If you’re an artist, writer, entrepreneur or work in a profession that requires innovative thinking, you may have experienced creative ruts. A creative rut is more than the regular fluctuations in your ability to be creative. Sometimes, it could be a persistent mental block that prevents you from looking at things from a fresh or new perspective. Or maybe, you are scared of change or breaking habit, and thus, unable to escape your creative dry spell. It could also be the product of underlying personal issues, such as family, financial or professional worries, which hamper with your creative thinking abilities. Sometimes, creative blocks result from non-conducive work habits or environments.
A creative rut can be more than just bothersome or frustrating, especially when it impacts your ability to perform at work. So, it can be very important to understand what is holding up your creativity and to find effective ways to re-engage and nurture your creative self. If you have ruled out and dealt with any underlying issues that may be stressing you out and you still find that your imagination is inhibited, you can give one or more of these interesting suggestions a go to get your creative juices flowing again:
- Shake things up. Creativity is often sparked by our ability to look at things from different angles. It might be helpful to re-arrange your workspace, buy a new notebook for your writing or use a different software for your illustrations.
- Look around you. See how others around you get their creative caps on. Scouring the internet or watching TedX videos might be a good starting point. Don’t be scared to try out an idea or two that worked for someone else.
- Get freewriting. Freewriting is the act of penning down whatever is on your mind. This is helpful in externalizing any anxiety or stress that might be cluttering your mind and its ability to get creative.
- Use your emotions. Research shows that creativity is increased when both positive and negative emotions are running high. Try to create when you next experience a powerful mood such as elation or sorrow.
- Play brain games. Challenge your brain through puzzles, word problems or crosswords. Problem-solving is critical to nurturing creativity.
So the next time you feel like you are suffering from a creative rut, do not despair. Think about ways to get creative in finding your muse!