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Things to Do When You’re Creatively Blocked

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

Creative blocks plague my every day life. It is incredibly disheartening when I sit down to write or draw something only to be overcome with a suffocating sense of emptiness. As human beings, we are cursed with this curious need to know things; not knowing is one of our biggest points of conflict. I’ve put together this list of activities that I find myself doing whenever I’m stuck creatively and don’t know what to do next. Hopefully it will drag you out of your block, too.


1. Take pictures. Of anything.

This always helps me a heap ton. Taking photos is a calming, carefree way to let out some creative energy and inspire yourself in the process. With most of us having access to decent quality cameras embedded into our cellphones, it has become incredibly easy to capture the world around us. Go out for a walk and let your camera lens guide you, or stay in, get dressed up, and give yourself a photoshoot. Chances are you’ll feel relaxed and bursting with new ideas at the end of it.


2. Go mess around on a jungle gym.

I don’t know what it is about parks, but sitting on the swings for a while always helps me make it through the brain sludge that is writer’s block. Maybe it’s the nostalgic, calming feeling of being in a place that once acted as a childhood sanctuary, or maybe it’s just the fresh air getting to me after being shut in all day. Either way, it’s been proven that being outdoors will help lower your stress levels and make you feel less frustrated, which are things that tend to feed a creative block.


3. Do some school work.

WHAT? I know, I sound crazy. But trust me, this works every time. It’s a way to help you to focus on something other than your need to be creative. Distracting your brain with something it is used to will allow it to go into autopilot mode for a bit while still getting the gears and cogs turning.


4. Reorganize your room. Or design one.

This is by far one of my favourite ways to get rid of creative blocks. It’s a fun alternative to something like watching Netflix, which tends to just turn my brain into a pile of mush. Something simple like creating a different environment for yourself can help you out of your creative rut by getting you lost in your own thoughts and ideas. If that isn’t feasible for you, designing a room is just as helpful. It’s a little nerdy, but when I’m feeling particularly stuck I’ll sometimes play The Sims 4 and spend an entire hour designing my ideal bedroom. Minecraft is also a fantastic option.


5. Clean your place.

Cleaning provides you with a sense of productivity, while also making your housemates happy and boosting your creativity. Though this is admittedly my last choice when trying to claw myself out of a creative block, it’s a darn good one. An evening spent scrubbing floors and doing the dishes allows me plenty of time to think. Many of my best ideas come to me when doing such menial tasks. By the end of it, I’m so physically exhausted that all I want to do is sit down and do what makes me feel my best, creatively.

I like cats, among other things.