I sat down in front of my laptop for more than five hours with a blank screen. Whatever I typed was backspaced immediately because it wasn’t ‘good enough’ or didn’t match my expectations or I don’t know it didn’t feel like my best work.
This doesn’t always happen to the writer per se, it happens to everyone who is in a creative field such as art, music, writing, dance, and other creative fields. Though it is difficult to overcome a creative block however when you become aware of when, how and why a creative block develops, it can help you to get past the creative block and prevent it from returning.
As amazing it is to work in a creative industry, it can be quite a tedious task to stay enthusiastic and inspired all the time. While curating content, it can be difficult to produce the best content when faced with a creative block.
Creative block a.k.a barriers to inspiration is described as the inability to access one’s internal creativity.
Those in the creative profession are most likely to experience creative blocks which can last for days, weeks, or even months, for that matter.
When creative blocks surface, it affects work, performance, well-being and even mental health of professionals.
Even though it can be frustrating for creative professionals to work through a creative block, it is potentially career-damaging. When your creativity pays your bills and builds your reputation, you just can’t afford to be short of ideas or the energy to put them into action.
Causes of Creative Blocks
Creative block can be a consequence to be a number of reasons.
- Your inner critic (often results to be useful in the process of completing work or develop one’s role in society) can sometimes dominate certain aspects of behavior or feelings. The self-critique can be overcome through mindfulness meditation that acknowledges the internal critic but neglects it.
- There might be fear that your work ideas will not be appreciated or hold back out of fear of rejection or failure. Fear of the unknown can also be a factor in the development of creative ideas.
- There are theorists who have suggested a biological theory behind the development of such creative blocks.
- The other possible reasons for a creative block are –
- The death of a loved one or the end of a relationship
- A lack of monetary support
- The exhaustion of all creative energy after a fully-immersed period of creativity
- Self-doubt, concerning both talent and ability
- Recurred rejection of your work
- Anxiety regarding the consequence of a task
- Want for fulfillment
- Dependency on substances
- The beginning of a medical condition
- Abrupt loss of meaning and purpose in your work
- Negative self-talk
Impact of Creative Blocks on Your Mind
- A creative block is mostly a temporary condition but when your life relies on creative construction to make a living, even a short-lived block may be a consequence of anxiety, doubt, and fear.
- There are creators who may end up doubting their ability to create in future and might end up in distress.
- The creative block may also be a consequence of depression and feelings of worthlessness.
- Above all, facing such a block can lead to the development of self-doubt and have an extreme impact on self-esteem.
7 Ways to Overcome Creative Block
All kinds of creative blocks are unequal. There are all kinds of solutions to creative block, which, you don’t forget easily when you’re feeling stuck. Here are a few solutions which might as well work the best for you.
- Tap into Your Subconscious
There have been times when I have got the best of ideas in a semi-sleep state when my sub-conscious took over. If that happens with you, ensure that you get up then and write down whatever comes in your mind.
Don’t trust your memory with it. You’ll hate yourself for doing that, take my word for it.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Step Back
When you have completely open briefs, it can be the worst for causing a creative block. You must take a step back and try to distance yourself from the task. Sometimes all you need is a clear mind and then you may be able to overcome the creative block.
- Never Rethread Your Steps
You must know that your inspiration is intangible. Nothing can be done on purpose. If you keep on focusing to produce your best of projects in the past, you will never get the same result.
You need to stop making your past projects, the central focus and your centre of attention must be the latest project.
- Look in Unlikely Spaces
You never know where you’ll find inspiration. Whenever you feel stuck, you must go and do something else entirely. At least, that’s what I do. I start to watch Movies or begin to paint. You’d be amazed from where new ideas will pop out. The best ideas lie where you would least expect them to be.
- Go Against the Flow
You got to try and approach every brief with the opposite of what everyone else would do. It is not necessary that this is the direction you might choose in the end, however, it can help you to avoid cliché scenarios.
- Grab Some ‘Me time’
When you work on multiple projects at the same time, it can stifle your creativity. When you feel burned out, you must take a couple of days to yourself and turn everything off.
This is really essential to refresh your mind and gives your mind a much-required inner peace. Make sure that you keep your mind off work and binge on those pending TV series or those books which you’ve planned to see or read.
- Sleep on it When You Can
This truly is the most effective and something I do the most.
Try and not to think and complete everything on the same day. You will tend to sort the good from bad and occasionally, come up with out-of-the-box things overnight.
Don’t hang on to anything. Work till you get the best of results.
Stay Creative and be open to anything and everything.