What you gain: How to overcome creative block
Estimated time to read: 15 minutes
Free resource: Printable to-do list
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Overcome creative block
When you’re working as a creative entrepreneur, you’re dependent on your creativity, productivity, and stamina. Without inspiration and motivation, your business will hurt. What to do when you feel stuck, out of ideas or just plain washed out? There are some actions you can take to force yourself back on track. Yes, force.
The thing most people misunderstand about creativity is that you have to wait for it, that it comes to you. You’re in control of your creativity. Scary, yes, but it’s the truth. But fear no more, you’re soon going to be a master in tricking your creativity. If you want to learn more about stress and creativity, you can read my blog post here.
Recognize your inner critic
A source for a creative block is allowing your inner critic take charge of your thoughts. You have to be aware when it comes to your creative self-esteem – who is talking? Does your inner critic do all the talking? Almost all artists are in constant conflict with their inner critic on a daily basis. A professional can control the impulse to listen to their inner critic. And no, never let that voice take control of your biz.
How to get rid of your inner critic?
Well, I think no artist is free from their inner critic. You’ll have to live with the voice telling you’re not as good as your competition. That is life being an artist, maker, designer or creative. Fear of failure is often a cause of creative block. Always remember fiasco is a part of creativity. No-one creates excellent designs or art if they never failed. If you embrace failure and accept it as apart of your progress, you are less lightly to get stuck in the creative block.
Another important thing is never allowing yourself to go into procrastination-mode. Never let your fears of failure make you focus on other things than your art and artistry. Be aware of how you react to your inner critic and never shift your eye from your goals regardless of what your inner negative voice is telling you. Use my free printable todo-list to structure your day and take control of your productivity.
One way of turning down the volume in your head is by knowing ALL creatives face their inner critic on a daily basis. Do as I do when things turn ugly in your head – talk it away! Say what your inner critic is telling you LOUD. Then respond to the statement LOUD. Yes, I know, talking to oneself can be a bit crazy, but it works. Try it. After all, we are creatives, and it’s ok to be a bit crazy from time to time!
A good exercise for controlling your inner critic is positive affirmations. Over-load your brain with positive thoughts and make your inner critic shut up for awhile. Here’s a helpful affirmation video.
Routine and a solid todo-list
Creative block can be prevented by following routines. I know it sounds super-boring. Sometimes it requires some planning and scheduling to make things go smooth. If you build a method that makes you focus on your work, you soon find you are producing on “auto-pilot.” If you are comfortable and relaxed, you are less prone to get into a mental block.
Never wait for inspiration or motivation to come to you. You are in charge. You are. Professionals know you can’t wait for inspiration to occationally stop by. If you feel overwhelmed or shattered, start making daily plans and checklists asap. I use a planner to structure my days and biz.
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Work at optimal times of the day
Recognize what is working and not. Do social media, e-mails, and accounting interfere with your creative process? When I create art, I often leave my phone off or on silent mode. I know I easily get distracted by social media buzz.
Are you most productive at night or in the mornings? Learn to know yourself and work when you are most productive. Leave accounting, email correspondence, or social media tasks for other times of the day.
Too little or too much time
Sometimes too much time or too much stress trigger creative block. Be a realist. How much time do you need to produce art? Plan your day accordingly. Try to stay a realist – all the time. The same goes for all your tasks you need to perform in your biz. To stay healthy, you need to be realistic about your capacities. You will only feel discouraged and unmotivated if you plan too many tasks a day. Balance your creative output with generic biz ones.
Tips and tricks from my creative friends on Instagram
I always try to learn from my fellow artist friends – that’s why I love social media! I asked how they overcame the creative block in their work. Everyone seems to approach creative block differently. Some clean and declutter, some schedule their day. Others just crush the blank canvas by doodling. How do you overcome a creative block? Please share your story and tips below!
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