Crushing a Creative Slump

We’ve all been there. One day it seems your thought process can’t stop won’t stop, and the next you’re lost in a creative slump, staring at a blank screen, canvas, or piece of paper. Breaking that mindset is easier said than done, but there are a few things you can do to energize yourself and find joy in creating again.

1. Go Somewhere Inspiring

What better way to spark some inspiration than by browsing through a library, bookstore, art display, or attending a poetry reading or concert? Find something that inspires you— a book cover, song, photograph, a genre or even a sentence, maybe a conversation with another patron— and let it get your mind working again. Too often we become consumed with our own projects and really need to draw some beauty from what already exists around us.

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Kramerbooks & Afterwards might have all sorts of creative nooks and crannies, but I always know where to find Hubby. 

2. Remember Why You Create

When dealing with a writer or artist block, it’s easy to become frustrated and give up on an entire project. At times like that, think back on why you developed a love for creating new things. Were you encouraged by a parent, pushed to new abilities by a phenomenal teacher, or inspired by other classic artists? Was there a time when you made something that impacted those around you or are you hoping to do so in the future? Remember the joy you first felt when you began your creative hobby or career and use that feeling to help motivate you to finish what you’ve started.

3. Try Something New

Sometimes we get stuck in a belief that we are only skilled at a specific form of creativity. Because of this, it’s easy to burn ourselves out. When that happens, I like to set goals for participating in something new. Each year I join a few reading challenges, which help me explore new authors, writing styles, and genres. Broadening your horizons artistically could be as simple as working with oil pastels if you usually paint in watercolor, dabbling in new photo or video editing software and styles, or listening to a song by an artist you’ve never heard before. You may find you have more talents than you realize… or you may come to respect your gifts all the more if you find yourself struggling with something new. Either way, challenges work our brains in different ways and often clear out the creative slump cobwebs.

4. Take a Walk

A great way to refresh the mind, body, and senses is through a walk. Exercise not only relieves tension, but it also helps us think more clearly and focus on what’s important. Use this time to breathe in some fresh air, contemplate your current creative goals, and absorb some peace from nature.

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Capturing some inspiration during this rainy jaunt around Washington, D.C. 

5. Talk to Fellow Creators

One of the best ways to breakthrough a block? Seek advice and help from other creators. We are so diverse as humans. We feel differently, process information in various ways, and view the world through the lens of our personal experiences. Use these differences to find encouragement from other creators and take some time to chat with a local artist. Even browsing past interviews of people you admire or communicating through social media platforms are great ways to find inspiration from others with similar goals and mindsets. Don’t be afraid to say you’re stuck in a slump. At some point in time, all creators have been, which means there’s a world full of people ready to offer guidance. All you have to do is reach out!

These are just five simple ways you can get your creativity flowing again. What are some tips and tricks that you have found useful during a block? I’d love to read your advice in the comments below and chat with you some more about staying inspired!

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