A creative block is defined as the inability to access one’s internal creativity. It’s very common for creatives such as writers, artists, musicians and performers to hit a wall at some point, but we all deal with this in different ways. For non creatives, you may be thinking “Just create something!” Well, it’s not that simple. A creative block can last for days, weeks, months and even years. If you rely on your creativity to pay the bills, a creative block is the last thing you need.
I can only speak on my own experience, so I’ll do just that. I’m wired a bit differently. I say that because in order for me to function I have to indulge in the arts. Lately, I’ve been feeling like a part of myself has been missing. No, I’m not suffering from anything, but as a creative this is a big deal. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. It gets harder to cope with when I see other talented individuals produce amazing work and I can’t find the motivation to get going.
My creative block began towards the end of my senior year in college. I got used to having to create for grades over the four years of undergrad and it became a repetitive process. Since I was a highly involved full-time college student with multiple jobs, there was no time to create for the hell of it. If you’re an art or graphic design student then you know the struggle. Those deadlines don’t wait for anyone! I was a graphic design major, so the majority of my classes were art related. To be honest, I was burned out on art. It’s been months since I’ve drawn something (outside of freelance work) or typed more than two sentences on WordPress. It’s been a long, confusing and frustrating experience and I’m not sure if I’m close to kicking this creative block to the curb. I’m still dealing with it, but I’ve had time to analyze my situation:
I didn’t want to say it, but it’s so true! I know what you’re going to say. Girl, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. True that, but I’m speaking more in terms of my time management with the time that I already have. I have a creative block, now I just don’t have time. Why me?
I’m not a horrible time manager, but I can’t seem to fit in those extra things. I balance a full-time job, part-time job and adulting. Yes, adulting! My problem is that on top of the things I’m already doing, I struggle with making time for things like creating. I’ve had to learn to say ‘no’ when I feel that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. My life is a schedule. I’m a walking planner and if it doesn’t fall into one of those open slots, it’s not happening. Google Calendar has become my best friend. I keep up with my freelance projects, work, appointments, tasks and notes. It’s been a true life saver and has helped indefinitely with managing my time.
LACK OF MOTIVATION
When I am inspired to create, there’s always something that steers me away and I never follow through. Sometimes I’m just not motivated. You can’t get anything done if you’re not motivated to do it. I have so many ideas with nothing to show for. To deal with this I’ve started to write things down in a notebook. I’ve started prioritizing my thoughts and ideas. Anything that comes to mind goes in my notebook and the ideas that mean the most to me are what I focus on.
Other things I’ve done to stay motivated have been interesting myself with other forms of art like music, photography and fashion. Like I said before, in order for me to function I have to indulge in the arts. Discovering new artists has served as an amazing source of inspiration and motivation.
I’ve also found Pinterest to be a great tool for sorting my ideas and interests. Similar to my notebook, if something new comes to mind I’ll create a board for it and pin things that relate to that idea.
Sometimes, the location you’re in can hinder your creative process. This may be the case for me. Not saying I need to up and leave the good ol’ natural state, but it’s important that I get out and continue to see the world, meet new people and gain new experiences. This goes for all creatives. Don’t get too caught up in the same old people, places and things.
Remember how I said that I felt like a part of myself was missing? I’m looking for it and I’m coming for that creative block with a vengeance. I’ll catch you in the streets, bro!