Ever find yourself stuck on the same scene, portrait or other concept for way too long? You want nothing more than to get through it and move on but no matter how hard you try, it’s just not happening! You’re stuck in a creative rut and it feels like the ‘light at the end of tunnel’ is more like ‘light on the other side of the world’. But, it’s okay! Not only is being in a creative rut totally normal for artist, there are also a million different ways to break free from it. Different methods work for different people obviously because we’re all unique. But I promise there is a method for everyone! Here are six of my favorite ways to break out of a creative rut.
1. Take A Step Back
Now, this doesn’t mean stop being creative all together. Taking a step back means taking a breath of fresh air and focusing on something else for a while. Whether it be for a few hours, days or even weeks giving yourself a break is one of the best and simplest ways to get out of a creative rut. Put your current project out of your mind and put your newfound free time towards something else that you love and have been meaning to do.
2. Change Your Scenery
Everyone has a favorite place they love to work; an office, a cafe, a studio, a park, etc. But sometimes getting out and finding a new place to work will lead to a whole new level of focus and inspiration. Personally, I like to work in my quiet basement office but sometimes it feels almost claustrophobic to sit there for hours on end and expect to pump out chapters like nobody’s business. Sometimes the simple change from my basement to a table at Second Cup after class produces a huge improvement in how much work I can get done. Sometimes in the Summer, I’ll even bike to the lake, sit on the docks and write with the lull of the water in the background and it’s totally therapeutic!
3. Feed Your Mind
Read, read, read! Whether it’s curling up with a novel from your favorite author, a biography from your idol or an art book that offers inspiration, read it! Taking a look at other people’s work is a great way to get your own juices flowing. Furthermore, reading someone else’s journey and career that you aspire to have gives you tips on how to approach your own work. And lastly, there is always listening to music. When it comes to inspiration, anything from making a new a specialized playlist or discovering new artists is a great way to kick your rut. Try searching up playlists on YouTube or Spotify that you think you’d like or work with your project.
4. Dabble In Different Art Forms
Pretty much self-explanatory, delving into another kind of art is a good way to step away from what’s boring and familiar and still be creative in some other way. If you write, try painting. If you draw, try going for a walk and taking some cool photographs. You might even discover you have a new talent! But if not, the point isn’t to go from writing poetry to magically turning into Van Gogh. The point is to allow your mind to wander someplace new while still having a creative outlet to pour into.
5. Try Free-Writing
Whether you’re a writer or not, keeping a journal is a foolproof way to make sure you’ll never lose or forget all of your good ideas. When you have some time to yourself, set a timer and try writing without stopping until it goes off. Whether it’s five minutes or twenty, the act of pushing yourself to write for a limited amount of time is a great exercise. Don’t think about whether it makes sense or isn’t long enough. Write anything from how your day went, a list of goals or a scene playing out in your head. If you’re more into drawing or painting, keep an art journal! Scribble to your heart’s content, tape in pictures and paint when you’re away from home or feeling like you’re wells dry, and then maybe one of those doodles will be used for something bigger one day!
6. Look For Inspiration Online
Depending on your art form, creating an account on Pinterest, Tumblr, WeHeartIt or Instagram can be a great source of inspiration. You could even check out other people’s blogs, (wink, wink!) Make a folder to save all your cool finds and then next time you get stuck, you’ll have something to look at to help get you going. For my writing, I tend to look up anything from quotes, outfits and scenery that I think relate to my stories and save them on Pinterest boards and WeHeartIt albums.
And that’s that – Those were 6 tips to get yourself out of a creative rut! Let me know in the comments if any of these helped and what your favorite ways to break the block are. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow my blog for more 🙂