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Published On: Tue, Apr 3rd, 2018

How to Find Inspiration when You’ve Hit a Creative Rut

If your profession or lifestyle calls for you to bring ideas and solutions at every turn, then hitting a pothole in the creativity road can feel debilitating.

Everyone faces times when it feels like your brain just isn’t working right, like everything you do is lacking in the creativity that you’re typically known for.

Depending on your mode of expression, you may call it writer’s block or simply a creative block. But regardless of what you call it, you’re probably wondering how to get out of a creative funk — so that you can get back to your inspired self.

Photo/Femke Jenkins Photography

Return to your old inspirations

One of the simplest and most logical fixes for a creative dry spell is to return to the things that have always inspired you.

For many people, these are the things that pushed you into your career or hobby in the first place. These are the things that have always been able to inspire you, no matter your mood.

For example, you may have a favorite essay or poem that you read in college, or that a parent used to read to you as a child. You may have a favorite piece of artwork, or a photograph, or even a location that has always rooted you and connected you to your craft.

It matters little what this thing or place is — it doesn’t even necessarily need to be a work within your own field. Writers can be inspired by photographs, photographers by poems, and poets by places.

All that matters is that you recall what first showed you how to embrace your creative side, and you return to that thing for another boost of inspiration.

Switch up your daily routine

If your creativity has sunk into a rut, chances are that other areas of your life have done the same thing.

Your mind may simply be starved for variety, and beginning to atrophy because of the monotony of your daily routine. Switch things up and give your brain the stimulation it needs.

You can make easy changes to your routine by simply moving your schedule around. Change your evening run to a morning run. Do your grocery shopping on a Tuesday evening instead of a Saturday morning. Go to a play instead of a movie.

If your schedule normally brings you comfort, then start with small changes and work your way up to bigger ones. Routine is a good thing — but even a good thing can be overdone.

Take a class or sign up for lessons

Force yourself outside of your comfort zone — because staying within your comfort zone is likely what led you to this rut in the first place.

Challenge yourself to take a step outside of your normal life, and learn something new. Putting yourself into this kind of situation is almost guaranteed to also introduce you to new people, new places, and new ways of thinking.

Sometimes, this is all it takes to bust you out of your creativity lockdown.

But even once the block is broken, keep up with that class. Think of it as creativity maintenance, and do your best to continually put yourself in new and slightly uncomfortable situations. This will help ensure that your creativity is always being given several kinds of outlets, which will help you learn how to grow your creative side even more.

Not sure what kind of class to take? You can find lessons near you in everything from jewelry making to magic classes to helicopter instruction. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Wait it out and keep showing up

Above all else, remember that creative ruts will pass. It may take time — sometimes lots of time — but a bit of elbow grease can help speed up that waiting period before your creative juices start flowing again. And often, a period of lackluster ideas can help bring you to an all-time creative high.

Author: Brad Richardson

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