It’s happened to the best of us. From Charles Bukowski to Picasso. Every creative bone in your body has turned to mush. You get the sudden urge to get rid of every piece of writing and drawing equipment you own and find a new passion.
Writer’s block. Even the words make us feel queasy. And you don’t even have to be a writer to feel it. In fact every creative, whether you’re an illustrator, designer, poet, artist or other, has probably felt it. But fear not, with a few simple tricks and hacks, you can be back on the ball in no time.
So, without further ado, here are our 10 tips to help you combat the dreaded creative block.
Get everything in your mind down on paper. Abandon all rules. Just sit down with a pen and your favourite notebook and write down everything you think of- whether that’s tomorrow’s shopping list, or how cute your dog looks when he sleeps, get it all down! Forget about punctuation and spelling, it doesn’t belong here. Write until your head feels empty, and then do it again tomorrow.
Do anything else creative
Step away from the thing you’re stuck on but don’t wander towards the TV! A good thing to use is a creative journal that gives you prompts and ideas to exercise the mind and keep those creative juices flowing. Our Creative Spark journal lets you doodle, illustrate, colour and tear to your heart’s content.
This one is vital. That phone buzzing in the background or the dirty plate sitting on your desk can ruin your writing/drawing flow and crush your train of thought. Turn off your phone, clean up your desk, unplug the internet and dedicate 30 minutes to writing or drawing. Whether this is freewriting, doodling whatever you please, or planning something fun, do it.
Move your body
Dance, flail, run or do yoga. When your body is feeling the flow, your mind does too. A clear and relaxed mind is more imaginative and open to new ideas. When your body is in a peaceful state, it’s so much easier to focus on the task at hand. When creative things become stressful- step away and have a boogie.
Pictured: My Yoga Companion Journal
Schedule time to write or draw
Finding time to do something either a passion or a side project is hard, and when you have a mental block about doing it, it begins to feel like a chore. Carve out time in your schedule for creativeness, at least an hour a day. A good way to do this is to buy a diary or planner that will help you organise your day and also stick to it.
Write or draw early in the morning
Fun fact! When you first wake up in the morning, your brain is in Theta mode which is the brainwave pattern your mind is in when you dream. (Don’t worry, that’s all the science stuff we’ll cover). So this means, when you wake up in the morning, your mind is freshest with ideas. The perfect time to get creative!
Write or draw late at night
Contrasting information, we know. Your mind is always problem-solving, even when you’re fast asleep. Write or draw 15-20 minutes before you go to sleep, even if it’s non-related to your topic. Then, when you’re falling asleep, think about your story, drawing, or ideas- plan gentle steps towards achieving your creative goal. The next morning, you usually wake up with a clearer perspective and slowly begin to get back into the flow.
Leave the pressure at the front door
You’ll never get anything done if you pressure yourself into doing it. Getting a creative block is natural and you’ve got to give yourself time to see it through. Don’t throw in the towel.
Creating is fun. You’ve got a world at your fingertips and though that might seem like a big responsibility, it’s not. Aim only to please yourself. Write about a purple giraffe that’s scared of heights or draw a submarine that really wants to be an aeroplane. Write constantly, draw constantly; create. Have fun.
We hoped these tips have been helpful. If you find yourself beating the block (Go you!), check out our notebooks and pens to keep those thoughts flowing! Or, if you want to read more, we’ve got some ideas to help you switch off or activities to keep you calm.