6/24/14

5 ways to stay creative


My day job is fairly creative.

The evening job -- writing the blog and running my handmade shop -- is very creative.

But there are days when I feel like I'm in a rut; I feel stuck. And if you are in a creative role at all, or even consider yourself a creative person, you have likely felt this way more than once. Maybe, if you're like me, the creative drought hits at least once a month.

I haven't found the magic solution -- I'll patent it once I do -- however there are a few things that I try to do to keep myself going when my creative spark feels dim.

1. walk away. // You can force and force and force yourself to come up with an idea, but usually the pressure we put on ourselves kills any creative juices we have. If you're stuck on something, walk away from it and do something you enjoy. It can even be something as light as watching TV-- just do something to get your mind on something else.

2. exercise. // I am a huge proponent of exercise because of its effects on mental health. Going for a walk, or a run, or even dancing around your kitchen can make a huge impact on your mood and your creativity. Science says it's true.

3. talk it out. // Find your people-- your friends, your coworkers, even a pet -- who is your listening board. Tell them the problem, tell them all the things that you've considered. Sometimes just even speaking words aloud can help you get to a solution. If you have some people you trust, ask them to help you brainstorm.

4. work on something else creative. // I imagine the creative brain as a muscle and maybe some parts of the muscle are weak in areas-- kind of like when you work out, you should work arms and legs. So if you're stuck on writing, try drawing for a while. If you're stuck on sewing, try cooking. Feeling creative success somewhere else can help you feel like you can be successful in the area you want to be.

and if all else fails...

5. start anyway. // Sometimes I get so crippled by the idea of a starting point. I ask myself, where do I even begin? But if I just start the process anyway, sometimes things will come to me. For example, with writing, it helps to just get words down -- even if they make no sense. Artist? Start painting. Start sewing. Just get yourself to start somewhere without any pressure attached,  even if it's not exactly the direction you want to be in.

what do you do to stay creative?

xo, erika

3 comments

  1. These are really great tips. I sometimes find myself feeling a little overwhelmed. I have huge intentions of opening my own etsy shop, selling things created by my own two hands, and I have a ton of ideas of what to make... But sitting down, creating and putting myself out there is some how stopping me from even getting started. I think it may be simple self consciousness, perhaps the fear of failing or it could just be an overwhelmed feeling from too many options.

    I will be taking your advice and hoping to pull myself out of this silly cycle!

    Gemma
    Faded Windmills

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  2. I need to keep this in mind in terms of writing, I'm in a huge rut right now.

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  3. YES!!!!! To all of this:: YES!!

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