What do you do if you have nothing to write about? No one to sing about? What if your muse has gone, and you can’t paint or take pictures anymore? What do you do when you feel as though you have a dry spell, no inspiration, or if you feel like all of your creativity has spilled out of you?
You have two options when you feel like you haven’t been able to create anything. The first option is one that you may be familiar with (I know I am) and it’s not a very good choice. This option is one that most creatives opt for because, well, I don’t know why we opt for this decision, but we do.
The path most people choose is to feel frustrated, and that’s an option available to you any time. If you feel as though you can’t create something, you can get mad, punch some pillows, and complain to everyone about how you don’t know what to do. Yell at God for all I care, and ask Him why you haven’t been able to create.
There’s a problem with this choice, however.
The anger and the frustration aren’t going to bring your creativity back, it’s not going to break your block. While most things would be destroyed if something were to explode, your anger can’t do that to your creativity, no matter how angry you are. Even if you explode inside, the block will still be up.
Frustration isn’t going to inspire you to create, it’s only going to drive you away from creating because you’ll to be too angry to do anything.
You’re stress is just going to block all of your good ideas. So, don’t do it. Don’t get furious at yourself for being unable to create. Seriously, just choose not to get so goddamn mad if you want your creativity back.
Okay, let me correct myself really quick. I’ve been saying, “get you creativity back,” and what not, but your creativity never left you. What I really mean is uncover your creativity because it’s there, I promise. You just have to dig around a little bit and bring that little sucker out again.
That brings us to the big question, what do you do if you feel like your creativity has left you?
What? I just told you that I can’t create anything, and your solution is to create? That literally doesn’t make any sense.
Oh, I know it doesn’t make sense. It’s a completely contradictory statement, and I understand your confusion, so let me explain. Let me get more specific.
That’s how you overcome your creativity rut. You have to create shit. Write really bad stories, and articles. Come up with flat characters, and a cheesy plot, and have a casual dialogue.
Paint really ugly things. Paint everyday things. Paint rainbows and draw suns on the corner of your paper like you did when you were a kid, and color in kids’ coloring books. Take pictures of the ocean over and over again, take pictures of your goddamn toilet or anything around your house.
Bake gross cupcakes, build an ugly birdhouse, write a crappy song, and play flat or too sharp notes. I’m serious, create ugly music and ugly stories and things. Make it the worst thing you’ve ever created.
And don’t get mad about it! Don’t think twice about it, don’t worry about your neighbor listening in, and don’t judge yourself, just do.
That, my friend, is what’s going to bring your creativity back. How?
You’ve got to get rid of all your bad ideas. You have to just create no matter what so that you make space for all the good ideas, the ideas that you’ll be proud of.
Every now and then you just have to make bad things so that you’ll overcome your blocks. Here’s what happens when you do that:
Say you’re trying to write a story. You write something like, “There was a pig that could talk,” just for the hell of it, just because you’re trying to write. Next thing you know, you keep writing, and you think, hey this isn’t so bad, and next thing you know, you’ve written Charlotte’s Web.
You don’t know when you’re finally going to get a good idea while you’re creating something bad. That’s why you create. It’s not that you’re never going to come up with a good idea, but creating ugly things is definitely going to speed up the process because you never know what you’re going to come up with.
Just give it a try. Create. Create ugly things until you’ve created something beautiful, seemingly out of nowhere.
(True fun fact: I couldn’t come up with anything these past few days, but I kept writing crappy things. This was supposed to be a crappy thing, too. The first sentence was completely random, but finally, it turned into an entire article.)