No matter who you are, as a creative person you will always find yourself running out of ideas. A lot of times, we think we’ve lost our creativity. It can be frustrating, anxiety-inducing, and emotionally difficult to try and force yourself to create when you simply can’t come up with anything.
Things get much worse when it is your job to be creative. It’s one thing to not be able to create as a hobby, but when your livelihood is on the line things are much worse. But don’t worry! These methods should help you get those creative juices flowing in no time at all.
Ways to Get Creative Energy Flowing Again
- Relax – First and foremost you MUST relax. Tensing up and constantly beating your head against the wall won’t help at all when it comes to creating. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and take a few minutes to clear your mind. Don’t let the pressure to create kill your love for it.
- GO OUTSIDE- This is a big one that I see amongst a lot of artists. Many times, artists spend so much time inside working on their craft that they forget to go out and get some life experience. It is important to expand your horizons and enjoy the world around you. Most people’s ideas come from just interacting with others or doing tasks outside of art.
- Talk to People – This is another thing I see people often avoid. Creatives often feel uneasy and insecure about discussing their creative process and ideas with other people. I understand how difficult it is, but it is vital for your life as an artist. Talk to friends, communicate with fellow creatives, join workshops, ask for critiques. Sometimes, just having someone to listen to your ideas or your gripes about your art process is enough to get those creative ideas flowing again since you don’t worry so much about what people may think.
- Accept Failure- When you think that you MUST create something amazing the moment your pencil hits the paper (or stylus hits the tablet) it’s easy to start doubting yourself. Ruin a few sheets of paper. Doodle on a few layers. Focus on creating anything and not creating something good. You will be surprised how ideas start to flow after you spend a few minutes creating with zero expectations.
- Practice and Study – This may be the most difficult for people to do, but it is also vital, especially if creating is your profession. No matter how much you love to create, there will be times when you just get stuck. Practicing and studying helps you internalize and strengthen your skills. Not only will you still improve as an artist, but when you do get that spark back you may find yourself being able to create things even better than before. When you feel like you can’t create something from your imagination, it is a good time to go out and study the fundamentals of your craft. For an artist, consider spending some time studying Anatomy, Perspective, Composition, etc.
Suggestions to Get Back Your Creative Flow
While the above suggestions are things that I do get back my creativity, there are tons of other methods people have found all over. I’ve decided to list a few that I think would be helpful.
Challenge Yourself – Sometimes, we avoid the weaker areas in our life. It’s easy to stay within a certain comfort zone. A good way to spark some creativity is to challenge yourself. The sense of accomplishment you feel from rising to the challenge is a good way to get that creativity back.
Exercise – When it comes to a lot of creative projects, it’s easy to get glued to your chair and nearly never move. Unfortunately, this can be bad for your health and hurts creativity. I mentioned going outside before, but exercise is pretty important when you’re stuck creatively. Going on a light jog or just a nice walk each day can help clear your mind, help you relax, and as a bonus you build stamina to create more for longer periods of time.
Meditate and Yoga – This goes along with exercise, but it is a bit different. Both acts are more about clearing your mind and focusing on something else besides the need to create. Just a few minutes of yoga or a light meditation session a day can do a lot to help you clear your head and figure out what to do next creatively.
Try a New Medium – If you are a writer, try writing by hand instead of your computer. If you’re an artist, give traditional art a try instead of digital or work with watercolors, charcoal, acrylics, oil paints. Exploring a new medium in your craft broadens your horizons in a tremendous way.
Exploring new mediums may even allow you to improve in areas you were weaker at before and apply it to your other creative projects. While it is difficult to jump into something new (especially if you may not be good at it), I can’t stress enough how positive of an experience it can be.
Play Video Games – Okay, I never even considered this a thing you could do to improve creativity, but it really is! I can’t tell you how many times sitting down and playing a video game helped spark some new creative ideas. Whether it was fanart for a favorite character of mine or an entirely new story based on it, video games can be a huge spark of inspiration when you feel your creativity lacking. (They are also pretty fun!)
Podcasts to Help Get Creative Energy Flowing
When it comes to creating, there is a lot of time you spend in silence and while that can be enjoyable, it can also hurt when you’re lacking in creativity. One of the best ways to keep those creative juices flowing is by listening to creative podcasts. Below are a few awesome creative podcasts to help you while you’re creating or inspire you to make something new.
- 99% Invisible – This is a great podcast because it mentions things you probably don’t often think about. The 99% Invisible podcast asks questions that are rarely brought up, such as why did inflatable men show up at car lots or where did the fortune cookie come from. Looking into such random questions man spark something in you or help you to explore a subject you don’t often think about.
- NADDPod – Not Another DnD Podcast is great to get your creative mind running. If you aren’t a fan of dungeons and dragons, that doesn’t matter. Listening to a podcast where people improve, make jokes about each other and enjoy a fantasy world as completely different characters is highly enjoyable and oftentimes helps people create their own worlds. If you need something to listen to that gets you thinking about fantasy in a new way, check this out.
- The Unmistakable Creative – You’re never alone in your journey to be a successful creative. The Unmistakable Creative is a podcast that features the lives of all sorts of people, entrepreneurs, psychologists, researchers, artists, and authors. Through storytelling, the podcast shows you the worlds of different people and it uses creativity and diversity to bring people together.
- Magic Lessons – Magic Lessons, hosted by Elizabeth Gilbert of “Eat, Pray, Love” fame, is a podcast where Gilbert talks to a creative who is dealing with an obstacle. She gives kind and practical advice for overcoming the obstacle and helping people embrace their inner creativity.
- The Accidental Creative – Created by Todd Henry, this podcast follows the same guidelines of his books by helping you to be the best creative you can be. The episodes are only around 10 to 20 minutes long and they cover a long list of interesting topics. When you need a quick shot of inspiration, this is the podcast to try out.
- I am sure there are tons and tons of podcasts you all listen to for creativity. Make sure to comment below and I will update the list with your suggestions!
Best Books on Creativity and Innovation
Okay, this post is getting a little long. So, for the last suggestion, I have a list of books you should check out if you really want to get your creativity back. Sometimes sitting down and reading a nice book is a good way to reinvigorate your creativity and take some time away from digital devices.
Imagine This: Creating the Work You Love by Maxine Clair – In this book, Clair encourages readers to find creative outlets that allow growth. A great book for people who feel as if they are stuck.
Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley – Tom and David, experts in their field, give strategies for accessing the creative potential in every area of your life. If you feel you don’t have time to create, this is a good book to show you how creativity is all around you.
No Mistakes by Keiko Agena – As a creative, we are always worried about making mistakes. Avoiding mistakes is a major thing that prevents many of us from creating. This book is excellent for teaching people how to turn mistakes into masterpieces.
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