It happens to everybody. A creative slump feels like a brick wall between your creative groove. Whether penning a novel, writing an album, or even simply planning to redecorate your home, the slump is very real and deeply frustrating.
With successful authors publically addressing their own struggles with creativity, you are certainly not alone. But there are some sneaky solutions to circumvent your creator’s block, on which we will elaborate here. Try any one of these three simple tips and rediscover your creative groove.
Your Guide To Finding Your Creative Groove During A Slump
1. Take a Trip to Anywhere
Going on a journey can be a surprisingly effective jolt for your brain. This is true even if you have no real reason to travel. There is something about being in a liminal space, between point A and point B, which separates you from the rigors of day-to-day life.
No one can know exactly where you are at any given point, and poor reception in tunnels and rural areas makes it more difficult. You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself and your creative practice on the Bradford to London train, let alone the ideas you will come back with.
On a smaller scale, the act of leaving the house alone is revolutionary. So, step away from your desk and get a breath of fresh air. Go for a walk and challenge yourself to not think about the creative problem. More often than not, you’ll find yourself brimming with ideas soon after and racing home to write them down.
2. Try a Different Creative Problem Altogether
If you’ve found yourself working on the same project for some time, with no progress for the number of hours you spend in frustration, your brain might need something else to chew on. Continuing to plug away, in the same way, will not yield different results, so something needs to change.
Instead, pick up something else entirely – an unrelated project or activity, that requires a different kind of solution. For example, if you’re a writer struggling with writer’s block, set yourself a challenge to write a structured poem in 10 minutes. If you’re a musician aching over a chorus melody, step away and start something else. In fact, you might choose a song that inspires you and create with a unique arrangement.
3. Oblique Strategy Cards
If they are good enough for David Bowie and David Byrne, they might just be good enough for you! Oblique strategy cards were invented by music producer Brian Eno and painter Peter Schmidt in 1975, and are hugely useful tools for making you think differently about your creative problem.
Interestingly, each card contains a cryptic phrase or statement, which you can then use as a form of creative tarot to inform a new approach to your creativity. For example, the card “discard an axiom” might inspire you to either remove an element of your work you thought to be good or to engage with your practice in a counter-intuitive manner for a less predictable result.
If you have any questions or suggestions, we always love to hear from you in the comments below. Also below are links to more fantastic articles about ALL things DESIGN for your home or business.