Natalie Rohman

A Chicago Girl Paving Inspiration

How to Get Through Creative Ruts

As I sit here, watching the rain pour outside my window, the only thing I am inspired by is the peanut butter toast waiting for me in the kitchen. I planned today to be a day to shoot and write, but Im really just feeling like I need a nap. The worst part about vacations is leaving that vacation and having to come back to reality. It's been a real treat being able to travel so much already, but when you get home, responsibilities hit you hard. At least, they hit me hard. 

Over the past years, I have dealt with creative ruts and being uninspired. Some other creative writers or bloggers might find it easier to find a new strategy, new product, new medium, etc. to foster this new creativity, but as a college student who has an internship started, a nannying job, and a dog to take care of, it can be difficult to balance it all. If only I can balance it all once school starts! I guess I wanted to make this post a check in and also a way to find creativity and inspiration in places you might not realize—because eating this peanut butter toast is going to do any of that. 
Luxurious week or even month long vacations can be amazing and there's lots to get inspired from, but the motivation to do anything after is a real struggle. Sometimes I feel like it takes me another week or so to get back on my feet. My mom had me double checking my calendars because I started overbooking myself as soon as I got back from Europe. Finding the will to continue work, especially in the summer, can be the worst. Here's what I've realized: 

Stop What You're Doing
The only way I've actually gotten back into creative projects and blogging is just by leaving everything where it is and doing nothing about it. Sounds like a reverse way of handling it, but I guarentee that taking a break from what you're doing is going to give you a better headspace about it. I always find what makes it easier is to put my energy towards something else, whether it be yoga, being outside, biking around the neighborhood, taking a walk, reading a book or magazine, or even shopping can spark new ideas. 

Take a New Perspective
When I come back to the drawing board of blog posts I want to write, it can be so hard to figure out how to make the next one different and better than the last. Developing my own brand on my blog has taken hours on end, so fluidity and consistency are key. However, if it seems like your old ways are biting the dust, change them. Try writing from a different perspective, using a new photography technique, or going out and being the subject of the photos. Find something in your work that can be changed or modified—as they say, spice it up. Take a new direction. New ideas will come. 

Embrace the Process
It's going to be even harder to get inspiration if you don't embrace the creative process. Ideas take time, but they can also pop up in the middle of nowhere. It can be very challenging when we put deadlines on ourselves to get things up and published, but I would rather much have a developed idea than a last-minute, half-assed one. 

Change the Environment
Sitting in the same living room or at the same desk during a time of writer's block and lack of inspiration might be one of the reasons no ideas are coming to you. Change your location, change the desk you are sitting at, create outside and hear the birds chirp, go to a local coffee shop, the library, someone else's house, etc. Find a place that gives you inspiration or at least isn't the place you always write or create at. You will get a fresher sense of atmosphere and if nothing comes, observe your surroundings. What do you see? Smell? Hear? Feel? Start thinking and relax wherever you are. 
There's only so much you can do when inspiration becomes an agonizing feat of despair, but to put it lightly, it takes time and you need to allow yourself to get there. The internet is filled with content and creative work, so I always find myself looking for ways to be different. 

The truth is, you probably won't be, but you have to love the work you're doing no matter what. Sure, I've had better posts than others, but I am satisfied with it and if you're not—I would suggest thinking about what type of work makes you passionate. 

We all get into these ruts every now and then, but don't let them consume you. Vacations and relaxing are necessary for our bodies to take physical and mental breaks, it's normal if you feel like you can't get right back into it yet. If you're truly stuck on an idea, maybe it's time to change it. Write some goals down, outline, make a plan. Come back another day and try again. You will be thankful that you took the time to think things through, rather than rushing to figure out just an "okay" idea. 

Comments

  1. Such a relatable post. Definitely agree that changing the environment is such a good idea - get out and about and clear your mind x
    Amber | www.amberatlanta.blogspot.co.uk

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