talk to can teach you something new?” Well, talking to someone new may help you find a new approach to a problem or give you inspiration.

  1. Copy

Copy the classics – then make them better. It worked for Stephanie Meyer, didn’t it? In all seriousness, the classics are classics for a reason. You may find something about them that stands out to you.

  1. Keep Track of Your Ideas

This one might not be of much help if you are idealess, but it is always nice to have a notebook or list of ideas that you previously scribbled down to expand upon.

  1. Practice!

Practicing consistently will help hone your skills. Do writing exercises or figure studies – it ensures that you won’t be rusty when return from your rut.

  1. Focus

There’s a reason the Renaissance man is called “Renaissance”: he’s in the past. You don’t need to be a master at everything. Find your niche and focus on that.

  1. Be a Kid

Allow yourself the freedom of daydreaming, playing, and discovering. Do something wrong on purpose – you may find a new style you prefer.

  1. Say Maybe

Don’t be quick to turn things down – be open to explore new projects and topics.

  1. Take a Step Away

Distance can help provide clarity to problems. It’s okay to leave a project to come back to it at a later time (or not at all). Take the time to rest, rejuvenate, and explore something new.

  1. Try A Different Art Form

I’ve found that the rut is not always all-encompassing – sometimes when I’m blocked with writing, painting or drawing really helps to make me feel like I’m still being productive. It has also helped me to find new ways to incorporate different kinds of arts together.

  1. Get Active

Being active can be the best recharge for your mind. Fresh air and a change in scenery can conjure up solutions.

  1. Don’t Worry About Being Perfect

It doesn’t matter if you’re a bad creator, as long as you’re still creating. Not all of your work has to be shared or even seen by anyone but yourself. Allow yourself the freedom to make a mess! Know that if you continue practicing, you will get better and can look back on these pieces as stepping stones that helped you improve.

  1. Don’t Wait to Create

Inspiration can be fleeting – jump with it. Use discretion, of course, but try to follow your inspiration when it passes by.

  1. Revisit Old Work

Try to re-create your older pieces, and I mean, your oldest pieces. You’ve already done the hardest part of creating it. Now just use a different style, draw focus to another section, or attempt to just make it better.

  1. Track and Re-Evaluate your Goals

It’s possible that goals can change over time. Consistently check in with yourself: What is it that you want? Where do you want to be? What are you doing to make that happen? Then do it.

2 thoughts on “Sixteen Ways to Banish the Dreaded Creative Rut

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