5 ways to get out of a creative slump

Someone asked in my Facebook group recently how you get out of a creative slump.

We’ve all been there, right? Staring at a blank page, thinking about anything other than the thing you are actually meant to be working on. The words won’t come. Everything you write feels just… bad.

So how do you get out of it? Here are a few things you could try to clear your head and get creative.

1) Allow yourself to take a break and switch off completely.

This is the one I struggle with the absolute most, but it’s also the most effective. So – even if it’s taking an hour off without a screen during the middle of the day, it gives your brain a bit of a shake!

Go for a walk. Listen to a podcast that is totally separate from your work. Exercise. Sit down and read a book that has nothing to do with work.

For a lot of people who work for themselves, leisure has kind of turned into sort-of-work. So, I love being on Instagram, but I also use it to promote my business. So – it’s not really ‘downtime’. I have a whole load of podcasts I love, but many of them are business related. Also, sort-of-work.

Finding time to do something that is not business related in any way is so essential to recharge.

2) Do something completely different.

If you aren’t sure WHAT to do with to switch off, try doing something completely different.

There are loads of online classes (even more during the lockdown, which we are currently experiencing as I write this). You could take a life drawing class online. Learn how to make a zine! Do a ballet class. There is no limit to what you can learn online these days.

Or take yourself on a field trip in your neighbourhood. So, instead of just ‘going for a walk’, take your notebook and give yourself a goal, like you would with a kid and you wanted some kind of purpose to your trip to the park. Can you collect 10 varities of leaf? Can you sketch out the places you pass by every day?

Just do someting different that is unrelated to your work and which gets your brain doing something different.

3) Journal it out.

There is a lot of evidence out there for the power of journalling. I am a big fan.

There are lots of guided journalling prompts out there, so a quick Pinterest search will help you out if you’re stuck, but writing 3-4 pages in my journal, beyond the point where I think ‘I don’t know what else to write about’ is ALWAYS worth doing.

I’ve also recently started reading The Artists’ Way, after the publisher sent me this beautiful edition of it, and I’ve restarted Morning Pages.

Sometimes, what I write is silly and mundane. It doesn’t matter. It gets stuff out of my brain. And sometimes I come up with brilliant ideas, so it’s 100% worth doing!

4) Keep a ‘wins’ document.

Mine is a trello board. Every time I book a client, sell a course, get feedback – it all goes on there.

It’s SO NICE to read through when I’m having a crappy day or feeling unmotivated. Just remembering that actually, I do know what I’m talking about, can really help me get going again.

5) Just start doing the thing.

Often, being unmotivated can show up like procrastination.

We’re feeling uncreative, so we just stop doing the thing and do something else instead (like one of the many ‘change your state of mind’ exercises I shared above!).

But what happens when you have done all of those things, and you come back to your work and you still really can’t face doing it.

Well, either you decide that it’s not worth doing OR you just sit down and start getting it done.

Set a timer for 20 minutes and just do the thing. It might be absolutely shit. But a page with something on it is often a better starting point than a page with nothing on it. And after the 20 minutes, go away, take a break and come back for another 20 minutes.

Hopefully, by the time the timer goes off, you’ll be in flow. If not, go away, come back and repeat the exercise.

What are the things you do to get going again when you’ve lost your creative mojo?

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Getting out of a creative slump

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