Overcoming the Creative Block

You are sitting in the library with your third coffee of the day. Open before you is a brand new Word document, the cursor blinking threateningly at you, the coffee buzz beginning to course through your veins when it hits you. The most dreaded opponent to any writer or creative of anything kind: the block.  

You feel a lot of things at once. Annoyance that you got all prepared for nothing. Sad at the fact that you might have just paid five dollars for a coffee that will not even get to do its job. But mostly, you are frustrated. Frustrated because despite the countless brilliant ideas that rush through your brain on a daily basis, you are coming up empty. You become angry at your ability as a writer or an artist or a creative. The creative block has arrived, and you are rendered useless.  

You know the feeling. We all do. That moment when you feel absolute anger towards yourself and your lacking creativity. Though you know the thrill of creating will entice you once more soon enough, the emotional turmoil of the whole ordeal is sometimes just powerful enough to render you to be down for a few days. 

In case of situations like this, I have a short guide to re-sparking the passion that you crave to create. 

 

1. Space. 

When it comes to a creative block, there is a physical change that can either ease you back into the comfort of your writing or push you to be bold and creative with your work. We all have that one ideal writing location, but sometimes change is exactly what we need. Often, physical space can block out creative space, so get spontaneous! Go to a local coffee shop or do something as simple as moving locations within your room.  

 

2. Take a break. 

Shockingly enough, the reason why you may be struggling to write is because you are placing too much pressure on the act. A creative outlet should be just that: creative! Too often, we, as creators, put pressure on ourselves to achieve something great, which can subsequently make us lose sight of the reason we write or create in the first place. Step away from your computer for a little bit. Go for a walk, treat yourself to a coffee or talk to some friends. By getting off your computer or away from the project, you get out of your head, the place we already spend too much time consumed by.   

 

3. Look through your previous work. 

This one may come as a bit of a shock, but sometimes we all need the mere reminder that we can create. Pull up something you recently created or wrote and remind yourself that you have done it before, so surely, you can produce something once more. Similarly, take a peek at any journal entries or notes you might have written about ideas. If you had an idea at one point, that idea has not vanished. You simply have to relocate it once more.  

P.S.—I highly recommend writing down any and all ideas as they come to you for this exact reason! We have so much going on in our brain, so we cannot possibly expect ourselves to remember every single thought that we have ever had. The notes on my phone are completely chaotic and sometimes undecipherable, but they remind me that I am a creative person, and I can experience the creative drive again. 

 

4. Inspiration.

Typically, the people who are writers are readers as well. Those who visually create are attracted to visual content. We fell in love with the craft of creating to elicit the same emotion we experienced from art/literature/media. Inspiration is all around us. It is in the books we love, the films we re-watch repeatedly, and the world around us. Examine what has inspired you in the past or inspires you today. When you see the beauty of creation, you can be reminded of what you have the ability to achieve.  

 

Ironically, I thought of writing this post after personally experiencing a creative block. For a few weeks, I felt  unsatisfied with my work, and it began to feel more like a chore rather than my favorite pastime. Though I always feel like that fire will never return, it always does. That’s the thing about our favourite things: they never really leave.  

So, to anyone struggling to utilize their creativity, have patience. You will create once more, and it will be wonderful.