When you work in a creative industry, there will be times where you’ll feel uninspired, unmotivated, or just facing some sort of ‘block.’ You may feel like you’ve runout of ideas, lost your passion for your craft, or that your designs and products just aren’t turning out the way you anticipated. This can be really tricky to navigate, especially when you’re relying on your creativity to make the money you need to live. But, no matter how ‘stuck’ you feel, there are ways to re-ignite your creative spark.
The first step is recognizing that you are—despite pitfalls or bumps along the path—a creative person.
And this means that you have, inherently, the uncanny ability to make something beautiful. So, despite how ‘off’ you may feel, remember that this is only temporary. . . and to get back on track, here are a few other suggestions.
1. Start By Taking A Break
This may sound counterintuitive (and honestly feel like a luxury that not everyone can afford), but if at all possible for your life—take a break. Creativity can be stifled by too much pressure and if you find yourself feeling overworked, you may discover that even a short break is enough to give you a reset.
Start by re-evaluating your working hours. Consider working for shorter time periods but committing more focus to those times. Or, think about moving in alignment with your personal circadian rhythm. If, for example, you know you’re a night owl and do your best work in the evenings, then forcing yourself to work a standard 9-5 day might not be for you. Try to ‘reset’ by committing to not doing any work for a period of hours or days. Then, consider where you can make changes to prevent these kinds of burnouts from happening again.
2. Take A Small (Or Big) Trip
One of the best things about creative careers, especially those that are remote, is that you can brainstorm, curate, and build almost anywhere. While that isn’t the case for everyone, thinking about where you can make a change of scenery for yourself can often be enough to shake you out of a creative rut.
Consider setting up your laptop or canvas on the beach, in the woods, or in a scenic park. Maybe you could commit a bit of time (anywhere from a day trip to a week long vacation) to travel around, to clear your mind, and re-ignite your creative spark. Instead of staring at the same four walls of your office or studio, being out in the world and experiencing the sights, sounds, smells, and interactions with others is helpful for both your mental and creative health.
3. Explore Something New
If you’re feeling stuck with your current projects, consider doing something different! While that doesn’t mean you’re abandoning your career or ‘giving up’ on what you need, sometimes the experiment with something outside of your comfort zone can help you realign with your goals and get re-motivated.
If you find that you’re always focused on creativity, it may also be a good idea to use the other parts of your brain. Consider, instead, attempting something analytic. . . like taking a math class, learning accounting, or even video editing. Video media is huge right now, and you can find tons of resources online like https://setapp.com/how-to/convert-mp4-to-mov which explains how to convert different files. You can also watch YouTube tutorials, too, and self-teach!
Another idea is to lean into the business side of things. If you’re usually in creation mode, consider starting a blog account and giving writing a go. You could link it back to your business if you want to be really efficient, or you could try a new craft just for fun. Even if you don’t think you’re very good at it and it’s out of your comfort zone, it can be a brilliant way to bring back your zest for creating (and it could be exactly what you need to inspire your regular work again!).
4. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Being a creative often means working alone. Most of us in creative careers tend to work by ourselves, and so it’s easy to become a bit isolated (especially if you work long hours). You can easily re-ignite your creative spark by spending some time with loved ones. Not only does this feel like a break, but it also gives you a chance to chat. . . and potentially about creative ideas, or just in general, which may kick something off in your mind.
In general, socializing, relaxing, chatting and having fun will be good for helping you feel positive and less pressured about your creativity. So, create room in your schedule for friends, family, and social time!
Working in a creative career (especially one that you enjoy!) is the dream for most creative people. So, it’s natural to feel lucky and excited. . . but that doesn’t mean you won’t have hard days, too. On those hard days, it’s not always easy to stay motivated and create your best work, but, with a bit of intention, self-love, and compassion, you can quickly get yourself back on track.
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