Anyone else feeling like they are stuck in a creative rut at the moment? Oh, you mean the whole of the world feels the same thanks to a global pandemic? Yeah, I thought so. Being creative is a pretty large part of my life; I run this blog, a theatre company, work on my bullet journal, and I’m a musician in my spare time. Whilst I wish to have a full cup of creativity everyday (that would be brilliant), I am quite used to feeling empty and drained of every creative thought I may have. Sometimes it happens for a reason (sickness, grief, being overworked), and sometimes, my mind just ain’t playing creative ball. So, I thought I’d put my experience to good use and let you in on how I get those creative juices going in tough times!
Engage in art and culture
I don’t mean find your nearest art gallery and throw yourself in there for twelve hours (not that you could even do that now). I mean listen to music by a band you love, read a book by your favourite author, watch a film by your favourite director! The key thing here is immerse yourself in some kind of world that you know and like. For me, I’ll watch a Wes Anderson film. His films just scream creativity to me. Everything from the colour schemes to camera shots, costumes to dialogue are so well thought out and designed, it just sparks a little something-something in me.
Take a look at Instagram or Pinterest
I very nearly didn’t put this one in as it can be dangerous. Personally, I love to look at other people’s work – it gives me ideas and I love the feeling of community I get when I see other people doing what I do. The most important thing to remember is to take anything you see online with a huge pinch of salt – scrap that; take it with a block of salt. Anything you see posted on Instagram or Pinterest will be curated – the best of people’s lives, works, and themselves. You rarely see the first drafts, the eraser marks, or the blurry outtakes. When you know that, and only approach diving into social media as a way to get inspiration or finding like-minded people, it really can be a tool for good. I enjoy looking at the hashtags #bujospread or #bujoinspo for (you guessed it) getting inspiration for my bullet journal. I also really like looking at #blogger and #winchesterbloggers to see what other people are talking about in the blogosphere; especially people near me!
Do something completely different!
Hitting your head against the keyboard because that blog isn’t writing itself? Breakout the watercolours and go mad. Can’t get the eye right on your recent portrait? Grab that old ukulele and learn some chords. Struggling to master the notes on that solo? Lie down and read a book that brings you joy. Swap your creative practice for a different creative practice. Creativity is like a muscle; you can focus on one area, but don’t forget to rest and try something new once in a while. Flex them creative muscles, and you may just find you’ve filled your cup again.
Stop. Put down the brush, the pen, the instrument. Put away your dance shoes, the paints, the laptop. Just be done for the day (or the week, or the month). Sometimes, you simply have nothing else to give and that’s fine. Do your definition of ‘doing nothing’. For me, that involves watching documentaries or Disney films, ordering from my favourite Chinese restaurant, and snuggling down in a blanket for the foreseeable future. Resting is just as important as doing, and it may just be what you need to feel creative again.
So, those are my tips for how to feel creative when you start to flag. And I’ll be honest, I’ve been feeling pretty drained of my creativity all lockdown. Resting seems to be the one I am engaging with most, which means I’ve watched a lot of documentaries, and ordered a lot of Chinese takeaway!
I’m always keen to learn so let me know what your tips for reviving creativity are! See you soon.