The phrase ‘writer’s block’ is a very common one – and that’s because it’s a very common affliction. Anyone who works in a creative position sometimes struggles with new ideas, and that can be particularly hard if you work alone. If there’s no one else to bounce ideas around with, it can be hard to reinvigorate yourself and get those creative juices flowing again.
As a naturally creative person, when I suddenly find myself at a standstill it can be quite disconcerting – and can even make me doubt myself. But that’s never the way, and you just need to get yourself out of that rut and generating some new ideas to get yourself back on track!
Below are my best tips for getting back into a creative and productive state of mind – file them away to use next time you find yourself at what seems like a dead end!
Put your phone away
It’s well documented how much time we spend on our phones, and how much it affects our ability to think freely without them. Put your phone away – and put it on airplane mode – and you’ll find your brain has more capacity for thinking about other things!
Reach out for a new perspective
This is true whether you work alone, or in a group – bring someone in who is new to the situation. They’ll have perspectives you won’t, as they’re a fresh pair of eyes on whatever it is. I often like to turn to industry peers to gauge their opinions on my projects and ideas – for me, engaging with fellow art professionals is a great way to be continually inspired.
Put pen to paper
Brainstorm things out the old-fashioned way – you’ll be surprised at how stimulating it can be. I also always prefer an old-fashioned paper diary rather than a digital one, as the process of writing things down to solidify the tasks in your head, and then the act of crossing them off when completed is very satisfying.
Take a break
If you’re just not getting the inspiration you need, don’t force it. Take a break and give your creative brain time to re-group. If you’re working it into the ground, it’s never going to come up with anything new. Your body needs its rest days from the gym – your brain is no different!
On those rest days, take the time to reinvigorate yourself, whether it be to visit a gallery or six, a long lunch with friends, or having a Netflix binge in your PJs – all three work for me.
Make yourself a long-term plan, and then work backward. Work out what you need to do by when. This will give you more structure, as well as mapping out stepping stones, making it much easier to jump from one to the other!
When I first moved to Sydney, I found a dilapidated three-story timber 1860s terrace where every floor was a separate unit. We grabbed it whilst we could and are still slowly converting it to one big family home, an art gallery, and a creative space. The bottom floor is my art studio, the middle floor is the gallery and the top floor is our family space. If I hadn’t been able to envision this long-term, I wouldn’t have taken the risk in buying a property that needed massive renovation.
Setting goals means you can think big, which means you’re not confined by your current living situation or financial situation or the like – you can really let your entrepreneurial spirit run wild.