If you haven’t already, why don’t you listen to my podcast episode which introduces this topic in more of a snapshot? If you already have, brill, thank you! Here I will be going a bit deeper and giving you an actionable plan/ideas to get you going with your creative juices again!
Questions to ask yourself (can journal on these)
Are you too close to your story or project? Do you need an outsider’s perspective or some distance from it in order to better understand what needs to be done?
What do you spend most of your time doing? How might this be affecting your creative process?
What do you spend most of your time thinking about? Is it positive or negative? Helpful or unhelpful? Related or not?
Do you enjoy the idea of a project more than the project itself? Was the planning and thinking more fun than the doing? Be honest!
Do you compare your work to other people’s, holding up the measuring stick and surveying your worth from there?
Why did you want to write (paint, act, photography, etc.) this in the first place? What was the original inspiration for it?
What would happen or what would it feel like if this piece of art never made it out into the world?
Conversely, what would it feel like if someone else put it out into the world instead?
What element of your project is most exciting to you? What element is the least exciting?
Have you been putting pressure on yourself that doesn’t need to be there? A standard to reach? An unnecessary deadline?
What can you actively DO to change the feeling?
You can’t sit and stare at a project or a blank page hoping something with fix itself and inspiration will hit. There can be many reasons why you are struggling to create right now:
- You’re exhausted
- You’re working on something that doesn’t excite you
- You’re hungry, tired, dehydrated, ill
- You’re stressed or distracted by other things in your life right now
- You’re confused because you’re watching, reading, or looking at too much of other people’s work
- Your environment is noisy, messy, stinky, cluttered, or other
- You’re doing the project for all the wrong reasons, none of which are a good enough motivator for you
- You’re burnt out
- You’re pretending to be someone you’re not instead of doing things your own way
And so, here are some things that could help you to reconnect with the artist within and get you creating again with less restriction:
Get off social media
Taking a break from things like social media is an excellent way to reconnect with yourself. Your art is a part of you. It’s home is inside your spirit. Therefore, if you are not feeling connected to yourself, you won’t feel connected to your art.
Take a step away from things are are distracted and mindless activities. Things that aren’t innately good for your spirit.
Stop consuming other artwork
Stop comparing yourself to other artists! Take a break from consuming their work right now because it might be affecting you in ways you don’t yet realise. Comparison can happen without us being consciously aware of it. We can be reading a great book and unknowingly be comparing it to our own work and feeling like you will never stack up.
It’s good to get tips and advice from other artists. It’s good to consume other work and see what you like and what inspires you. But we need to know when it’s too much.
Work on something else
Work on a random other project instead right now. You may need a break away from the one you’re currently working on. It doesn’t mean you’ve given up. This other project isn’t wasted time. It’s a means of unsticking yourself by giving yourself some distance.
This will either make your realise why your other project isn’t working. Or it will provide that space where you come back excited to get going again. Or it will excite you so much that you write that new project to completion instead. Either way, you’re creating something, so what’s the issue?
Take a break with an end date
Alternatively, take a break from creating anything at all. I would put this last, because it can be hard to do this/you could get stuck if not careful. That’s why I said, “with an end date!” Don’t drift and never create anything ever again. Give yourself the weekend off. Or a week off. But treat it as a self-care, restorative break. Or a connect with myself and my art, break. Make it intentional and actionable and purposeful!
Fix your space
This can be your physical or mental space. The questions above should help you with your spiritual, mental, and emotional space. Clearing out the clutter of your mind and inner world. However, fixing your physical space can do wonders for your creativity, too.
Get your energy up
Lastly, take time to get your energy up again. It might be that you’re running low on energy and forcing yourself to use up mental energy that just isn’t there. Getting your energy back can mean sleep and diet or it could mean actively and socialising. You will need to know for yourself what is lacking in your life.
- How have you been eating lately?
- Have you been getting enough sleep?
- Who have you been spending most of your time with and how do they make you feel?
- Have you moved your body actively today?
- Have you walked enough today?
- Have you drank enough water?
- Have you stretched enough today (every hour)?
- Have you had any fun lately? Done something freeing and silly and engaging just for the sake of it?
Good luck! I hope you and I both feel more creatively free soon. Happy creating!