Everyone hits a creative wall sometimes. You find yourself staring at a blank screen, knowing that you must pull ideas and words out from within and commit them. There may even be a deadline looming, adding to your stress and potential agony.
Creativity often comes in bursts and disappears quickly. This can be very frustrating for both designers, writers, and clients. If you work in a creative field, there’s nothing more agonizing.
What is creativity? Most of us think of artistic pursuits like painting, writing or making music. But creativity is much more than that. It is a way of thinking and relating to others and the world around us, unleashing the imagination.
What are creative people? Creative people tend to be rooted in reality, but also have a sense of fantasy and playfulness. They hover between perfect introverts and perfect extroverts. They are both passionate and critical of their own work. It’s this teetering between opposites, this flexibility of being, that can lead to ideas and solutions and what we like to think of as creative thinking.
Instead of beating yourself up, you can take steps in the right direction, promoting the flow of creative juices. Your creativity can be awakened by doing something inspiring.
Calm the mind.
Sometimes it’s life’s distractions that get in our way. This is when it’s a good idea to take a walk or find a quiet spot to meditate and calm the mind. It might be worth a trip to the gym to have a workout, or attend a yoga class. Relieving physical tension can help to calm and relax the body and mind.
You can involve others by reaching out and sharing your thoughts and brainstorming ideas. Looking at work done by other designers is often just what you need to launch the solution to your design problem. Sometimes you need to immerse yourself in a topic to understand it and see what’s been done before. Stop worrying so much about originality. You can use a design as a foundation and take it in a new direction by building on it and making it your own.
Taking time out to watch a movie, or read a magazine, blog or book might give you a fresh perspective.
Doodle and sketch.
Get ideas and scribbles down onto paper, no matter how crazy they may seem at first. This is a good idea anytime. Creative people always have a notebook with them, wherever they go. Creativity can strike at any time! While out buying groceries, walking the dog, or at any time throughout your day. Be prepared to jot down any idea when it hits. Before you know it, it will disappear!
Set the stage.
Get comfortable. Love your work environment. Make it pretty. Get happy. Add inspiring music. Be with other creative people, even if this takes you out to a coffee shop.
Keep a collection of inspiring quotes, and draw from them when needed.
Exercise Your Creative Muscles
Like anything else, creativity improves the more you use it. So, exercise that muscle and try to do something creative every day. Paint, write, doodle, or just get outside and explore every day.
Sleep on it
At the end of the day, if you are not accomplishing what you want, and frustration is taking over. Stop, draw a bath, listen to some gentle music, then slide into bed and have a good night’s sleep. Sleep is vital to reset your brain and reenergize. It’s amazing how many ideas seem to pop into our heads in the middle of the night.