3 Tips for Overcoming a Creative Block

It is Either Creative Feast or Famine!

For me, creative blocks come in two forms -- no ideas are flowing or there are too many and I can't focus and get anything done. 

3 Tips for Overcoming a Creative Block by Roben-Marie Smith with free pdf download of the post for easy reference.

It goes something like this -- I sit at my art table and rearrange pens and brushes and get easily distracted while I channel surf, waiting for a brilliant idea to suddenly appear out of nowhere.  

Or, I move about the house doing mundane things to distract me because my mind is ready to burst with ideas and I can't focus for the overwhelm.  

I am sure as you are reading this, you can relate, right?  You are not alone!

Let's chat about three of my favorite ways to overcome a creative block and I will throw in ideas and dive a little deeper into the recommendations:

1. Listen to Podcasts

It took me way too long to jump on the podcast bandwagon, but I am so glad I did!  I have been binge-listening to several of my favorites while I drive, do household chores and workout.  

Some podcasts are super short, so you can consume them in a quick drive to the grocery store and back. My suggestion is that you find some podcasts that interest you, but cover a wide genre, so you can expose yourself to lots of ideas.

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
— John Maynard Keynes

Listening to podcasts is much like participating in a scavenger hunt.

What, you ask?

Yep!  You listen to a podcast and find the guest very interesting so you immediately go to Google and track down his website, then you read a few posts, sign-up for his newsletter and download this super cool (fill in the blank).  Now, you want to consume more information so you buy his latest book and then it opens your mind to a whole new way of thinking about (fill in the blank).  You start jotting down all these ideas you had no inkling were swirling around in your brain and voila -- you have broken through a block!

I Am Crushing on These Podcasts Right Now:

The Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields
The Owner's Mind with Chris Brogan
Elise Gets Crafty
#Create Lounge with Kayla Hollatz
Smart Creative Art with Monica Lee

2. Change Your Surroundings:

This one sounds really simple, but it is very effective, and you don't have to go out of town or on a long vacation to get a change of scenery.  Freeing our minds of our regular routines give it a chance to be challenged so we open ourselves up to new possibilities.

It’s good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.
— Tim Burton

Simple Ideas for changing it up:

•Go shopping and be sure to visit stores like Anthropologie, West Elm and Pottery Barn.
•Take your journal to the local coffee shop and jot down ideas while you people watch and drink a fruity tea.
•Go for a walk with your camera and view your surrounds from behind the lens.
•Take a different route when you run your errands.
•Visit the beach or a local park with your sketchbook.
•If you work inside, move outside to a porch or patio.
•Go to the gym or workout at home.

3. Sleep, Watch & Eat:

I remembered a day not long ago when I hit the wall creatively and this affected me not only mentally but physically.  I was frustrated and knew I had to do something, so I did what any desperate creative person with no brilliant ideas would do to move herself forward...I took a nap and then I binge watched six hours of the Hallmark Channel while downing a pan of boiled peanuts and spicy guacamole dip!

While I am not recommending you follow this exact plan, I do suggest that during a creative block you take a rest from your work and get plenty of sleep (this works wonders).  Am I the only one who gets excited when she can curl up at 9PM and go to sleep?  I also like to watch funny or romantic movies while eating something I love.  Sounds simple, right? Give it a try!

Wrap Up

There are many ways to overcome these times in our creative journey so never fear.  I believe this is part of the process so I try not to beat myself up. 

I would love to hear your ideas.  Pop them in the comments and share.

Have a  blessed day!

Roben-Marie