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Ways to Break Out of a Creative Rut

This was originally posted last February, but I’m back in a creative rut and I thought it was the perfect time to revisit it and try to take my own advice! Please share your tips and tricks for getting out of a funk in the comment section below. 

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I’m in a creative rut. So what do I want to talk about? Tips for getting out of a rut, because I know what I have to do.

Take a few days to focus on yourself…

I’m a huge fan of “mental health days” – but if you don’t have paid sick days or are simply too busy at work to have the opportunity to take time off, be sure to do little things for yourself throughout the day. Buy a cappuccino from your favorite coffee shop, go for a walk during your lunch break, cook your favorite healthy dinner, and make sure to start that TV show you’ve been meaning to watch for months.

Relax and take a few naps…

When you’re not at work, take it easy. Sometimes the weekends are just as hectic as the work week, but be sure to get a bit of alone time to turn off your phone, stop checking your email, and unwind.

Go on a hike…

For me, there’s nothing quite as stimulating and exciting as spending time outdoors and I simply don’t do it enough. I’m always reminded just how beautiful the world is, and that my problems can be conquered.

Spend some down time with your loved ones…

One of my favorite things to do is watch Bravo with my mom and sister (yes, reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures). It’s fun and relaxing and something I can do with two of my favorite people in the world. Whatever low-key thing you like to do with your friends or family, be sure to do more of it when you’re in a rut. Get a beer with your best friend at your favorite bar, go on a scenic drive with your parents, or take your grandma out to lunch.

Read a memoir…

When you’re feeling creatively defeated, reading a book written by someone you look up to can be truly refreshing. We’re all human, and we’ve all had highs and lows. Sometimes reading about someone else’s highs and lows can put your feelings into perspective.

Buy a journal and use it…

Writing is seriously cathartic. Although I haven’t finished The Artist’s Way yet, I love Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” concept. She believes you should wake up and write, stream of consciousness style, every morning. I personally prefer writing before bed, because I feel more open and honest at night, but either way, writing every day is a great way to reinvigorate your creative juices.

Stop thinking so much…

Sometimes, the best way to come up with great ideas is to simply stop thinking. If your job requires you to constantly churn out new ideas and concepts, it can become mentally exhausting. If you’re trying to be creative, the process won’t be as organic.

Do something creative where you’re engaging as a viewer, not a creator…

Go to a museum, concert, or movie. Do something where you can absorb someone else’s creative work. Turn off your own ideas and just appreciate the work of others.

Try something new…

If you’re working 9-5 just to stay alive (that’s a Beyoncé reference – watch the music video for Ghost if you haven’t yet), daily life can be monotonous and thus not welcoming of creativity. Try something new to mix things up. Give yourself a challenge. Take a class you’ve been wanting to take or go dancing at that club you think is too expensive but seems fun. Just do something, anything, out of the ordinary.

As I work to get out of my own creative rut, I want to hear from you. How do you motivate yourself when you’re in a funk?

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4 Comments

  1. In my own one at the moment. Doing different stuff like travelogues of just farcical stream of consciousness stuff has been helpful for me. I think I’m putting off doing something more serious like a short story or screenplay. I’ve never done anything longform before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely know what you mean. I feel like I’ve been putting off something bigger I should be working on, but sometimes it’s difficult to push aside our day-to-day tasks to make room for something equally as time consuming. But writing a screenplay would be such a spectacular accomplishment, and worth the time, so good luck!

      Like

  2. Love this post – I too am a huge fan of the mental health day, but I like to kind of combine your something creative and the mental health day. Taking a mental health day and using it to explore a new place in my city is one of my favorite things to do – also play metro roulette, This is a game where I ride the metro for a while then get off at a random (safe) stop that I’ve never been to before then I just let the adventure begin. Having no plan and no time limit can be inspiring in and of itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Metro roulette! That is such a great idea, and I love the name too. Unfortunately where I live right now public transit really isn’t something people utilize – desert cities have major sprawl issues – but once I move I’m going to try it out! I tend to plan, plan, plan, but it would be so refreshing to head out somewhere new and just go where the wind takes me. Thanks for the great idea. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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