This one is for any creative person that feels the need to create content constantly and/or is required to do so professionally. If you feel like you can't do anything right sometimes and you start doubting your work... Three words: we feel you.
The creativity juice
You know the thrill you get when you create something new that people appreciate? Your heart beats faster, you are full of energy, you are smiling from one ear to the other and you keep coming up with better ideas every day. Until one day.... Mic drop, curtain closed, no creativity juice left. Take a deep breath, it doesn't mean you suck.
Find the cause
What triggered this sudden block? Did you get a bad feedback? Are you dealing with personal problems? Do you think everyone is better than you? Did you sleep enough? Are you hungry? Did Tim Horton's stop your kind of Timbits ? (it's a problem in Canada, alright?). Whatever started this, if you identify it, you can start to fight it.
Putting things into perspective
People, we don't need drama, alright? We already have so many reason to stress out nowadays (see Timmie's horror story above). A creative funk is not the end of the world and will happen (again). We are not magical robots that can create ALL THE TIME. It's impossible. You will create things that will suck. But you will have some that will rock.
We asked other artists to give us their opinions about dealing with creative blocks and we have put together a little list of things you should try when you feel like you are stuck.
Take a break.
Have you even been out today or have you been staring at your laptop trying to invoke your muse? A change of scenery is usually the trick for small creative funks. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, talk to people. After you read this blog post please.
Luke, talented musician, says: "Remember you cannot cannot unless your mind, body & spirit are in alignment. Breathe in the fresh air and take a moment to acknowledge how good of a job you are doing. This will clear your negative blocks."
Be okay with failure.
Actually, stop seeing it as a failure, see it as a lesson. You did something, it didn't go right but now you know what to do to improve. Put a Hello Kitty bandaid on your ego and off you go. After all, you wouldn't have any successes without failures. So they are kind of necessary.
A lot of creative funks come when we lack inspiration. A good way to get it back is to… look for it everywhere you go. Pinterest, books, blogs (eheh), artist in your field (or not) you love, podcasts… We have access to SO many sources. I personally have a weird obsession for Youtube videos of people accomplishing things and showing their routines for success.
Jason says: "You need to explore. Viewing different things will help spark your curiosity and give you that imagination back."
Let me crack my knuckles like a badass before I type this. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
This is the first cause of creativity death. There is always someone better than you and the sooner you get that, the more at peace you will be. Funny enough, someone is probably comparing him/herself to you, thinking you're better. Endless cycle. Look to others for inspiration, not competition.
As Luke, yes again, it was good alright, said "Thrive off of other people's energy & stories. When I have no fuel to write music I may look at someone else's situation and get inspiration from them and tell their story through my music. "
Some people need to force their imagination. Our dear friend Rai, fashion photographer extraordinaire, says: "Just walk around downtown and look at banner, ads, signs, then ask yourself: have you done something like that? Do you wanna do something similar? Start taking a few reference shots, upload to pinterest and then pin related contents. Just make sure to set a mood and tone first!"
Brainstorm with yourself. (preferably after taking that fresh air.)
Get a piece of paper and a pen (or a tablet for millenials) and write anything that comes to mind. Any rough ideas you want to do, any long term or short term goals. When I start freaking out, I also write the projects that I have coming up to prove to myself that I must be doing something right and that I have things to look forward to.
Mike, drummer and productivity master adds: "Just start writing... Then read that piece of trash and refer to your notebook of ideas... Realize you should've just started there. Seriously though, stock pile your ideas when you're in the zone."
Shake things up
When I start feeling unhappy about my creativity, it's usually because I don't manage my time properly to do everything that puts me in the right mind. It's a sign that I should probably change my routine. My last freakout involved my adding more workout and cooking time to daily routine because I enjoy that and I know it makes me feel content and thus productive. And the more productive you are, the more energy you will have for your next idea. Snowball effect.
Hopefully this has helped you to go all "FATALITY" on your creative funk. Remember, it is perfectly normal and you will get over it at some point. You have what it takes. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some youube videos to catch up on. Someone is cleaning up their entire apartment and it's bringing me joy.