We all make art. With words, music, paint, dance, design… We were born to create, made in the very image of Creator God. We were destined to see the art in life and the life in art.

But sometimes, we just get stuck in a rut. Or a fog. 

No matter who we are or what kind of work we do, we all struggle at times with creativity blocks.

Words seem scarce. Ideas feel few and far between. Songs come slowly, note by agonizing note. Designs never feel quite right. The blank screen/page/canvas refuses to surrender…

So what do you do when you’re creatively blocked? How do you get things moving again?

I think the remedy is different for everybody. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula. No quick fix. No Matrix red pill. And while it may be a good marketing strategy for the myriad of books and resources out there, sadly there are no 12 surefire steps to creative freedom.

However, there are some things that you can do to help get your creativity flowing again. It’s all about finding the right release for you.


Step away for a while
Sometimes trying to push through the blockage only makes it worse. Close the project and step away for a bit. Physically walk away from your desk. You may return with a renewed perspective and energy.

Explore other creative interests
Working on the same types of projects everyday can cause you to get into a creative rut. Explore your other creative interests — like photography, music, writing, painting — and embrace other outlets that keep you thinking about art from a different perspective.

Sensory awareness
Change up your environment. Pay attention to places, sounds, smells, sights, and tastes that make you feel energized and alive. Intentionally incorporate those into your day or work environment.

Get a good night’s sleep
We all largely underestimate the power that both rest and fatigue play in our lives. It is difficult to focus and feel inspired when you’re exhausted. Make some changes so you can start getting more sleep.

Keep learning
Seek out inspiration and knowledge. Read books. Explore design galleries. Listen to podcasts. Keeping your mind sharp will only serve to enhance your creativity.

Pay closer attention
Take time to observe life: Soak up time with friends. Eat your favorite foods. Stop rushing and actually take your time as you go about your day. You may discover new eyes to see what’s going on around you all the time. New eyes spark new ideas.


How do you deal with creative blocks?
What would you add to this list?



17 November, 2011

i battle with this big time. i once heard pete wilson talk (or maybe blog?) about the difference between being blocked and empty. i think often what feels like i'm having a blockage is really just that my tank is empty. and focusing on pushing through it, working harder, doing more to get unblocked doesn't help because what i really need to do is focus on filling back up. i need to get better at recognizing those things that fill me up -- time with friends, a good novel, corporate worship -- and choose those over just laboriously (and futilely ) working harder...

Trevor Roberts

17 November, 2011

Check out these other great posts on dealing with creative blocks: http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com/creative-blocks/

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