3 surprising ways to battle creative block

You started out with a million ideas, so why won’t the ideas come?! You’re in the middle of a creative block.

Perhaps you had a list of ideas that you’ve reached the end of, or maybe you just can’t get into anything right now. I’ve been there. Sometimes, I’m busy with other things and the ideas seem to come so easily. But then when I’m ready to do something creative, my mind goes blank! It’s so frustrating!

I’ve always been a creative person, and over the years I’ve come up with ways to help myself through these tough creative blocks. I hope some of these ideas can help you, too.

Don’t forget to download your
“Battle Creative Blocks Worksheet”,
available at the end of this post.


Creative Block? Do it anyway

Often, when I’m in a block, it feels like nothing will get done. I’ve been known to sit staring at a page or screen for an hour just waiting for things to come to me.

But staring at a blank page is not productive!

As soon as I catch myself zoning out (or jumping to social media for a distraction), I know I’m in block mode. And I immediately turn back to my project and just try to get started.

I know what you’re thinking, “If I could just get started, I would!!!” You’re right. There’s more to it than that.

Often, even if I can’t get started, I have a few ideas of where I want to go. So I start by brainstorming. Try writing a list of questions that you can ask yourself for every project. These will be specific to your needs and projects, but here are some of mine.

  • What is the main point I want to make?
  • What visuals come to mind when I think of that point?
  • How can I use color to evoke the emotion I want?
  • What headings do I want to use (for blog posts or articles)?
  • Which images or articles can serve as my inspiration?

Don’t just think about these questions, write something down! The process of actually sketching or writing can trigger amazing things. You’re actually bringing ideas to your conscious mind and manifesting them right onto the page.

Don’t stop with just the answers. Once you’ve answered everything, if you’re still struggling, start brainstorming within each question.

It doesn’t mean that you’ll find the best ideas, but it gets your mind moving, which is really the point here.


Still have a creative block? Pin up some inspiration

It may seem counter intuitive to stop trying, given what I just said about trying anyway. But sometimes, you just can’t get on a roll. I find this especially true when I’m not feeling well.

So instead, I move on to things that will help me when I’m feeling better. One of my favorite places to go looking for inspiration is Pinterest. Whether it’s searching for key phrases or just scrolling through my feed, I often find inspiration that I can save for later.

I also search Google Images and YouTube for inspiration, much in the same way as Pinterest. Once I have images or URLs that I really love, I put those results into a Trello list or card. When I’m ready to work on that creative project, I look through the inspiration board. It makes getting back into the right mindset much easier.

Pull out your list of questions again. What search keywords can you search for to get inspiration? What kind of content will be the most inspiring (video, images, articles, famous consultations)?

Finding just the right content to help you along your way can be just as important as the creative project you’re working on, so don’t be afraid to take some (but not too much) time to get inspired.

Need a creative partner?

I’d love to work with you on your next project.


Maybe it’s time to take a break

Have you been working non-stop, staring at your project, trying to push through……so much that you’re frustrated and maybe even a bit angry?

It’s time for a break.

Specifically, taking a bit of time to let your mind process and integrate everything you’ve been working hard on. Go for a run, read a book, play a game. Just give your mind a break for an hour or so.

Come back after your break. Take a quick journey around your inspiration collection. Then get started again. This time, hopefully things will flow more freely.

An extra note

Sometimes, we need an outside opinion to help us out. Don’t be afraid to bounce ideas off of a friend, family member, or colleague. Seek out a mentor that can help you.

Perhaps your creative block is because you are overburdened with work. If this is the case, it may be time to drop a project, find a collaborator, or hire someone to help you.

For a little extra help, download the following worksheet. Post it near your working space, and pull it down when you need it.

Win the battle with this worksheet!

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No matter how bad your creative block is, don’t be dismayed! We all go through it, and it doesn’t make you any less of a creative person. When all is said and done, your project will be amazing. All the effort and stress will be worth it.