Getting stuck in a creative block that simply doesn’t let you compose, draw or write? Then you’re facing the most difficult obstacle in the path of any creative person. In this article, our team will guide you through some tips and tricks to overcome this!
Take a break. Seriously.
Believe me, this tip is more than common sense. It’s backed by science!
Professor Barbara Oakley, in her book A Mind For Numbers, explains that we have two ways of thinking: focused and diffused. You’ll often get better results if you actively concentrate on a task… in the short term. There’s only so much time you can spend focusing before your performance falls drastically.
This is the perfect moment to put your not-so-concentrated mind to work. “But I don’t have time to lose!” which is exactly why you should leave your focused mind resting while your diffused mind is still solving the task you need.
Take a real break by doing another unrelated task or distracting yourself altogether, this will often wield newer insights which were likely “invisible” before.
- Rest! Focus on a different task or have fun with a hobby to forget your main goal.
- Even when you’re resting, your mind is still solving the task you need.
- If you don’t rest, your performance will be much worse. Don’t waste time!
Listen to music, and more!
If you’re creating something otherworldy, such as fantasy or science fiction, immersing yourself in this different world might put your mind in the right track. Songs, especially instrumental ones, will most certainly get you in the mood. But, there’s more to this than music.
Science author Steven Johnson, in his book Where Good Ideas Come From, argues that the right environment breeds innovation. Okay, you might have a hard time getting to a medieval tavern or an intergalactic planet — but there’s the second best thing: ambiances.
You can’t look at or touch your fictional creation, but you can hear it. Composer Michaël Ghelfi completely understands this. His compositions vary from a coffee shop, to a crowded tavern, a stormy sea and even a crazy alien jungle. Whatever the place you need to be in, you can have it.
PRO TIP: Spicy things up by mixing different ambiances with each other or with songs!
- Listen to instrumental music related to your needs. How about a gothic mix for your horror story?
- The right environment breeds innovation. But, if you can’t get there, listen to ambiances!
- We composed these ambiances for you. Do you need a coffee shop, a crowded tavern, a stormy sea?
Change your environment, literally.
Perhaps you can truly change your environment.
Where did you get the time travel machine?!
If so, having a different place to work on can make a big difference. Don’t search for the perfect place, sometimes we just need a bit of change to avoid getting too comfortable — which is uncomfortable.
Get to your local coffee shop, library or park, or simply rearrange your current place to give off a different vibe. Oh, and people are part of the environment too. Form a group of friends or join our Discord community to get you unstuck!
- Rearrange your workspace to give off a different vibe. Just moving stuff around can help a ton!
- Go to a place that will put your mind on focus mode. Coffee shops, libraries, parks…
- Join your friends or make new ones in our Discord community. People make a difference!
Who needs health?
You! Turns out health is important. Eating healthy and exercising regularly has been shown to improve creativity and mood.
I don’t mean the healthiest eating habit possible. Just avoid stuff that is too alcoholic or sugary, such as fast or processed food, which can slow down your creative thinking.
And don’t fret when it comes to exercising regularly. We’re not talking about a full body workout routine in your local gym — not necessarily. Just walking 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference.
Last, but not least: mental health. There seems to be a strong link between meditation/mindfulness and creativity. No need to be a guru or a monk. Reserve 5 minutes of your day to focus on your breath and your surroundings while letting your thoughts come and go!
- Don’t consume stuff that slows down/speeds up your mind too much — alcohol, fast food, sweets.
- Take a 15 minute walk a day to clear your mind, stretch your muscles and relax!
- Reserve 5 minutes of your day to practice meditation/mindfulness. Ideas will come!
Don’t wait for inspiration. Seek it!
“Duh!” Sure, this idea is obvious, but there’s a keypoint that people seem to forget: if you want inspiration you should seek it. Most of the times it won’t happen passively!
Visit an art exhibit, especially if you’ve never done it before. Go to a music show even if it’s not directly related to your goal. Watch a movie in the theather and get the whole popcorn experience, not just a couch and a streaming service.
Try new creative techniques to get out your rut. If you’re painting in a realistic style, try a cartoonish one. Composing a pop song? Give it a go with classical. Or if you write on the computer, handwrite! Experiment with different mediums or styles to find something inspirational.
And collaborate with others. We usually think of creative people as lonely and the creative process as individual, but it doesn’t have to be. Join your colleagues or friends for a joint project by bouncing ideas off each other. Our Discord community can be a great start!
- Visit sources of inspiration. Exhibitions, museums, shows, theather, anything!
- Escape your creative rut. Compose a classical song, draw a cartoon, handwrite instead of typing.
- Don’t work alone. Find yourself a group of people (e.g. our Discord) to help you bounce ideas off!
If you’re a writer, check out our article with 10 Essential Tips for Better Writing. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you overcome creative block. Don’t be afraid to take a break when needed or try something new. Remember: creativity is an active skill, not passive. Now, get creative!