I've been in a bit of a creative slump lately. (And I think slump is probably the most accurate/most unattractive word to use to describe it.) I have lots of ideas for blog posts, pieces I want to write and things I'm dying to share with you all, but when it gets down to doing the actual work- I start drawing a blank.
With any creative process, there's bound to be lulls in your inspiration. And as frustrating as they can be- especially if creativity is your job- learning how to deal with and utilize the "dry" moments is an important aspect of any creative's work.
For me, as I shared last week, I've been a bit overwhelmed by the blog world lately. As I struggle with the pull to compare myself to others who are doing it exactly how I want to be and conversely seek to stay true to my vision for this space, I think my brain just goes on auto pilot. I'm creating, but it's not my best work. I'm writing, but it's just so I can have a post for the week.
I don't want that. I don't think any creative does. So lately I've been brainstorming ways to spark my creative drive with out compromising my voice. Here goes:
1. Start A Creative Routine:
This will obviously look different for everyone, and probably won't be for every personality type, but it has been very helpful for me to establish a time that I write or work on my blog each day. It's usually after the girls are in bed, and especially on the weekends while AJ is at work.
2. Keep a Notebook with You at All Times:
If you're a writer, this is probably second nature to you. For a while, I wasn't carrying a notebook on me (it felt weird throwing one in the diaper bag...) and I would always have ideas for blog posts while I was out. But with no way to write them down, I always forgot them before I got home.
3. Take a Break:
Seriously. Sometimes the best thing for your writing is to not write. For a little while of course. I would rather postpone a scheduled blog post than publish something that isn't my best work. I'm guilty of doing the opposite of this all the time. Remember that pressure I talked about? Leave it behind you and give yourself some space to recharge and get re-inspired.
4. Just Write:
Conversely, sometimes you have to just start writing. There are plenty of times when I've been uninspired to write, but after a few paragraphs I get excited and catch a vision of where the piece is taking me. Even if it's not something you plan to publish, getting in the habit of writing a little something every day will help you have a well to draw from when the inspiration is lacking.
5. Have a Creativity Partner:
I'm part of a writer's group on Facebook where the founder encouraged us to have a "writing buddy". Find someone who shares your interests and go out for coffee and create together. Even if they don't read what you're writing, it can be a great way to get the words (or brush strokes or computer keys or whatever your medium is) flowing.
6. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone:
Going somewhere new, joining a new group or pushing yourself in an area you've been struggling is a huge way to get new material.
I'm sure the list could go on and on. But those are a few of the simple ways I'm tweaking my thought process to help me create- and not just because I have to.
How do you pull yourself out of a dry spell?