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Working creatively under any field can be taxing for a person. Authors, artists, musicians and dancers all suffer through some of the same difficulties, one of the most common being ‘blocked’. Authors suffer from writer’s block so often and it gets difficult to get out of the same routine imagination you are stuck in. The same goes for artists, imagination is the most powerful tool and yet sometimes that fails to work and it’s blocked. A creative block can be frustrating and infuriating and feel helpless but that is probably what brought you here. There is nothing to specifically get through a creative block but here are some ways to help you.
Trying to change things up in terms of your surroundings, your routine and your work can help you enhance your creativity. With lockdowns and quarantines, changing something majorly seems unachievable but just trying a different format or finding a new subject or medium to try can help you open up and get through your creative block. Let your subconscious take over and keep taking notes whenever anything inspires you be it mid-sleep. If you always carry a notebook or just your notes app you might find something that you’ve been looking for least when you expect it.
When you speak to people with similar problems, it tends to help you not only feel heard and validated but may also expose you to new ideas. Broadening your network and speaking to other artists can stimulate your imagination and get you through your own problems. This is the whole basis behind support groups, and to get through your creative block you can apply the same reasoning. Knowing you are not alone can just simply help you feel it is okay and stop pressuring yourself, you may also find some talented people in your community to connect with.
Spending time in a new environment is bound to open your mind and feed your creativity so just get out for a walk, a coffee or just a breath of fresh air. You don’t need something special but anything can inspire you or spark some new idea that you can run with. Any change in your surroundings will make you feel better and help your art.
Doing anything small like drawing, painting or writing can get you into the flow of being creative. If you start a simple creative task that you set for yourself like sketching a bowl of fruit, then it can help you get to a point of open imagination. Research done at Harvard shows that people who ‘experience’ flow report higher levels of productivity, happiness and especially creativity. Also breaking any project down into small sizable bits is helpful and can get you into the flow. Like writing a book may seem daunting, but a chapter seems manageable. Same goes with any artwork, focusing on small steps without freaking yourself out can help get you to the end result with a huge task at hand.
There’s a popular way of breaking your pattern and opening your mind: doing a basic task. They say that by doing a simple task like washing dishes or cleaning your room you keep your hands busy but your mind is resting and is free to imagine and think about the more important things. This is known to improve your mental faculties and increase your productivity.
When you are an artist, a creative block comes with it. Instead of constantly fighting it and trying to force yourself to overcome it, you can instead embrace it. When you stop fighting it and you realize that soon enough you will come through it is when you can use the time to actually relax and not put pressure on yourself. You shouldn’t be afraid to fail and instead allow failure because you’re human. Creative work is always going to be a project, a work in progress and instead of pushing to reach the end, you should embrace the ups and downs that will get you there. It is always a mountain to get past and you need to take it one step at a time, and allow yourself to fall every once in a while.
The most important thing with a creative block is finding what works for you and just starting. If you wait around for the ‘right’ inspiration then that may never come around but just jumping right back in will lead you somewhere. It may not be perfect but it will be something that will get you started. Finally, be kind to yourself and what you love to do. You create things and it is because you’re passionate about it so instead of putting pressure focus on what you love and keep trying.