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If you have a hobby or career which involves creating your own content, I’m sure you will be familiar with the dreaded ‘creative block’. In fact, I’m actually writing this in an attempt to shake off a current case of the old writer’s block myself. As a blogger, there truly is nothing worse; it’s easy to start catastrophizing and worrying that you have LITERALLY ran out of ideas FOREVER. Deep down, however, I know that’s not the case and that I simply need to take my own advice and get those ideas flowing again. So on that note, here are my favourite strategies to overcome your battle with creative block.
- Switch off and clear your mind. This is probably my most helpful little trick. When a bout of creative block hits, it’s very easy to get caught up in your own head and STRESS TF out. At risk of stating the obvious, this is only going to make matters worse. If you can, take a day off, totally away from your blog (or whatever it is you do), and take part in something different that you enjoy, such as going for a long walk. I find outdoor activities are particularly helpful in clearing your head.
- Look after your health. This may seem a little unrelated, but I often find that writer’s block hits me at times when I’m not looking after myself properly – whether that be eating badly, not getting enough sleep or anything else. If I’ve learnt one thing in life it’s how closely connected every aspect of ourselves are, and I tend to find that if I’m taking good care of myself, everything else usually follows suit.
- Sleep on it. I suppose this is kind of a combination of my two previous points, but it’s really useful so worth a mention of its own. There’s nothing worse than sitting over a notebook late at night trying to force out some new ideas. If it’s not happening, just call it a day, sleep on it and in the words of Barry Sutcliffe (if you know you know), ‘try again tomorrow’.
- Brainstorm. When I’ve mastered all of the above and decide it’s time to get back into creative mode, a good brainstorm is my go-to first move. There’s nothing I love more than a big, scruffy brainstorm where I can literally write every idea as it comes to me. They don’t have to be complete ideas with glossy titles – even words that might trigger off ideas in the future can go down. I find it so helpful to just be able to get everything out of my head and down on paper.
- Accept the creative process. As I mentioned earlier, creative block can be frustrating and actually scary; you may feel as though you have no more ideas or nothing left to give, but it’s important to remember that everyone who creates their own content feels that way every now and then. Creativity isn’t something that can be switched on and off – it does as it pleases. You may have a week of nothing and then suddenly 100 ideas pop up in the middle of the night. That’s ok – it’s just how it works. Accepting this and actively choosing not to let your creative block worry you is actually a vital step in helping yourself get through it.
On that note, I’m happy to say my strategy of writing about creative block in order to overcome it has worked a treat. Yesterday I did a huge brainstorm and have got loads of great new content on its way, so stay tuned!