Writer’s block. Lack of inspiration. A creative rut by any other name would smell just as awful.
Creativity can stop for a whole bunch of reasons. Stress, tight deadlines, and repetition can cause stagnation and loss of inspiration. And one of the many problems with an idea slump, ironically, is that creativity is usually needed to get back out of it.
We’ve all been there – you’re so overwhelmed by a lack of inspiration that working on anything feels impossible. It starts with one project, until all of a sudden the to-do list is miles high. All you need is one little idea to get the ball rolling again and pull yourself out of the creative rut.
How do we overcome the blank page?
Kevin: Perform the action almost mindlessly. What?? No, really! If you’re supposed to be writing something and you have writer’s block, you can do what they call freewriting, where you’re just typing whatever comes to mind. Just the act of doing that will be better for you creatively than staring blankly at a screen.
Paul: Do something physical! Just because you’re working in a digital world doesn’t mean you can’t find inspiration in the world around you. Use a pen and paper, fold paper into a mockup, toss around a bouncy ball, go for a walk, set up a diorama with your desk tchotchkes! When I’m stuck at home, I get up, grab a water, and write on my whiteboard while I pace around. It puts me in motion – physically and mentally!
Desiree: Get all the ideas you have in your brain down on the page. They don’t have to be good! Just run with the ideas you have. And maybe you’ll find some of your ideas you can run with and flesh out more. And if you can, phone a friend for help! You may be seeing things from one perspective but your colleague may see another way you never thought of.
Autumn: Stepping away from whatever I’m working on! Sometimes, all it takes is focusing on something else for a minute to give your brain a little break. When I’m ready to step back in later, I’m looking at the project with a fresh set of eyes.
Burkey: Get outside! Whenever I’m feeling stuck, I find that taking in some fresh air and admiring all of the natural beauty around me is a nice way to reset. Spending time outdoors offers a change in routine and helps shake things up!
Gia: Seek out what your favorite writers, artists and other creatives are making and lean into whatever part lights you up. I’m not talking about plagiarism or copycatting. Finding inspiration is a great place to start. Think of how you can add your own spin to it. How you can apply your own experience to it? Most likely, it will lead you down a completely different path to produce something uniquely yours.
Kat: In one of my favorite books, Steal Like an Artist, the author asserts that “Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.” I rummage around the internet on Behance, Dribbble, Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok to see what the design influencers that I follow have found success with (and who they are inspired by). I try to step outside my comfort zone by trying something completely new and making it my own.