How to get through a Creative Slump (part II)

conquering a creative slump

As a follow up to this post about getting through a creative slump, I wanted to share a few more tips revolving around that topic. After the long Fourth of July weekend, I thought this would be the perfect time to share round two.

So here are four more tips to getting through a creative slump (we’re starting with #5 because 1-4 are right here).

5. Remember that things have a way of working themselves out.

This can be a tough pill to swallow sometimes, especially on the days where it feels like the walls are caving in around you. BUT it is true! Really, it is.

6. Know your limits + cut yourself some slack.

Truthfully, no one is expected to be ‘on’ all the time. You don’t expect that of others. Do you? So, you shouldn’t expect that of yourself either. We all have bad days, off days, and all together ‘I’m absolutely not even going to bother to put on real clothes today’ days. It happens. And there are plenty of other days to make things better. Know your limits and do your best not to overstep them…In other words, if you know you have a big deadline coming up don’t continue to agree to do other ‘little things’ for other people just because they asked. It’s okay to say no, especially when you already something else looming. It doesn’t mean you’re an evil person and no, that person will not ‘hate you’ for politely turning something down if you don’t have the time or energy for one more ‘little thing‘. P.S. If said person does end up hating you for something like that, you don’t want to know/ work with them anyway!

7. Be okay with sucking.

Trial and error can be a good thing, but it also means that you can’t be afraid of the errors. Right? Translation: Don’t be afraid to suck with the first draft (first product launch, first post in a new series, etc).

8. Work in intervals.

Work in short bursts until you get your groove back, Stella! This is something that a commenter, Kansas Ashley, mentioned in the last post about creative slumps and I thought it was a perfect addition to today’s list. She said…”One of the BEST methods Ive found recently is to work in time intervals. I set my device timer for one hour and focus all of my attention on one project, when the timer goes off I move on to another and so on throughout the work day…It so easy to focus when you know it has an end point.

9. Know yourself.

And do what works for you. When I’m stuck or struggling with a project, I head to my nearest craft store and walk down every aisle. 9 times out of 10 all I need to do is visualize the supplies at my fingertips and I can come up with something (at least semi) interesting to make. And if it’s a writing assignment that I am having a hard time with, making things with my hands usually helps me think. So those are some things that work for me. They may not be the things that work for you though. The point is, you have to know yourself and do what works for you.

10. Go back to the good old days of pen and paper.

There is nothing like pen and paper, if you ask me. And starring at a computer screen all day can really suck your creativity dry. So, if you’re finding you have an issue in the inspiration department, give your computer a rest for a bit and jot down ideas and sketches with a big piece of paper and pen (or pencil if you like to erase). I do this a lot and it has been super helpful for me, but I’m not the only one… Sarah, who also commented on Part I of this series, said this…“When I feel uninspired, I try mindmapping. Sit down with a blank paper in front of you and just write a word in the middle like summer than write everything that comes to your mind like drinks, picnics,  party, friends, ice-cream and suddenly I have 1000 ideas and I get excited again. Its the best!”

So, that’s it…six more tips to get you out of a creative slump.

Have your own thoughts to share? Feel free to post your tips and tricks for getting inspired in the comments below.

And don’t miss Part I of this series as well, which can be read right here.

18 comments | Click here to reply

Thank you for sharing! I agree that a pen and paper can be a great tool for getting out of a slump. I recently was in a bit of one myself, so I sat down with a pen and paper and just started making a list of any project idea that came into my head. One thing led to another and by the end of my little sit down I had a list full of ideas and felt really inspired!

I also think that when you’re mid-project, or just finished one up and are feeling frustrated, just walking away from it for a little while and coming back to it in a couple of hours does wonders!

Thanks again for the tips!

-Becca

Becca

Don’t you love it when that happens Becca? I literally just did this (sat down with paper and pen to mindmap) last night with a series of projects I have coming up. I brainstormed ten plus solid ideas in about in hour (for something that I had absolutely NO ideas for just an hour before). It was great! P.S. Thanks for sharing what helps you when you’re feeling uninspired.

papernstitch

Be okay with sucking:) I love it. So true, it’s ok to have sucky creative moments, because an awesomeness moment usually follows:)
XO
atticlace.blogspot.com

Sarah

Yes! Definitely Sarah. 🙂

papernstitch

I’m all over #7! Totally okay with sucking over here. Maybe tooooo okay? 😉

Chelsea C.

Haha! I love you Chelsea. Why can’t we live in the same city (or state for that matter)?
-B

papernstitch

Thanks so much for sharing these tips. I know/use a lot of them, but it’s always nice to have someone remind you (and realize that everyone else falls into slumps sometimes too)!

I definitely need to learn to “say no” to smaller projects when I have a big deadline. And there are always those times where I just need to drop something and come back a few hours later. Haha, and from time to time, I definitely feel like EVERYTHING is going wrong, and I just CAN’T do something… And you know what, I get through it, and everything is always just fine.

Alex from http://www.polkadottedpixels.com

Alexandra Pettinato

This post came at just the right time. I’ve been in a creative slump for what has felt like quite a while by now, having fits and starts of creativity that seemed to go now where… now I’m recommitting to my goals and these tips are truly helpful.

Love the mind mapping idea – spending time away from the web definitely gets my juices flowing!

Jessica

Oh, I feel so honored to be mentioned in Part II. Thank you, Brittni!

Sarah

My pleasure, Sarah. It’s a technique I use often, so I was so happy to see that you mentioned it in that post…I just had to include it. 🙂

papernstitch

Thanks so much for sharing! I was in a creative slump about 2 weeks ago and wrote a blog trying to find some ways out of it, definitely bookmarking these two for future reference!

Melissa

Yes! I wholeheartedly agree with Becca about #10! While it wasn’t exactly the most creative writing, I was recently faced with writing my grandmother’s eulogy. I have a tendency to procrastinate anyway, but being under such a time crunch and filled with emotion wasn’t helping. I worked in intervals, jotting down thoughts and notes with pencil and paper, and then I would step away for bit. After doing this 3 or 4 times over a couple days, I had enough ideas on paper to piece together a eulogy I could feel good about.

Thanks for sharing these!

Lindsey

Great tips! There’s nothing worse than feeling burnt out and frazzled when ideas and inspiration are in short supply.

I find that setting goals – big or small – is a great way to keep creativity going. I do some type of personal challenge every year with a certain theme and time frame, and it has always helped to keep new ideas and projects flowing. Blogging about a challenge is also a great way to keep motivated, as there are readers waiting to see what’s next!

Mortira

I use the timer trick as well! Sometimes my timer only gets set for 15 minutes but it’s still productive time, right? 🙂

Leigh Anne

I am in the slump of my life. I made a plan for how my life would go, and my life had it’s own plan. I wanted to get rid of things and then start something new so I could have a FOCUS. I need to cut myself some slack because I’m hitting brick walls left and right and I’m about to be seriously discouraged. I am glad to read this!

Eura Lee

Hey Eura Lee, I know exactly what it feels like to be in a slump – its something I’ve been recovering from for quite a while. Sometimes life takes turns we don’t expect but we always end up where we need to be in the end.

Don’t be discouraged, keep these ideas in mind and in time things will start to open up!

Jessica Newell

Thank you….I can only hope it will get better! 🙂

Eura Lee

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