lightbulb moment

6 ways to keep your creative juices flowing

Picture this.  You wake up, full of resolution to develop the best work that you’ve ever done.  Today is the day.

But your inspiration has got up, thrown an almighty strop and left the building. And the problem is that your clients are metaphorically tapping their fingers on the table looking for you to produce your work of art.

That’s when it’s easy to lose it. The more you stress about losing your perspective the more likely that you won’t be able to get it back.

The thing to remember is that you’ll get it back.  You’re not the only person to lose it just at the point when you most need it.  You might even say that it’s part of the process.

Many people agree that when it happens you should stop worrying and change course because the minute you stop worrying, it will come back.  It could simply be a matter of a taking the dog out for a walk, or going to the supermarket for a pint of milk. Or admitting defeat and going to the cinema for the rest of the day.

But there are also some useful things that work for some people. Here are our top 10 ideas to help get rid of your creative block.

1.  Be prepared

To know is to be prepared.  You know your rhythms and by planning ahead you can avoid the doldrums or at least build in time to accommodate them.  There is no point in trying to be someone that you aren’t.  Build in percolation time, by which we mean allowing your thinking to filter through and become more intense with a bit of time.

2. Build on what’s gone before and you’ll still be an innovator.

Goodness knows how many hours we waste worrying that we aren’t being truly different. You’ve got to accept that it’s all been done before, and the key is to build on the foundations of past great ideas that worked for a reason.

3. Don’t make it too big

If you present yourself with a huge task and set yourself a deadline it is far less likely to happen.  Give yourself a break and split it all out into chunks.  Bite sized pieces.  You are likely to get more far more done.

4. Sleep well

You may be an ‘all nighter’, someone who works all night sometimes to get the job done.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t go without a good night’s sleep most nights.  If you are struggling to think creatively, you’ll often find that sleeping on it will really help.  Let your dreams do the work for you!

5. Change location

Maybe you’ve just got to face up to the deadline, in which case you need an injection of creative energy from somewhere else.  For us, we find that being around others is the best way to do this.  It could be a café somewhere nearby, or you can come and join us for pop-up coworking, or join a group near you.  Promise it will make all the difference.

6. Carry a notebook with you everywhere

It’s a simple fact that you will always get your best thoughts when you are least prepared to deal with them.  That’s why you should always carry a notebook with you so that you can quickly jot down a prompt and come back to it later.  I often use this to capture blog ideas.

Everyone’s got their own way of dealing with it and I’m sure you’ve got great ideas.  Share them with us in the comments below!

 

Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.

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