Every creative person or working artist knows how difficult it can be to keep innovating and to keep creating when you’ve hit a block or you’re simply exhausted. No one is a machine; we all need to recharge, regroup, rethink. There’s no shame in slowing down. When you’re feeling blocked, stressed, indifferent, or inadequate, try these things to get those creative juices flowing again.
Listen to some new music
Music helps unlock your creativity and stimulates that creative part of the brain. It’s also a distraction and a way to make time pass more quickly.
Go somewhere you’ve never been before
A change of surroundings is one of the best ways to stimulate your brain and make it discover new things. Pick a neighboring town or a part of your city you’ve never explored before. Take pictures of it…which brings me to:
Get out a real camera and do some amateur photography
Looking at your world through a camera lens makes everything shift. Things look different when you’re seeing them with that determined photographer’s focus. What do you notice? Why are you noticing it? Is it beautiful to you? Take a photo.
With no inhibitions and no rules, open a blank document and do anything you want with it. Have fun.
Stick a paintbrush on a canvas. Put a single word on paper. Just do it.
Sit and do nothing
This is also sometimes called “meditation.” Listen to your surroundings. Listen to yourself.
Finish anything. Even if it sucks, especially if it sucks. Finish something, be responsible to it, be proud of the hard work and be proud of every mistake, every error, every wrong move. Be beholden to something.
Organize all of your things
No one can have an organized mind without an organized workspace. Put all of your things where they belong, and focus only on what you can now create.
Get a group of like-minded creatives together to brainstorm, or just drink some wine together
Talk about your successes and failures, your dreams and goals. You’re all in it together.
Take a walk
Leave your phone home. Go slowly. Look around you.
Take a class and learn something new
Take pottery, photography, pilates or karate. Learn something new and devote yourself to that task. Your creative energy won’t be wasted, you’ll learn a new skill, and hopefully achieve clarity of mind and a sense of purpose.
Get your body moving and your blood pumping. The fast, frenetic pace will also help release some of that pent-up anxiety and you’ll be able to relax afterward and put everything into perspective.
Keep a notebook and pen constantly on you
Even if you think you have no ideas, write down any little thing that comes to you. This way, you can look back and remember the things that once interested you, you will be able to make associations more easily, and you can see more clearly where your thoughts and feelings are. A notebook is essential.
Watch a movie
Watch something new, and watch it by yourself. Let yourself get caught up in the storyline and the characters, and then you’ll find what is now interesting you the most. There’s relief and release in witnessing someone else’s art. All art is somewhat collaborative.
Go to a museum
Again, witnessing art really does jolt waves of inspiration. And the slow pace of a museum visit is perfect for letting in ideas and for clearing the mind free of anxiety.