The Dreaded Creative Slump
Admittedly, I have been staring at this blinking cursor on a blank page for too long trying to start this blog. My internal dialogue constantly repeats back to me everything I’ve heard before: “Just start!” “No ideas are bad ideas.” “Don’t fight it.” “It will come together eventually.” And yet, I’m still struggling to get anything on the page. Why? I’m in a creative slump.
Creative slumps have plagued me my entire life, and as someone who would self-label as a “creative” person, it has been a challenge. I love to write, sing, record music, draw, paint and still there have been month-long periods in my life where I don’t do any of those things. It is difficult to pinpoint why these creative slumps come along and what causes them to happen or disappear. I have always wondered if they are because I’m too busy in other areas of my life, if I’m too stressed to allow for the creativity to flow, or if it really is just a random occurrence. All I can say for sure is that there is a feeling of guilt that comes along with a creative slump, and that is truly the thing I wish I could shake the most. “Being creative” is a big part of my identity, so when I feel I am not living up to the standards that I have set for myself, or I feel others have set for me, then the feeling of guilt can be intense.
Although I am not perfect at implementing all of these, here are some tools I use to help me through a slump.
Set A Routine
How uncreative right? But actually, it works! If I set aside maybe 30 minutes a day as my designated time to be creative it helps my brain stay in that creative place for longer periods of time.
Change It Up!
Creativity doesn’t all come from “within” and you can’t always expect yourself to produce things while sitting at the same desk in the same room for hours on end. Try going to a coffee shop, sitting in a park or even moving to a different part of the house!
Write It ALL Down
Usually, I’ll fall into the trap of not writing down any new ideas I think of at random times. I think “Surely I’ll remember this idea” and I never do. So when it comes time to sit down and work on a project for work, school, or even just personal projects, I have no idea where to start and I’m back to square one. I used to keep a notebook where I would write down any ideas, and now I have a note on my phone that I add to periodically.
Bring In Other People
If you’re anything like me, sometimes it feels too vulnerable to bring someone else into your creative “flow” and process. In my ideal world, I would prefer to show someone a completely finished product but sometimes that is simply not plausible. Getting the chance to hear other’s ideas can really be beneficial to your own ideas and even make them better!
Creativity comes and goes in our lives, yet seems to disappear when we need it the most. At the end of the day, remember to be kind to yourself! Try the tricks above to find what works for you when you aren’t feeling that spark to create. Whether it’s predictable like a schedule or random like a change of scenery, your creativity will come back in unexpected and beautiful ways!
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*Meet the Author*
Kylie is entering her third year with Leadership Inspirations! She is currently a student at Chapman University, finishing up her B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies with a double minor in Psychology and Leadership. She is also in her first year of a Master’s program focused on Leadership Development at Chapman University.
Favorite Quote: “Take your time, don’t move too fast, troubles come and they will pass” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Fun Facts: 1) I grew up overseas in 7 different countries 2) I love music and love to sing 3) I can play 5 instruments!