The Frustration of Writer’s Block and Creativity
Everyone gets creative blocks. Writer’s block is such a common term that non-writers use it too. Writer’s stare at blank pages, painters stare at a blank canvas. Creative slumps are just a part of the artist’s journey. But how do you get unstuck from these paralysing, frustrating, and unreasonably agonising blocks?
The words just won’t sentence. The paint won’t flow off the brush in your normally beautiful strokes. The poetry sputters like a faucet with a broken pipe instead of a flowing stream.
All the while, you sit there staring at your canvas, knowing you possess a deep well of ideas waiting for the light of day.
How do you get out of this impossible situation? It’s actually so easy we tend to bypass it as totally ludicrous.
We produce anyway.
Practical Tips For Recharging Your Flow State
Typically when you’re in a slump, it means you’ve become uninspired. The spark has gone from a strong flame to faint embers waiting for an idea to slide by and grasp. Your only problem with that notion is the idea doesn’t just “slide by.”
Working in the creative world is not a passive leisure. It’s an active process.
Read a book that uplifts you. I recommend The War of Art by Steven Pressfield or The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. Both books are written by authors who are all too familiar with the struggles artists of all kinds face, and the inner tug of war, doubt, fear, and anxiety that can take over if your guard is down too long.
Watch a movie. And I’m not talking about a random chick flick that doesn’t require much of your mental apparatus. I mean something that moves you to the core.
For me, that’s something like Inception or Interstellar. They resonate with the visionary thinking I want to be around. Find that visual stimulant that sets the tone. It doesn’t have to be related to your line of work, just something that makes you itch to create.
Even nature might do the trick for you. If so, get grounded. Literally, feel the earth, notice the details of life around you. Put yourself in a state of Awe. When you’re in that state, you open your mind and heart up to every possibility.
In nature, you are surrounded by the creation of the Creator. And we are made in the image of the Creator. It only makes sense that being inspired by the nature The Creator has constructed will pull us closer to rekindling our embers.
Connect with something that inspires you!
What initially made you want to start bringing your ideas to life?
Was it an itch that needed to be scratched?
A deep desire to personify your thoughts?
Or maybe, you knew inside that there was more to life than the dull humdrum of the “ordinary” so you wanted to connect with something beyond. An almost divine feeling you could only access by creating your art.
What was it for you?
For me, I feel my most grateful in the state of creating. There is a sense of peace, calm, and sureness about life that comes with the Flow (and struggle) of taking an idea from the conceptual to the real.
Is it hard? Always. But not the hard that makes you shy away. The hard to gives you more energy. For me, creating is fuel for my soul.
Does it mean everything I produce is gold? I wish I had the Midas Touch, but no. All it means is that everything I create is from the state of gratitude, which makes it honest. I think that is what we all are looking for. An honest, pure creation.
But we trip ourselves up by thinking we’re striving for “perfection.” Maybe that is what got you in your block in the first place?
One of my favorite TEDTalks is Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why.” If you are struggling to remember why you started art, give that 18-minute talk a watch.
That video will set the tone in realigning with your purpose. In fact, Simon wrote a book of the same name “Start With Why” which I also recommend as it goes deeper. The TEDTalk is a good start.
Re-engage with your passion. Make art. Paint sloppy lines, write the wrong words, compose the wrong cords, mess up. Create something out of your genre to clear your mind clutter. Get involved in the process again.
It will be rough going, initially but rekindling a fire takes a little time. Allow yourself to be a beginner again, and look at your work with fresh eyes.
Creativity is not something we chase, it’s something we make. It starts in the mind and it ends with a tangible product. In between that is the grunt work. The nitty gritty. The stuff that makes the amateur the masters of their craft.
Creativity Is A Hungry Flame
You always have to feed creativity. It a fire that dies if not given care, roams wildly out of control if not watched, but when crafted with determination it burns strong and steady.
I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes:
“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
― Steven Pressfield
Show up every day and do the work, friends!
PS -Part of the creative process means shipping it even if it’s not yet perfect. I understand as artists some of our blocks are due to perfectionism, but the world needs your work regardless. But, if you do notice any errors in this, please feel free to email me: Devani@VitlaMediaMarketing.com. 😉