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10 Ways to Bust Creative Block

10 Ways to Bust Creative Block

Learn about 10 ways to bust creative block and get those creative juices flowing.

I love being creative. I love making, writing, creating just about anything. It is more than a hobby to me, it’s my happy place! But sometimes that little devil of a creative block creeps its way in and I get stuck. I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to paint, I just get stuck! To help you avoid the frustration of being stuck I put together a list of 10 ways to bust creative block.

These are methods that I use regularly and even if one doesn’t work for you, you can just move right on down the list to find one that does help you bust creative block.

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1. Get Outside and Enjoy Nature

 Get outside and enjoy nature.

Get outside and enjoy nature.

Getting outside is a great way to kick that creative block to the curb and jumpstart your creative juices. I love leaving the four walls of my apartment and looking at all nature has to offer. I’m not a huge hiker or anything like that but I do enjoy going to the gardens at my favorite art museum or taking a nice long look at the sky and using that for inspiration. In fact, the sky is a very common element of a lot of my artwork.

Sometimes with a creative block you just need a change of scenery and getting outside and enjoying nature is a great way to do that. Head to a park with a blanket and have a picnic. Lay on your back and watch the clouds for a while. See all the natural beauty the world has to offer.

2. Break Out of Routine

Have you ever fallen into a routine and had the same places on a rotation? I am super guilty of this especially when it comes to things like eating out or finding movies to watch. I fall into this rut of never trying anything new and it may sound strange, but it affects my creativity. What’s that saying, something like doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results is the definition of insanity?

Routines are good for somethings but in order to bust creative block you have experience new things. Whenever I find myself in a rut, to bust myself out of it I pick a place I’ve never been before, and I go there. It’s that simple. I try something new. If I experience something I’ve never experienced before then who knows, maybe it could lead to some great inspiration.

3. Do Some Free-Writing

 Do some free writing.

Do some free writing.

Writer’s block is one of the worst types of creative block there is. There is nothing more terrifying than staring at a blank page or a blank document just waiting for the words to come. With a painting, if I get creative block I can just throw some paint down and use a paintbrush to move it around until I find something I like but writing is a completely different story. There’s a method to it. Words have to go in a certain order if it’s going to make any sense at all.

I love free-writing because it allows me to throw all sense out the window. Yes, the words do still have to go in a certain order but I can just write as the words come to me and I get all the nonsense out of the way. After a good free-write, all that is left is good quality writing whether it’s for a screenplay, novel, or a blog post.

4. Do Some Doodling

Doodling is a very similar to free-writing as a method to bust creative block. It throws all sense out of the window and allows you to freely create. One thing I like about doodling is that it’s possible whatever you’re doodling can turn into something more. I can’t tell you how many times I started what I thought was just a doodle and it turned into actual artwork.

So grab a writing utensil and some paper and just let your hand do all the work. Don’t think about where the pencil is going and just let it happen. This lack of inhibition lets your mind go blank and allows the creativity to flow without difficulty.

5. Make Some Lists

 Make lists.

Make lists.

This one might seem like a strange way to bust creative block but it has worked for me! There is always so much stuff that I need to do that it gets all jumbled up in my brain and I have a hard time deciding what I should do first and I often end up jumping around from task to task without getting any actual work done. So I make lists! I write down and categorize all of the things I need to do and when I need to do them. It helps clean up all the noise in my brain.

One tool that has really helped me with organizing (other than my planner) is Trello. It’s an awesome online workspace where you can create different boards and lists. I have one for different product lines, blog posts, mapping out certain projects, and a few other topics. It is free but they do have a couple paid plans.

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6. Do Some Cleaning

For some people this might be the worst thing on the list, believe me, I’m right there with you. I am terrible at cleaning. I let clutter pile up like nobody’s business and it drives me crazy! The hardest thing about cleaning is finding the motivation to actually clean but once I get it done I’m so much happier and so much more productive.

A lot like the previous tip, cleaning can help get rid of all that noise floating around in my head. When the clutter is gone, I can focus on my task at hand and then I can actually get some work done instead of thinking about all the things I need to clean.

(If you are terrible at cleaning like me, you might want to check out UnF*ck Your Habitat. It’s an awesome site that provides motivation/tips/all kinds of resources for people who struggle to keep their living space clean.)

7. Read a Book

 Read a book.

Read a book.

Sometimes when I get creative block I find stepping into another world and getting a break from reality can really help get those creative juices flowing. I love being taken on a journey by the author and being given new opportunities to think about things and see the world in a new way. Whether I’m reading a book I’ve read a million times, like Harry Potter**, or reading a book for the first time, like Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert** (which I haven’t actually started yet but I’m really looking forward to it!), I always look forward to shutting my brain off and getting lost in a book. I always feel refreshed and ready to get down to business on my task-at-hand.

8. Listen to Music

 Listen to music.

Listen to music.

Dance party anyone? Not only does music help me when I have a creative block but it also helps me stay on track. When I get in work mode I love to put on some classical music to help me focus and I when I get in paint mode I love to put on some fun jams that I can sing along to.

Experiment with what works for you. Listening to music is a great way to open up your ears and your mind to different emotions and can inspire you to create something great.

9. Be Inspired by Others

When my mind goes blank and I’m not in the mood to do anything I take a nice scroll through my Instagram feed, I check out what’s trending on Etsy, or I look at what people are up to in one of the many Facebook groups I’m a part of. This way I can see what other people are creating and maybe I will find some inspiration from all the beauty other people are putting out into the world.

That’s one thing that is so great about living in the age of technology. You can experience other people’s art from all over the world while you’re sitting in your pajamas at home. I love seeing other people’s great creations, getting inspired, and then creating my own little piece of greatness.

10. Do Nothing

 Do nothing.

Do nothing.

Some people might say that doing nothing is not very conducive to creativity but from my experience doing nothing is sometimes just what you need to get it jumpstarted. We live in such a fast-paced world that there is always something happening or always something to do so it’s very possible to get burnt out which would actually be worse for creativity.

Whenever I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed or like my brain is about to explode from the stress of everyday life I like to take a short amount of time, never longer than 30 minutes, to do absolutely nothing. I will literally just lay on the floor and let my mind wander. I’ll think about nothing, I’ll think about everything, I’ll process what’s been going on in my life. More often than not, I will come out the other side ready to go and more productive than if I had just worked straight through.

So what do you think? Are you ready to kick that creative block to the curb and get creating?

I hope so! I know from experience that there is nothing worse than wanting to create something but getting stuck because of a mental block so hopefully by using some of these ways to bust creative block you can avoid the frustration!

What are some other ways you bust creative block? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!