So, what does it mean to have a creative block? There are many theories and definitions but, most notably, it's defined as an inability to access the inspiration that drives our creativity. Whether we are trapped in a repetition of normalcy and the expected, trapped by our own expectations and fears, overwhelmed with unstructured work ethic, or faced with the stress of ordinary life, creative blocks are a hardship we all must endure once in a while.
Now the question comes.... how do we combat these blocks? How do we re-open the door to our creativity and productivity? Here are a few suggestions I've found works for me.
- Get Organized. It's no secret, if you're a frequent visitor to my site, that I am obsessed with organization. And for good reason! Organizing your space can help organize your thoughts! But it's not just your physical space that needs our attentive, loving care, but our mental space as well! When you find the creative well has run dry, begin to write your thoughts, keep a journal to help process the feelings and frustrations these blocks can solidify, and sketch doodles.... mindless and incoherent doodles... zendoodles if you will. This can help open up the channels through which creative ideas can move.
- Step Away. Sometimes it's just as easy as walking away from the project or source of frustration, if only temporarily. It's okay to set it aside and let it stew until you've finalized a vision of the impending masterpiece!
- Try Another Creative Outlet. Can't seem to finish a piece of jewerly? Try sketching or photography, even if you lack the skill, even if you've never tested those skills before. Try another creative outlet as an exercise in tapping the creative flow, even if that flow isn't directed at the project you wish. I like to photograph water drops. The shapes and colors that occur organically are often a great inspiration I can carry into other work, and often requires very little "mental involvement". In other words, when I let a creative act speak for itself, it takes the pressure off me to "perform", which is often a very healing process.
- Indulge In Social Media! Pinterest is a treasure chest of inspiration waiting to be plucked from the sands of the internet. And while we should always endeavor to push our own creative limits, it never hurts to visit and re-visit the works that inspire us. And, sometimes, a little social media rant is all we need to push through the doorways of our own creative house, so tell the world you're frustrated! A sympathetic ear is often a curing one.
- Don't Think, Just Do. Don't worry about the outcome. Push aside your expectations. Walk with your fear of failure, have a conversation with it, and then show it the door. Pick up your tools, whatever they may be, and just create, without the goal of completing anything. This process alleviates a world of pressure!
- Give Yourself Permission. Permission to stop working, permission to walk away and sleep on it, permission to try and fail and try again and take a moment to re-evaluate your own processes and goals.
Sometimes, when we allow the creative block the space to complete its cycle, we find that what we create on the other end of it is a masterpiece!
Happy weaving everyone, and get creating!