Experiencing any kind of creative block is not fun. It can make you feel stuck, alone and create space for lies to creep in and take hold of your mind. I’m giving you 7 tips for easy exercises to try when you are needing to break through a creative block or even if you are just looking to feel more inspired.
Creative block does not just happen to “creatives”. We are designed to be creative beings and the lack of inspiration can strike anyone! This could look like feeling uninspired, feeling low, having a bad day or a day where you feel like you can't get anything done. Any of these tips I’m sharing will help you break out of the funk that you might find yourself in and help you push through towards finding inspiration.
The first step to break a creative block is to recognize that this is inevitable. At some point, you are probably going to experience this feeling. And it might even be hard to recognize at first. BUT, you must understand that your brain is so powerful!! Once you realize what is happening and that you are in a creative rut or feeling uninspired, you can start to take action towards changing that reality.
These are some of my favorite things to try when I am feeling uninspired or like I’m having a creative block. These might not work for everyone and you might only need one of them! But I suggest allowing your brain to use the power it is capable of and literally count to 3 OUT LOUD and then just do something! Start with one of these:
1. Go for a walk.
Getting outside can instantly change your mood. There is SO MUCH inspiration outside. You might just need to force yourself to take a new look at your surroundings or maybe even different surroundings.
Take this time to pay attention to things you pass by all the time and never notice. Allow yourself the space to listen and see things that you would normally ignore.
I love journaling! A lot of my journaling happens in my quiet time with Jesus in the mornings. But I also use this to help me work through any stuck feelings that I might not be able to say out loud or put words to yet.
A journal is a safe place to let your mind wander and have no opinions or judgments. You can start with song lyrics, prompts, your own thoughts, or prayers and just see where it takes you.
If you are looking for great journal prompts, Elizabeth McCravy has some great ones to check out here!
3. Listen to music.
Music can be so inspiring. I would encourage you to be very strategic with this tip because music has the ability to influence, which we want to be able to break creative blocks or find inspiration.
But if you choose music that takes you deeper into the stuck feelings, you might find that it didn’t actually do any good at all.
I like to turn on worship music and close my eyes and just be still for a few minutes. Sometimes when I’m needing to be in a more “fun” mood (which isn’t my natural state of being) I will turn on something more upbeat and easy to sing along and dance to!
4. Break your routine.
I’m all about a good routine. It is critical in our house! But sometimes when I’m trying to pull myself out of a creative slump, I will go work in a coffee shop instead of my office or even in my guest room. This helps just to change the scenery.
I also will try a new or different medium than what I am currently working with. When I am working on a digital project that I feel really stuck with, I will pull out physical supplies like pen and paper or paints and force myself to flex different creative muscles.
This helps to keep your brain working but makes it think in a different way that allows it to have a little more freedom. Especially if your new medium is just for fun. Taking the pressure off helps bring new life and inspiration to whatever you are doing.
This isn’t just for creatives! Maybe that looks like switching tasks or starting with something different. Maybe you end your day differently than you usually do. Changing things up can help just your brain back into action mode and out of complacency mode.
I love a good brainstorm, but honestly, I’m not really good at it. If I really try though, it does the job. There are many different kinds of brainstorm you can try to break a creative block. Here are my favs:
Get out a piece of paper and literally draw out a mind map using word association. Start with one word. Look around you write down an object or idea if you are having trouble with a starting place. Then you write the next thing that comes to mind when you think of that word, and so on.
Create a collection
This is similar to word mapping but with visuals. I like to start with a small color pallet and/or a single element. You could start with a theme if you have one. I create 9 squares and design different patterns or graphics that can all fit in a series. This forces me to stretch my brain in different directions while keeping certain limitations.
Oftentimes, my brain ends up thinking outside of those limitations and I come up with new ideas and fresh inspiration. This is a great way to break creative slumps by creating several pieces of work out of the same criteria.
Your brain and body will thank you later for this! Exercise allows your brain to release “happy hormones” which can help put your mind in a better headspace to feel more inspired and excited to create or take on your day!
7. Take a drive with no direction.
When I was a freshman in college, I had a professor tell me that the best thing I could do for myself as I was learning a new city was to get in the car and drive around and try to find my way home with no map.
This exercise is fun if you allow it to be and forces your brain to work in different ways. It may not feel the same if you have lived in the same place for a long time.
If you drive around with no specific direction you might start to notice things that you have drive by a million times and never actually paid attention to and you'll see things in a different light when you have no plans or obligations blocking your way.
Try these out! Maybe even just one of them and see if you find new life and inspiration to fuel you. I hope these tips help you to break creative block out of your day! If you try any of these and love them, let me know! Tag me on Instagram or send me a message letting me know what you tried that worked for you.