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Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to Get Out of Creative Blocks

Get Out of Creative Blocks

I'm pleased to bring you today a guest post from freelance writer and blogger Michelle Fach.

Michelle has some excellent tips for any writer who is suffering from a creative block...

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Everyone has to deal with creative blocks sometimes, and I do mean everyone. Not just the tortured souls that create the masterpieces of the world, but every single person living on this planet.

Creativity is a key element of most of our lives. You might have a presentation to give at work, or you have to brainstorm ideas for decorating that spare bedroom in your house. You may be working on a team and having trouble contributing the number of ideas that the others are, leaving you feeling useless and unhelpful.

High stress, emotional pain, personal problems, mental fatigue, incompatible work processes and more can contribute to creative blocks. Which may end up taking a serious toll on your life and productivity, leaving you drained. Here are a few ways that can help you break through to the other side.

Accept Limitations

To-do list

You probably have a lot of things you want to get done in a day, and you have planned accordingly. But having too much packed into a day can drain your energy and your focus, leaving you struggling to focus. Whatever good intentions you might have, your plans could be seriously impacting your ability to be creative.

To get past this problem you have to accept your limitations. Time is not your only factor; you also need to be able to relax and let your mind unwind a bit. So try to cut some things out of your schedule when possible. Don't be too rigid with what you say you will do, even if it does feel counter productive.

Look For Inspiration

When I am feeling blocked, I love to settle down with a good book or watch a movie. These things are full of creative inspiration, jump starting my brain and giving me ideas that I can work from to create my own. This works every time I am failing to meet my creative milestones, and I have done some of my best work after seeing what someone else has made.

Everyone has something else that inspires them. Maybe it is music or nature. Perhaps it is discussing ideas with someone else. Whatever the case, you should regularly seek out ideas from outside your own head.

Just Do It

Just Do It

Sometimes your creative block is not caused by external forces, but internal. When you are dreading sitting down and getting to work, you are more likely to avoid it. This can feel like a block, but it is really just your own desire for procrastination. Especially when what you have to do seems overwhelming or like it may take an emotional toll on you.

If you are finding it hard to get yourself to sit down and actually work, then force yourself to do so. Beating your mind into submission can be incredibly helpful, and once you are done it can feel quite therapeutic.

Create a Calming Environment

Stress is the killer of all things creative. Yes, emotional or psychological trauma can spark some incredible work. But being unable to concentrate on the task of completing it is not nearly so effective. So you should always have a place to go without distractions, where you can make an environment best suited to your needs.

For example, when I have work to do I will go into a room where no one can bother me. I turn off my phone and turn on some music that best fits the mood of the work I am doing at the moment. I always have a cup of black coffee beside me, and I make sure my chair is comfortable. Without fail, this eliminates much of the stress that is holding me back.

Be Healthy

It might sound cliche, but being physically healthy is important for your creativity. Your mind has to be free to roam, and you have to be able to focus at all times. Proper diet and regular exercise give you energy, keep you from falling ill and make you feel all the more positive in yourself. Which will ultimately help dictate how you work in all aspects of your life.

Besides, you can get some great ideas while you workout or just go for a walk.

Conclusion

Everybody suffers from creative blocks every once in awhile. Some of us suffer from them more often than others, because of the creative nature of our every day work. But you can beat these blocks and come out with something incredible for your efforts. It just takes a little bit of preparation and dedication to do it.

Do you have tips on fighting creative blocks? Let us know in the comments.
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Michelle Fach is the social media junkie and blogger at Manifest Connection, the multi-author productivity blog. Michelle likes creating tool lists and playing with those tools too!

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Many thanks to Michelle for an interesting and thought-provoking article.

I do agree in particular with her "Just Do It" mantra (wouldn't that make a great advertising slogan, lol). Often I find the worst thing about writing is getting started. It can feel like getting blood out of a stone at first, but if I grit my teeth and persevere, almost always the words start to flow.

Another tip of mine is to check out the Writer's Block CD from my blog sponsors, The Self Development Network. This uses cutting-edge "binaural beats" technology to entrain your mind to its most creative frequencies. It could be just the thing you need to jolt you out of a block and get your creative juices flowing!

As Michelle says, if you have any other tips or advice for beating creative blocks, please do share them below.

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