Whether you are a painter or a designer, or an actual writer there will come a time when you will be creatively constipated. You’ll stare at a blank page or canvas, or that damn cursor and it will drive you crazy. In this moment its time to check in and see what is really going on.
If you feel like your creative reservoir is empty there could be a few things going on. Here are 4 trick to help fill it up and get things flowing again.
1. Consume Food
If you are super hungry you will be distracted, because your brain function will be interrupted by the hunger you feel. This actually goes for any physical process. If you are too cold, or too hot it will be harder to create. Even if you are trying to write about how hungry you are, what comes from your creative mind will be less impactful if you do not have the energy to get it out there. The energy from food will help get you out of your funk and energized body is a creative one. Coffee is a trick many use but there is a crash, you can’t replace a balanced meal. Just don’t over eat.
2. Consume Information
If you are a writer, read something. If you are a painter, watch a documentary about a painter you like. The truth is you can consume anything that inspires you, but you might not feel the urge to channel surf. That is why it is good to start with something informative. Read up on a new technique or style, read a debate or listen to a podcast in your field. What you will get is a stimulation that isn’t tied to your mastery. When we try something new, we tend go easier on ourselves because we already know we are learning. More on that in #4.
3. Move Your Body
It could be as little as stretching or walking around the room. If you are really in a funk go for a sprint or hit a punching bag. This is going to be about “getting your blood” going so to speak. But when your heart rate rises your body will release endorphins and that will act as a natural stimulant and raise your sensitivity also. One of the reasons you might be feeling blocked if you have tried to read or something is that your body is in a relaxed stated. Think about how a person is when they are sleep, harder to engage with right? You want to be alert and alive so that you can create your best work.
4. Create Without Judgement
Our art is not so different from people’s personalities. It is so closely tied to our identity that we will not share it if we don’t feel that we are in a safe environment to do so. We have to prepare that safe place by removing our critical eye from the equation. The first step to creating great work is creating any work at all and if we are not open to making bad work, the good stuff will not come either. We should learn to enjoy the process and journey before we take a step back. Even if it means digging deeper into the stuff we don’t think is “good” we just want to work to a place where we are sharing our truth. That is where our best work lies, underneath the judgement and persona.
There are other means and ways but these 4 should get you going on an average day when things stop flowing.