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How to get out of a Creative Slump

Ways to get creativity flowing

By Grace Gettys Published about a year ago 4 min read
How to get out of a Creative Slump
Photo by Eli Francis on Unsplash

Growing up Pre-Social media, I had many creative outlets. You could catch me rereading one of my favorite book series for the 50th time and then writing my own story based off them. One of my favorite book series featured a young heroine with different dragons so then I would write myself in a story with a pet dragon. In middle school, after completing my homework I would fill different notebooks with short stories. If I wasn't reading and writing then I was practicing different forms of art like painting or calligraphy. Now in my early twenties, I can struggle with sticking to a book, finishing a short story, or even finishing a quick drawing.

I was beginning to feel disappointed in myself when I couldn't stick to things that I love doing. They began to feel like a chore instead of a passion that I loved doing. I like to blame social media and how it altered my attention span, but I know that I can overcome these struggles. Here are some ways to overcome a creative slump:

1. Take a break from your phone

The most obvious one is taking a break from social media. Reaching for your phone to mindlessly scroll on TikTok for a few minutes can evolve to a few hours. I have fallen for this more than a few times and then I feel guilty for wasting my time. Social media will always be there to entertain and to take your time. How often do you remember the content that you consumed on social media? I prefer to remember and be proud of my completed art instead of the random memes and videos I came across on Instagram or TikTok.

2. Set goals

One thing that has helped me to stick to a schedule was to set small goals for myself. I have been focusing more on my writing, specifically short stories. Even if I do not publish one of my short stories, just working on one completes my goals. As long as I am writing something, then I feel accomplished. One small goal that I have is to publish a short story at least once a month. I may publish more in that time or just meet that one goal and that is perfect for me. It is easy to get overwhelmed with everything in life so having a large amount of time in between goals helps me not shut down my open projects.

3. Create a routine for your outlet

Routines are essential and integral in life. Even if you do not realize it, there are routines that you have established. Even if it's a basic routine like getting ready for bed. Mine is to take my contacts out, brush my teeth, go to the restroom, make sure my water is filled, and do my skincare. Why not establish a routine for your work? I follow the same routine when I begin a painting. Before I paint, I usually have a moment of inspiration. I begin by setting up my paint station which includes my travel easel, gathering what paints I need, and making sure my palette is clean and ready. I usually find something to watch that I don't need to focus too much on, usually a movie I have already seen or a comfort tv show like New Girl. Lastly, I make sure that I change into clothes that I don't mind getting paint on. I am a firm believer in not letting cleanliness stop my creative processes, within reason of course. By creating a routine, you can begin to establish healthy habits for your creative processes.

4. Try Something New

I love expanding my art portfolio by trying new art forms. I strictly used to only paint and draw, but soon became bored of those mediums. I decided to take a calligraphy class in high school and from that I have learned to incorporate different art forms together. I would make miniature paintings with different quotes and turn them into bookmarks. Having different art forms to turn to, helps me when I am having a creative block in one area. Learning something new can help you refocus your creative thinking into creating something you didn't think you were capable of. My painting skills have deepened since I have learned calligraphy, different drawing techniques, etc. This can be applied to your writing as well. I typically write fiction, but I have also began to write non-fiction. Adding different skills can help your craft more well rounded.

5. Go somewhere new

Sometimes I get a little stir crazy if I have been home for too long. Having a different setting can make me more productive in whatever I am creating. Obviously there is a time and a place for everything. I would not take all my paint supplies to a coffee shop and make a mess, but I would take my travel easel to a park where I have more space. Being in a new location can inspire you to create different things. When I am writing, I often pull inspiration from the location where I am writing. This could just be describing how the birds are chirping or the passerby that is walking their dogs.

6. Be nice to yourself

One thing to always remember is that you are human. You are not going create the perfect masterpiece or stop yourself from being distracted. I still struggle with remaining focused even after establishing different strategies. It will take time and consistently, but you can do it.

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About the Creator

Grace Gettys

I am an avid storyteller that likes to write about anything that inspires me whether that comes from visiting the beach or blogging about what is on my mind.

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