Stuck in a Rut? 10 Ways to Revive Your Creativity!
From time to time we all get that feeling that we’re stuck in the same old rut, going round and round and essentially getting nowhere. Instead of letting this get you down, try one of these suggestions to get you back on track to being productive:
1. Take a break. If you’re working too hard, or trying to force the creativity to flow, you can get that trapped feeling. Don’t let that happen. Walk away, read a book, go to a movie, or take a nap. If your mind is relaxed, the creativity will follow.
2. Volunteer. For some reason, the act of doing something for the good of doing it, instead of for the sake of profit, often opens your mind to a new way of thinking. Contact a local church, school, or other organization and see if you can help them in any way. It doesn’t have to be hugely time consuming, nor do you have to invest a great deal of your resources. Just ask what you can do to help one day. You may be surprised to see how fresh your work feels when you get back to it.
3. Enroll in a class. Perhaps you want to take a class on something already in your area of expertise, or maybe you want to try something you’ve never done before. Regardless, any form of instruction will allow you to relinquish control long enough to give your own creativity a break.
4. Ask for help. When you just can’t think of what you want to make next, or the best way to proceed at a given time, why not ask your fellow artisans? Try setting up a poll on your blog, or asking on twitter for advice. Survey those around you and see what they think. You may be amazed to hear what others have to say about your current dilemma.
5. Give yourself permission to be adventurous. Too often we get it stuck in our heads that we have to run our businesses a certain way to be successful. Take a day and give yourself the ok to try something new and totally different. It’s ok if it doesn’t work, and it’s ok if it feels silly. Just try it. Breaking the habitual process goes a long way to reenergizing your creative juices.
6. Enlist the help of a child. This may seem silly, but one of my favorite things to do when I get stuck is to color. Something about sitting down with a kid, a coloring book, and a box of crayons helps me to remember that once upon a time someone thought we were all creative enough to be artists. It triggers that little voice in my head that reminds me it’s ok to color outside the lines. Take a day and do something artistic with a child, and you may be shocked to find it reawakens the creative child in you.
7. Go somewhere new. You don’t have to cross the country for great inspiration. Maybe you just need to go to a local park, or window shop in a store you’ve never been in. Whatever the case, broaden your horizons and go gather some new eye candy. It helps to take a camera or a notepad with you, so you can capture any bursts of inspiration you come across.
8. Consult your mentor. By now, you should have a mentor you go to in times of need. Try talking to him or her and see what suggestions are given. If you need help finding a mentor, try reading this article: Getting Advice From a Friend: Finding Your Mentor.
9. Shake things up. Do the opposite of what you would normally do. Whether you realize it or not, most of us have a “creative schedule” we all function on. Try thinking differently for a day or two and see what happens. If you’re a morning creator, try working at night. If you usually don’t listen to music while you work, try throwing on a favorite CD the next time you sit down to create. The more you can shake up your routine, the more success you will have at shaking up your creativity.
10. Take the “grab bag” approach. One of my favorite things to do when I just can’t seem to come up with any new ideas is to walk into my craft room, close my eyes, and grab three or four supplies at random. Don’t think about what you’re grabbing, and don’t try to make them make sense. Just grab. Take those random supplies and see what you can come up with if you put them together. You may not be able to make anything more than a mess, but trying such a “puzzle solving” approach will get your brain thinking outside the box again.