Being stuck in a creative rut feels awful. But the good news is: you don’t have to stay there! Break out of that rut using these seven tips for creativity.
Have you been spending days staring at a blank page? Are you struggling with a particular design?
Perhaps you can’t seem to make your brain think outside the box.
Whatever your personal creative rut, you are not alone. Our brains need almost ideal circumstances to allow for creativity to escape.
Show of hands for the people whose lives are always ideal? Yeah, no hands here.
However, there are some proven techniques that you can use to jolt your brain back into action. You can break this rut if you take specific steps and stop thinking that the situation is hopeless.
Try out these seven tips that can inspire creativity in even the blankest of minds.
1. Allow Nature to Inspire You
Staying inside four walls can really make your brain feel trapped. Set it free by stepping into nature.
Go for a walk outside, work in your garden, or sit in a peaceful place outdoors.
Spending some time outside with the fresh air and sunshine may reduce stress. Stress is a creativity killer. Break out of that rut with the healing powers of nature.
Not to mention, the beauty alone of the great outdoors is a fantastic place to gather inspiration!
2. Go Radical
If you are having a hard time getting creative, try doing the opposite of what you usually do. It may be that breaking yourself out of this rut requires breaking the routine.
New experiences spark neurons in the brain to process all the unfamiliar information. When you don’t give your brain anything new, it tends to get lazy.
So try something you might consider radical. Do anything but worry about your project, and let your mind have an adventure! It needs a break from the monotony of life.
You will find that when you come back to your project at hand, you will have a fresh view of it.
3. Find a Muse
People can be the biggest inspiration. Greek mythology holds a story about a group of women whose only purpose was to inspire. You may know them as muses.
Many famous artists followed the pattern of finding inspiration in a muse by keeping company with beautiful young people. Of course, beauty is subject to the beholder.
You can find beauty in a person’s smile or pain. It’s all relative. It might surprise you what type of person becomes your muse.
Humans are so unique, and their experiences and personalities can move you to think differently. Their stories and view of life can help you to take a different perspective on things.
Sometimes all it takes is being in the company of someone who calms your soul or lights a fire within you to unleash your creativity. Seek these people out!
If you are an introvert or loner, just go to a public place, and people watch. You can still find interesting things about people by sitting and observing other’s daily lives.
4. Let Go of Fear
For some people, it isn’t what their brain isn’t doing that is keeping them stuck in a rut, but what it is doing. We can be so afraid of making a mistake that it can stop us in our tracks.
Don’t expect perfection or logic upfront. Creativity requires freedom of thought, and fear stifles that.
There are two steps to creation. First, let out all your thoughts and ideas. This is your rough draft.
After your creative brain has had its fun, allow your logical brain to take over and edit. If you try to make things perfect from the beginning, you may never be able to start.
5. Believe in the Power of the Arts
Our brain processes data all day long. Some information is work; some info is healing. When you expose your brain to the arts, you are giving it healing information.
Music is an excellent example of this. Music can ignite a creative passion. There are studies on whether music has positive effects on the cognitive abilities of its listeners — and the verdict is a resounding yes.
Even just going to a museum and admiring your favorite works of art can help you get your creative juices flowing. Visual arts are also proven to benefit the brain’s health.
If sitting around looking at art is too slow-paced for you, dance like nobody’s watching. Allow your body and mind to work together to create art without the confinements of what is “cool” to inhibit your movements.
If you are more of an audial learner, read poetry aloud or watch a Shakespearean play. The lyrical play with words can help your mind to begin to think more playfully itself.
6. Delight the Senses
There are times when a slight shaking up of the senses can reignite your creativity. Whether it’s taste, touch, sight, or sound, these senses should experience delight to wake your brain out of its creative slumber.
Savor a delicious morsel. Focus on the different birds chirping in your backyard. Sit back and admire the stars. Pet your cat.
Do what you can to awaken all your senses and improve your creative spark.
7. Go Play
If you are stuck, sometimes the best thing to do is stick your project out of sight and out of mind.
Now is the time to do something that you genuinely enjoy. It can’t feel like work at all. All work and no play make for a very dull train of thought. Einstein says that, “creativity is intelligence having fun.”
Whether this is video games or biking, it has to feel like play to you personally.
Sometimes a creative rut is simply your brain screaming for some fun. So go play!
If you feel your brain start to get a little numb, don’t let a creative rut take root. Use these seven tips to keep your creative juices flowing. If one doesn’t work, try the next until you are once again thinking like a creative genius.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Copper Beech Radford to help them with their online marketing.