A Creative Block
I know that none of us have the ability to be consistently inspired and brimming with ideas all of the time but sometimes that little dip in creativity feels like it goes a step further than a simple slump and dives head first into a full on creative block.
We're not talking about the times when a good nights sleep, or even a little social media scroll for inspiration can set the creative cogs turning again, we're talking those moments in time where the productivity cogs don't just slow; they halt. In fact they feel like they've halted for such a long time, that surely they'll rust before even a hint of an idea will grace you with its presence ever again...
Okay, okay - that might seem a little over the top granted, but I bet that the majority of you know from that description (even if it is a little exaggerated) exactly how frustrating and mildly panic inducing a creative block feels.
Have I completely run out of ideas forever more?
Will I ever have a lightbulb moment again?
How do I restart the creative cogs?
As Mrs. Doubtfire once said in one of the best 90's comedies of all time -
"Help is on the way dear!"
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So how am I working my way out of such a deep creative block?
Without making it sound like it was simple or quick, because it really wasn't, I stopped being so hard on myself. None of the self comparison or feelings of guilt did anything for my lack of creativity - except keep it stifled and keep me feeling that way. As soon as I gave myself a break, both literally and mentally, things started to finally clear. I'm definitely still feeling a lack of inspiration and there's been more than one opportunity where I could've been a lot kinder to myself while navigating my work, but making moves doesn't always involve huge strides. Sometimes they're just little, successful, steps.
Acknowledge that the discomfort of losing your creativity is temporary. It will without a doubt pass and things will change.
Try to stop beating yourself up about things you can't control. That feeling of guilt and frustration benefits no one.
Give yourself a break. Acknowledge any self imposed goals that can be put aside for now and allow yourself some space.
Wait. I know that feels like the opposite of productivity but truly I'm sat here typing away and chatting to you guys because I did just this.
The truth is, it's really nothing groundbreaking. The above has brought me out of my creative slump over the last couple of weeks and unfortunately there was no discovery of a magic potion, that brought me back to feeling like my inspired self. We all know we can't force our creativity; just like we know sometimes it's here and sometimes it's simply not. So in a bid to be a little kinder to myself as I'm starting to feel inspired and as always working on meaningful time away from work, there's no promises that I'll be back to 100% and sticking to all my usual schedules. Acknowledging that my creative block was temporary, also meant recognising the amount of pressure I put on myself is too much. I know the grace other people show me when I need time or help is because I deserve it (how uncomfortable is that to say out loud?!) and so I'll take it and keep it for next time I need it. I know there'll be a next time but maybe this experience means my next time, or your next time, might feel a bit less frustrating and more part and parcel of being a creative. Fingers crossed!