Do you ever get cagey, impatient and start making demands of your creativity?
Like “words get out of my head and onto the page NOW. And make sure they’re written perfectly too..or else”
I know sometimes I can get a little (okay big TIME) distracted with the finish line of my project and I forget to appreciate where I’m at in the creative process.
If you’ve been in this situation before you know how well barking orders at our creativity works (insert cricket noise here). Exactly. It doesn’t work.
When we face a detour, rut or simply find ourselves getting frustrated at the slow progress we’re making, it’s an opportunity for us to get curious, reach into our bag of tricks and say alright CREATIVITY…..what do you think of THIS *tosses sparkly dust and confetti*.
So with that I wanted to share a few “tricks” you can toss out when progress slows to a plod or complete stop in the creative process…
#1 Play musical chairs. If you’ve been sitting typing away in the same spot over and over again, it might be time to switch it up. Sometimes that means going to the library, a coffee shop or co-working space and sometimes that means just a shorter move...like into a different room in your home or in your office.
#2 Give it some breathing room. NOTE: This is different from procrastination (which is avoiding the work because of FEAR). Space and breaks are part of the creative process too. So don’t be afraid to take a time-out or let your words breathe for a few minutes, hours or days...whatever you need. Sometimes a time crunch helps us get the work out and sometimes it’s just extra pressure that our creativity doesn’t need.
#3 Tune out. Look I love learning just as much as the next person...BUT I also know that listening to too many podcasts, audiobooks, webinars and reading too many blog posts and books can get in the way of precious creative time. Check in with yourself and see if it’s time to hit pause on feeding your mind so you can have the space to create!
#4 Go for an idea walk, stroll or ride. Hold on to that problem you’re currently trying to solve or that chapter you’re stuck on and head out for a stroll or ride around the block or on a trail. As you’re moving let your mind wander but also let it toss the ideas around and see what comes through. This is a bonus because it gets our body moving and in NATURE…
Which brings me to #5. I think NATURE is the best studio of all. Find a window with a view, plop down on a park bench or hang out with some trees and see how your imagination appreciates a little 1:1 time with mother nature.
#6 Go back to the brainstorming stage. Maybe you bust out the sharpies and some sheets of paper or maybe you get your phone and start a voice memo so you can talk out your ideas. OR may I suggest painting or doodling..where you can let your mind wander, but also brainstorm at the same time. Sometimes we just need a refresher or to dig up some more ideas.
The creative process is NOT linear (but you know that), so it’s to be expected that we have to take steps back and sideways to move through it.
#7 Crank the tunes and dance it out. This has to be one of my favourite things to do when I find myself shaking my head at the screen and frustrated by the lack of progress. Make a playlist of music that gets you in the dancing and creative mood and keep it on standby...better yet...just keep it playing.
This list literally could go on and on...but overwhelming you with 1001 ways to SPARK your creativity probably would do the opposite and make you want to hit DELETE.
Give one of these tricks a try and REMEMBER that the progress you are making, even if it feels like you’re wading through the messy middle…STILL COUNTS. It STILL MATTERS. Share in the comments below what other tricks you’d add to this list.
AND if you’re want to add a REALLY big trick up your sleeves…check out the NEW Sparks + Splatter Creative Retreat I’m hosting at Wildflowers Farm in St. Thomas, Ontario.
It’s for makers and entrepreneurs and it’s designed to REIGNITE your creativity. BUST out of your office, step away from your routines and screens and make room for PLAY and CREATIVITY. CLICK TO LEARN MORE.