Creative blocks are the worst. Hard to work while you have one, and it can be difficult to shift. Sometimes it feels like your creativity has abandoned you, broken somehow, never to return. All this time I’ve been working with these beads and making juicy jools, it hits me sometimes, too. Not a single good idea. No burning urge to get to work. No excited surge of energy pulling at me, demanding attention, demanding expression, nothing like that.
Some might call that burnout. But sometimes you are ready to work and your muse is on vacation. It doesn’t feel the same, I don’t think. If you look at this list to kickstart your creativity and feel overwhelmed and need to lie down, that’s burnout. Be kind to yourself and take a time out.
But if you feel ready to shift your creative energy so that you can get back to work, here are some ideas that have worked for me:
1. Even if you aren’t feeling burnt out, eating well and getting proper rest is important. One or two nights of good sleep might be all you need to get that creative energy going and back to work. But that may not be enough to get your work done. So:
2. Show Up. You have to give your creativity a chance to work every day, by showing up at your workspace, ready to go. Maybe look at your outlines or design ideas from the past. Go over some notes. How long? 20-30 minutes. But still, nothing? Ok.
3. Tidy up your workspace. Declutter and organize. It’ll feel nice to have all that room to work when the muse strikes. And if exposure to your creative supplies doesn’t spark you, then take the opportunity to do other admin-type duties. All the things you wanted to take care of if only you had a spare minute. Well, here it is. Take advantage of the break! But what if you clear your desk and put everything in order, and the muse is still AWOL?
4. Pull out your magazines, and craft reference books, whatever has inspired you in the past. If you’re like me, you’ve marked the pages of things you liked or wanted to try. Sometimes that reminds your muse to get to work. No sparks? Then:
5. Journal about it. Use this opportunity to talk about why you might be holding back on this new project. Doubts? Challenge for your current skills? Do you have to learn a new technique for a project? Maybe you don’t really want to do it, even though you put a lot of time into the design. What can you do to lay these concerns to rest? Give it good consideration. And if, after much thought, and working out of concerns, your muse still hasn’t appeared?
6. Take a walk in your neighborhood. Look closely and appreciate what you find – the glow of the sun, the chill of the breeze, the focus of ants on their trail, the warm breath and soft fur of the doggo you just walked past and had to stop and pet. I don’t know if that will bring your creativity back online necessarily but I always gotta pet the dog. Anyway, still no? Time for a field trip!
7. Visit a craft, art, or hardware store, any place that promotes possibility and opportunity. A museum is very inspiring, surrounding you in the creative works made by those who almost certainly had their own tussles with creative energy. Do the different styles and exhibits excite your imagination? Don’t forget to bring a notebook and pen with you in case inspiration strikes! But if it doesn’t:
8. Accept the fact you are taking a little creative break and enjoy yourself. Read that book, watch that tv show or movie you promised yourself to watch when you had a chance. Sometimes, if you just relax , and stop thinking about what you can’t do, the muse just saunters in, hot to get back to work. Whenever I get a block I can’t shift, I put on Xanadu. Besides the delightful soundtrack, it’s about the creative struggle of an artist who wants to find the perfect medium to create with. It reminds me that I need to stay true to my vision and not to be afraid to take a risk. Fear is a creativity-dampener. Maybe I don’t need to open my own roller disco, but wielding that creative energy is what I most want to do, and just thinking about that can get the juices flowing, and me, back to work. And you better believe I am singing along nice and loud til the idea suddenly strikes, and I’m back to work. There are lots of movies, books, and music out there to inspire you, and this is when they are most needed.
Please don’t give up hope. I don’t think you can run out of creative energy or that there can be an end to it. I think it needs a break, sometimes. Creative work requires patience. Just keep showing up, ready to work, unbothered. That sneaky muse will be back before you know it!
Have you found a way to shift that creative block? Share, if you like, you never know who needs to hear exactly what you have discovered as you make your way along the creative path!
Back with more juicy beadishness soon, Jool Lovers! Until then, you can see what I’ve been up to at JuicybeadsJewelry.com.