I’ve had to live through dismantling some of the crap that is sold to creative minds out there convincing us that if we’re feeling uninspired, that means we’re not creative enough.
You’re going to have days where you feel so uninspired. You’re going to have times where you can’t think of a single idea, and you’re going to have days where that feeling makes you feel like utter crap. Remind yourself that it’s okay to feel that creative block. If you find yourself getting artistically stuck, here are some ways to jump-start your creativity.
Not everything you do needs to be the world’s best idea.
Sometimes we need to derive our inspiration from works other than our own. This doesn’t mean plagiarize. It means that if you’re an artist, you should go to a museum and take in all the incredible art to be inspired to create your own. If you’re a writer, take a story you love and rewrite it from a completely different character’s point of view. If you’re a musician, listen to your favorite works, then grab your instrument, immerse yourself in silence, and start your own arrangement. Instead of starting with an intimidatingly blank canvas every time, take an existing inspiration, something you love, and adapt it yourself. You are the only one in the universe who can put things out into the world through your creative lens.
1. Take a long drive with no destination in mind
I can’t tell you how many times I was driving when a good idea suddenly hit me. I find that taking a long drive with nowhere in mind while wrapped up in my meditative solitude is often the cure. It’s exhilarating. What happens throughout is a deep reflective state that results in great insights about my inner self. I think. I imagine. I create. And I solve problems. My own experience with driving through the garden state doesn’t hold a candle to the 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach, California, but it’s therapeutic. It always takes me to a new place. Get in the car, put on a good playlist, drive on the highway, find a diversion, and explore.
2. Travel somewhere
I believe that traveling can inspire massive life changes. On a grander scale, traveling opens your mind to new ideas and new interpretations. It can reveal to you that you aren’t living where you really want to be. It can give you a new perspective on your own life: humility, appreciation, gratitude. It can open your mind to endless possibilities that you wouldn’t otherwise find, especially if you are creatively stuck and uninspired with your life.
3. Ask “What if?”
What if I added a trill to this musical phrase? What if I painted this lavender plant red? What if I started writing what I see outside my window right now? What ifs are a great way to open up the floodgates of creativity that you didn’t know existed within you. You may be surprised with how invigorating some of those absurdly unique answers can be.
4. Rearrange your furniture
That’s right. Our living space is a reflection of our true inner selves. When I’m feeling out of sorts, I find it helps tremendously when I clean and rearrange my furniture. It instills a sense of effectiveness and really hones my aesthetic. It allows me to temporarily remove myself from life’s demands and focus on a space that is 100% mine. Inner and outer harmony flows when pieces are placed where they make the most sense for me, followed by a unique sense of self-fulfillment about making my environment exactly how I want with my own hands.
5. Don’t push the river
Sometimes when I’m stuck in an uninspiring place, I realize that I need to back off completely and let it flow on its own. That means to disengage with whatever project I have going and move on to something else completely, allowing my sense of creativity to recharge. Some of my best work has been a result of me letting the proverbial river flow.