What to do when creativity eludes you

Like most creative people sometimes creativity eludes me. At times it’s right by my side begging me to write, paint, or go out shooting with my camera. When creativity is around I can’t get the ideas down fast enough, the paints to blend quickly enough, or the ISO set fast enough. It’s as if it knows it won’t be around that long so it has to throw all the ideas at me at once.

Creativity

Inevitably creativity (like the fickle friend it is) will leave me again and make me feel stuck. Anyone who has felt the void of creativity knows what I’m talking about. You feel empty, defeated, and like a shell of your former self. It’s a horrible feeling.

Sometimes I wait patiently for it to come back saying to myself, “any day now, any day now…” and other times I will it to come back to me by any means necessary. Here are some of my tried-and-true methods for getting my creativity back:

  • Take a walk. Sometimes you have to physically walk away from whatever creative project is frustrating you. Take a walk around your neighborhood to get some distance and clear your head.
  • Give yourself a different creative task. If I’m frustrated with one form of creativity i.e. writing, I will do something else like playing with my camera. This way I still feel like I’m doing something creative, and I’m getting my mind off my writing.

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  • Wait it out. This doesn’t always work, but sometimes it helps to sit in the same spot without any distractions until my creativity is flowing freely again.
  • Have a dance party. Crank the awesomely bad music you have on your Spotify or Pandora playlist, and dance around your apartment. It helps to let loose and remember not to take yourself so seriously.
  • Become a yogi. I can be pretty inconsistent with my yoga practice, but when I am doing it regularly I feel so much better and more creative. By focusing on your body’s movements and breath you allow your ideas to flow freely again.

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  • Talk through it with someone. Luckily for me I have a few creative friends who know exactly what it feels like to have creativity elude them, too. Talking it through with someone who gets it can help shed light on something you hadn’t considered—like maybe your frustration with creativity stems from the idea that everything you create has to be perfect.

Bottom line: Creativity is a fickle friend and it will sometimes abandon you, but there are ways to bring it back and have it flow freely again. It’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.

How do you get your creativity back? What are some of your tried-and-true methods?

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