6 Strategies to Help Overcome a Creative Block

Time to read: 3 minutes

Overcoming a Creative Block Summary:

  • Creativity is being challenged as the pandemic continues into the later parts of the year.
  • Any creative person is susceptible to a creative block.
  • Surroundings and visualization are crucial to breaking down creative blocks.

You are sitting there in front of the proverbial blank canvas. The goal set for your project – but there seems to be something in the way of you diving in headfirst. This feeling is all too familiar.

Every person, even creatives, experiences a creative block. With that, everyone is different in how they break down those blocks and spark inspiration. Many people turn to travel and get out of their usual surroundings. Even simple changes in scenery can ignite a spark in creativity. Or some have certain music for productivity they listen to when they need to tap into that part of their brain. Many turn to physical activity to get the blood pumping, which has proven benefits towards an enhanced mood and amplified thinking patterns.

Breaking Down a Creative Block

Creative blocks are often not serious and can easily be remedied. However, some instances can be more serious with some experiencing a creative block that lasts a long-time and/or is brought on by trauma or something as psychologically taxing. For example, the coronavirus pandemic. It is no secret that there is a layer of additional uncertainty and stress in the world right now. While the workforce, for the most part, is settled into a new normal, these uncertain times are the type of factors to stifle creativity. Regardless of what is causing your creative block, below are some ways to spark creativity when you are feeling stuck and in need of inspiration.

Change Your Location

Looking around and seeing the same things can get boring and redundant. Changing your environment can present you with new sounds, smells, and visuals that can potentially spark an idea. Even if you cannot go far, simply changing rooms in your house, switching chairs, turning to face the window (and more!) can be enough of a change to ignite your inspiration’s flame.

Check out our article in creating a harmonious environment while working from home.

Make a Mind Map

Mind maps are a great tool to help you organize and visualize ideas. Most, if not all, creatives do better with visuals. To create a mind map, begin by placing a main topic or question in the center or a piece of paper. From there, brainstorm all of the things related to that central idea. The goal is to do it quickly and write things down as they come to mind. It could be completely related or only a little bit – either way, you are exploring your mind and the topic, thinking of ideas that could possibly be the solution to your creative block.

Ask a Better Question

Asking better questions forces you to think past the obvious solutions, getting you to places you did not think you could reach. It is as simple as it sounds, literally, keep asking a better question until you have run out of questions and answers. For example, you are working on a creative solution that involves the beach. You could start by asking, “What do people do on the beach?” and then, from there, continuing to ask and answer questions. The process would go something like this:

What do people do on the beach? > People relax on the beach. Why do people relax on the beach? > Because they want to take a break from the stressors of life. What stressors do they want a break from? > Work and chores – and so on and so forth.

Although you might hit a dead-end, this strategy is a great way to reach a unique answer to a problem and relate two obscure ideas into one cohesive solution.

Think of a Topic or Word, and Run with It

This one is an oldie but goodie. Often times with a creative block, people get so stuck trying to think of where to start and what to do, further blocking themselves. For this method, think of a random topic or word, and see where it takes you. You can even use a random word generator, like this one, to come up with a topic. From there, you can start drawing or writing words related to the topic, or you choose colors that remind you of the word. Whichever way you go about it, it is best to start somewhere because you never know where it could lead you.

Create a Mood Board

If you are struggling with what direction to go in, start by creating a mood board. Include styles, colors, or mediums pertaining to your topic or project, and add them to the board. Mood boards can be digital or physical, using real photos and magazine clippings. This will help you identify what type of art you are leaning towards and can help give you a starting point. The most obvious digital platform to start with is Pinterest. It is a great resource that allows you to create different boards so you can have endless categories of inspiration. Check out these other options for mood boards!

Step Away

If nothing else seems to be working, get up and take a break. The more you force creativity onto your project, the more frustrating it becomes when nothing new comes to mind. Take a break to do something you enjoy. Whether it be grabbing a snack, going for a walk, watching a show, or taking the night to sleep on it. And, sometimes all you need is a new set of eyes on your project. Inspiration can come at any time, so do not feel bad if you need to take a step away. 

In Conclusion

Creative block is an inevitable part of being creative. It can strike at any time, so knowing how to conquer it can help you avoid the stress that comes with feeling stuck. There are countless ways to spark creativity, but the methods above can get you started in the right direction. Just remember that creative block happens to everybody, you will get through it!

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