How to survive a creative rut and get inspired again
Normally I’m one of those quite smug people who are never short of blog post ideas, I didn’t suffer creative blocks and I rarely faced a situation where I simply didn’t know what to blog about. I had a constant flow of ideas, inspiration and creative concepts that I wanted to work on, and actually my main issue was finding the time to actually dedicate to producing the content, not coming up with ideas.
But something has changed in this last month, and I seem to swing from masses of ideas and productive blogging, to a sort of paralysis where I simply can’t think, write or create. This kind of creative rut (or drought if you like) feels rotten, and more than anything I want to escape it, but much like sleep when you want it most and force it most, it simply won’t come. And it’s not just blogging too, I’m struggling to dress myself, to know how to style my looks, to think of things to do! It’s like my inspiration tank has just run dry, and when it comes to blogging and being a creative … running out of ideas and inspiration is a little tricky to deal with right?
As a result of the last couple of weeks I’ve really started to think about and find ways to tackle this creative rut, find ways to get myself back in the zone, and boost my inspiration. And today I thought I’d share a few of these tips with you, in case you too ever hit the inspiration drought.
HOW TO SURVIVE A CREATIVE RUT AND TIPS TO GET INSPIRED AGAIN
Remove the pressure
Understanding why you hit a creative rut is really helpful, because it’ll help you avoid another one in the future. When I think about why I’ve hit a block in my creative process, If I’m honest with myself, I can admit it’s because I was putting an awful lot of pressure on myself to produce great content every single day. I’ve always blogged daily, but in the last 4 months I’ve really tried to make sure every single post is the absolute best it can be, I’ve tried to ensure every feature is valuable, informative, relate-able and not to mention aesthetically pleasing too … and I started seeing results, great results, but with those results came more pressure to keep going, keep improving, to not let things slip. I love to write and create, don’t get me wrong, but I realise that I was being a little bit unrealistic and putting an awful lot of pressure on myself to really keep pushing my blog further, whilst also juggling a full time career (all the while comparing myself to the successful bloggers out there). I was acting like a full time blogger, but not accepting that I only had 1/100th of the time. This pressure comes from me, and me alone, but it’s taken me 5 years of blogging to realise I’m a little hard on myself … it took me 5 years to run dry, and realise that the pressure of forcing myself to create content daily was ultimately what was causing me to lose inspiration. To lose the joy of blogging. I had to remove the pressure.
A positive mindset and an open mind is the most effective way of feeling inspired and creating ideas, so finding a way to remove the pressure, remove your fear and get back into this positive zone was key. Creativity isn’t a competition. So don’t let yourself feel like it is.
Take a moment out
The easiest way for me to remove the pressure was just to take myself out of the situation for a little bit of time, give myself a breather and a break. In reality I’ve still not given myself a proper break as I’ve still blogged daily, but I did have a weekend off shooting and working on my schedule this weekend, and even that was enough to make feel a little re-energised. But probably, what I need is a proper break, a week or two to reflect, re-energise and get inspired again. I know that having fun and just enjoying myself is usually what fuels my ideas normally.
The point? Taking a moment out is sometimes essential for surviving and recovering from a blogging dip or creative rut. At the absolute minimum a good nights sleep can help, but try and give yourself the time you need to re-energise and regain your inspiration.
Learn & Adapt
But more than just taking a moment, it’s important that when you come back you can reflect and learn from what happened, so that you can adjust your course of action to avoid another creative rut in the future. For me, this means seriously reviewing and adapting my content flow and the frequency in which I post (is daily really necessary, are people really able to keep up with the content, can I keep up with the content and live a healthy life), and genuinely considering a new approach to my blogging process and content strategy – because this might help give me more time, less pressure and better content. Which is ultimately everything I want.
So if you’re suffering a creative rut or a blogging dip, why not take a moment to breathe, and when you feel ready for it, have a think about what might have caused the rut in the first place. Tiredness, a lack of time, pressure, dissatisfaction with your content … whatever it is, learn from it, and find a way of making changes.
Fuel your inspiration
When you’re suffering a creative drought, finding inspiration is key. Anything and everything can inspire you and spark an idea, but having a bank of places to go to fuel your imagination and provoke some new ideas is key. Everything from Pinterest and other blogs, to dedicating some time to read my favourite magazines and listening to pod casts, to simply just getting out for a walk (this really helps) can boost creativity … really it’s a case of relaxing and surrounding yourself with things that give you ideas.
The most important thing to do though, is to capture every thought or idea that enters your head, so that you always have a little secret store of ideas for days when you’re creativity isn’t at a high. Create your own hub of inspiration, whether that’s a secret pinterest board, a scrap book, or simply a folder on your computer full of notes, ideas, pictures or inspirations, whatever works for you, the point is it’s always there like a safety blanket in your moment of need.
Don’t face it alone
As bloggers we take a lot on on our own, everything from running the business, managing the content production, facilitating and generating new ideas, publishing, social media management (you know the deal), but actually when it comes to getting new ideas and thinking up new feature concepts, actually asking for a little help isn’t a bad idea. Whether that’s asking your readers for things they’ve enjoyed or new things they’d like to see, asking friends and family the sort of content they’d enjoy, or asking other bloggers for advice and tips.
In reality any idea is a good idea, and so broadening your potential is always going to be a winner.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Oscar Wilde
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE TIPS POSTS IF YOUR SUFFERING FROM A LITTLE BLOGGING OR CREATIVE DIP
. TURNING YOUR BLOGGING DOUBTS & FEARS INTO POSITIVE ACTIONS . 5 WAYS TO GET YOUR BLOGGING MOJO BACK . 5 WAYS TO GET MORE BLOG IDEAS. AND TURN THEM INTO REAL CONTENT. 5 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY . WHY DAYDREAMING IS GOOD FOR YOU .
If you’re feeling lost for inspiration and ideas, why not browse your archives, or your favourite blogs archives, have a pinterest session or simply think about the things you want to read. Whatever works for you … but most importantly, if your suffering a moment, don’t worry, you’re not alone, it’s normal and it will pass. You just need to remove the pressure and allow your mind the time and space to breathe and think! It’s often why the best ideas come on the toilet, while your driving or in the pub … it’s when you’re relaxed and your brain is left to breathe.
Do you ever struggle with writers block or creative ruts? How do you overcome them? I’d love to hear your advice and tips so please let me know in the comments. Oh, and taking my own advice, I’d love to know what you guys would like to see here on mediamarmalade, what features do you love, what features would you like to see? I’d really value your feedback :)