Are you stuck in creative block? These 6 tips may be just what you need to get past your block and back into your creative genius flow!
- Quit worrying what others will think
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” - Joseph Chilton Pearce
Whether you like it or not, ‘failure’ will always be a part of your creative process. The way that you deal with the ‘failure’ however, is what sets the successful and unsuccessful creatives apart from each other. If you go into a creative project worried about what others are going to think about your ideas, you will hold back your brainstorming because you may think an idea may not be good enough to share. This is one of the most destructive beliefs you can have as a creative because sharing your ideas freely is often what brings inspiration for your ingenious ideas.
In the brainstorming stage of a project, it helps to go into the project already knowing that you will have plenty of ideas that will not work, but also knowing that your ideas will help inspire other ideas even if they are not used for the final product. Holding back ideas will only cripple your creativity.
I have a firm belief that everyone can be creative if they choose to be. Some people just cannot get past the fear of sharing their ideas and believe that they are not creative as a result. Feel free to sketch, write, and share anything that comes to your mind even if you think that it’s a bad idea at the moment. Those ‘bad ideas’ may just be the ideas that evolve into ingenious ideas later down the road.
- Discover what time your creativity flows best
Most people who consider themselves creative may already have an idea of when their creativity flows best. For me personally, most of my creative ideas come to me late at night after I have had a chance to refresh and clear my mind. If you are a creative professional that works normal office hours though, late night brainstorming sessions for work projects are obviously not always ideal. Creativity in the workplace often flows best in the late morning before going to lunch because your mind will still be fresh but you also have time to settle in after doing monotonous morning tasks like checking emails and attending morning meetings. Find what works for you personally and stick to it.
- Search in inconspicuous areas for inspiration
When looking for inspiration, it is important to look in areas that are not obvious based on the project that you are working on. If you are doing a logo project for example, there is nothing wrong with looking at competitor logos to get a general idea of which direction to go, but that should never be your only source of inspiration. If you don’t look for inspiration from outside sources, your designs will blend in with all of the competitors. Don’t be afraid to venture away from obvious sources of inspiration! If you really take time to examine things, you can find inspiration in some of the most ambiguous areas.
- Take a break from your work:
This may sound counterproductive but taking a break from your work will actually help you refresh your mind and get back into your creative mindset. If you are staring at a project for too long you begin to overlook details and the project will begin to feel stale to you. Taking a 10-15-minute break to do something that gets your mind off the project will help you get past a creative block which will actually wind up saving you time in the long run.
- Surround yourself with creative people:
One of the best ways to inspire creativity is to surround yourself with creative people. Inspiring yourself has a lot to do with finding peers that have similar goals as you. Make sure that the people you surround yourself with inspire you and push you to do better, rather than destroy your creativity with doubt and negativity. Being put in a box or having someone hinder your creative progress will cripple your creativity and for many creatives, this can have a big impact not only in your work, but also in your everyday lives.
- Allow time for daydreaming:
Daydreaming is pure creativity in its simplest form. When you daydream, you allow your mind to wander and think up the most absurd ideas without questioning their validity or trying to analyze them. It’s important not to overthink your creative thoughts - stick to your initial feelings and you will begin to see that your projects will be more impactful.
You can daydream just about anywhere but it’s good to find a time or place to completely get away from distractions that may prohibit you from daydreaming. I personally love to go on long drives, go rock climbing, or go backpacking to get away and let my mind wander.
Jobs in the creative field are more of a lifestyle than they are a job. It’s not really something that you can turn on and off at a moment’s notice. This is why it’s important to have an activity or hobby outside of work that allows you to shut out the world and just focus on the moment you are in. Find what relaxes you and clears your mind because in the end, that thing is what will drive your creativity and keep you inspired in life.