Readers' Choice, Volume 3
You asked: What do you do when you are stuck creatively?
GREAT question! To be honest, it’s a question we keep asking and re-asking ourselves. Here are a handful of answers we have today, and we know that this list will grow! Fair warning: some of these things are counter-intuitive. Meaning, some of these things may not seem productive, and some of them actually involve setting your work aside for a bit. But they help to clear mental and physical space to give your creativity some room to breathe on its own. Ya with me?
When you feel stuck ...
Ask yourself what the dream scenario would be ... and have fun with it! If you could have whatever you wanted, what would be the most amazing, fulfilling, juiciest way for this project, event, presentation, etc. to go? Maybe you’re not even sure what your next project is, so think instead about what the next month, year, three years, etc. would look like! What would be the most fun and fulfilling for everyone involved? And how would you feel before, during, and after doing your work? Take five minutes and write down what would make you do a full-on happy dance if it came true - don’t hold back! Sometimes getting clear on what you would actually want helps you to create a road map that gets you somewhere you actually want to go.
Similarly, if you’re stuck on one part of a larger project, take a step back. Spoiler alert: We’re doing this right now with this blog post! We’re asking, “What are we really trying to say?” Without fluff, without metaphors, without Mean Girls quotes … Answer: We want to ultimately say, “Relax! Have fun! Dream big! The limit does not exist!” Sorry not sorry, can’t help it … :) By starting with these very basic ideas, we build a solid foundation, and then the copy, the concrete recommendations, the jokes, the formatting all follow later.
Look for joy and choose joy. We love this one! Seeking joy and being grateful for it when it comes is a great way to invite more of it, which feeds our creativity and allows us to have fun with it!
Take stock of all the things you have already planned for your project. Are there any more variables in your control? Are there other ways to approach this from different perspectives? What will the overall experience be? How will the end-user feel? What do they need and how can you meet those needs?
Learn something new! Even learning something small will start to open your mind a bit. We found this article and this one after literally goggling, “What should I learn on YouTube today?” Riveting stuff, ya’ll. Anywho, you can learn anything! How to make your bed perfectly, how to say hello in different languages, how to juggle, how to moonwalk. Plus! And here’s a great throwback guide for how to embark on learning just about anything!
Travel, or just go somewhere in your own city you’ve never been to before. A simple park or museum or a new local shop will do the trick.
Tidy up your home, even if it’s a small area. This can help to free up physical and mental space for you. Plus, getting rid of physical things that don’t serve you can help you look more critically at everything. Is the project you’re working on serving you? How can it be changed to something even more meaningful? There’s some freedom in mindfully editing your environment so that you can be a little lighter creatively.
Moving your body can also really help get the creative juices flowing - go for a walk, shake it out, dance like nobody’s watching, stretch, laugh! Have a good go-to playlist ready to take you out of your mind and into your body when you need to.
Rest if you can, or just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
Lastly, just start. Start generating ideas you know will be bad just to get the ball rolling. Sometimes just getting started with a low-stakes warm-up will give you some great momentum.
Here’s our biggest takeaway: Being creative is both work and play. Your creativity gets the most momentum when you are excited! Start with one or two of these things that sound exciting or that feel good today, and then keep these other ideas in your back pocket.
Lastly, tell us! What do YOU do when you are stuck creatively?
Keep on moving!
The Uncommon Team