What is Creative Block?
You might refer to it as a barrier or a wall that gets in your way during your creative process. Others know it as a writer’s block or a creative rut. Regardless of what you prefer to call it, a creative block is simply the inability to access your own creativity–whether it be in terms of days, or even months. By definition, a writer’s block–similar to a creative block, is losing the ability to produce new work or to experience a creative slowdown. Many creatives, artists, and musicians have had stalled moments of creativity at some point in their careers.
It’s also very common to experience creative blocks when we’re going through difficult personal issues. A creative block can be triggered by depression, trauma, anxiety, or the death of a loved one. Self-doubt, rejection, and criticism might also be reasons for a creative rut.Staring at random sentences can force your mind to connect disparate bits of information. This is a great way to jump-start your thinking and to break creative blocks. Click To Tweet
With this in mind, everyone goes through creative blocks at least once in their life. It’s that moment where you have a blank canvas for hours past. Or when you keep staring at your computer screen and your design doesn’t go past a black line. For writers, these blocks can even last months! But everyone is different, and hence the ways to overcome such blocks will vary from person to person. Regardless, there are some excellent practices that just might work for all of us!
Breakthrough! and Spark your Imagination
In the book Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination there are at least 90 tips for overcoming a creative block. This book is a lively compilation of strategies for combating such blocks. It’s also super easy to read and great for taking notes! You will find tips offered by graphic designers, cartoonists, photographers, musicians, writers, and other creative professionals. And because all the creative blocks are different, you will find many different solutions. The tips mentioned below are excerpts taken from some of the compilations found in this excellent book.
9 Creative Block Breakers from Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination
- Stare at a random sentence. Open a book and stare at a random sentence. By forcing your mind to connect to disparate bits of information, you’ll jump-start your thinking, and you’ll fill in blank after blank with thought, after thought. – Jessica Hagy, Writer
- Do the simple things. When I experience a creative block, I take long showers and clean my surroundings. If these don’t work, I go for a bike ride. – Ji Lee, Creative Director of Facebook
- Take notes constantly. Save interesting thoughts, quotations, films, technologies. The medium doesn’t matter, so long as it inspires you. – Aaron Koblin, Digital-media Artist
- Show up…again! Maybe it just takes showing up. Going back again and again to write, or paint, or sing, or cook. – Jamie Lidell, Musician
- Reboot. I eventually realized that when the block hits, I just need to calm down and try to restart my mind. A reboot, so to speak. – Chaz Russo, Graphic Designer
- Make a lot of mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn, the more you grow, and the more you evolve as an artist and person. – Tim Navis, Photographer
- Keep at it until you strike your own gold. I find putting yourself in workhorse mode–simply just keeping at it until you strike your own gold–can be the most rewarding way out of a creative rut. – Chuck Anderson, Artist
- Cambia de chip! A Spanish expression that translates to “change chip”, and it offers a fresh start, a new perspective, or a change in your way of thinking or state of mind. – Astrid Stavro, Graphic Designer
- Learn. Learning can be a great way to generate new ideas and to make sure you don’t overuse old ones. – Deru, Musician
We encourage you to never give up, and to keep bringing in some inspiration! Being inspired by others is also a great way to overcome a non-desirable creative rut. Here at Musa Creativa Magazine, we absolutely love all the inspiration we were able to get from this amazing book. We hope these tips shed some light for you, as they did for us.