Being a creative soul can hold specific challenges. The skills used to keep creativity going mean we tend to analyse things, and notice patterns differently. Although this gives us part of our power, in creative endeavours, it can also mean that we get blocked in quite specific ways.
Whether you write stories, paint landscapes, write musical scores or choreograph dance moves; we all get blocked.
Commonly referred to as ‘writer’s block’, I know that all creative folk can experience that mental block which stifles our creativity. Some people find it helpful to push though – writing despite the lack of inspiration, while others feel that taking a bit of space from the project can let our mind settle down, and encourage the shy muse to appear.
Whatever is blocking you, a few minutes of mindfulness can really help create some space for that mental block.
It can be as simple as closing your eyes taking a low, deep breath and connecting with your body. Feel the floor beneath you, and notice the sounds, temperature or smells around you. Just connect to this moment, for 10 seconds. If you can take a bit longer, do so.
Reconnecting with the moment gives our mind a chance to reconnect with ourselves.
I have a little bell sound on my phone which goes ding twice a day to remind me just to pause, and check in with myself. This really helps bring my mental energy back into focus.
Could you create a minute of mindfulness each day?
2. Check Your Story
Our own self-talk is a crucial part of how we perceive ourselves. How do you think about your creative journey? What obstacles have you overcome to reach where you are now? Sometimes it can be helpful to just ask yourself if your thoughts, if that self-talk is helpful right now.
Are you worrying about being good enough, or feeling like your work isn’t good enough?
Do you have those voices in your head saying you’ll never reach success, or wondering how you’re going to get out of your current rut?
Not every thought is a fact, and our thoughts CAN be controlled, to some extent.
It’s a great idea to just check in with the things we tell ourselves, particularly as, being creative thinkers, we often come up with elaborate possibilities which likely don’t have any evidence behind them: including negative thoughts about ourselves and our creations.
What story are you telling yourself? Is it entirely true, or could you re-frame it a little?
3. Permission to Stop
I’m currently committed to writing at least one word of new fiction a day, but sometimes allowing yourself a break from a project is the best action to ‘reset’ your creativity. To some extent, finding what works for you is key, but even between different projects, times of year or just your own mental state, different things will work for you.
The next time you feel blocked, take a day off and see how you feel about the project after a bit of a break. Let yourself brainstorm or put the project away for a few days and don’t let yourself think about it.
How much ‘downtime’ do you allow yourself from your creations, to let them percolate?