Capturing Elusive Creativity

We all have those weeks. When your normal brain functionality feels at an all time low, you feel foggy and tired, doing basic tasks feels much more difficult than it should. When I was practicing as an attorney, I would load up on coffee and methodically approach my work by writing out a step-by-step plan to tackle my day. Unfortunately, when your career centers around your creativity and ability to innovate, there often isn’t a step-by-step plan to apply to the work you need to accomplish. This week has been one of those weeks for me. Some weeks I am bursting at the seams with inspiration and want to write ten blog posts, learn Photoshop, style meals and photograph it all. Some weeks I get hampered by details and can’t seem to get one post out. I know I could put simple, less writing-heavy content out there but I feel that there is enough of that in the blogosphere. I want all of my gorgeous photos to be accompanied by meaningful and thoughtful prose. As a result, my blog has gone untouched for days. What’s a gal to do? I researched, so you don’t have to, what to do when you are in a creative rut. Hopefully, I can take my own advice and get back to writing about things I love for you to enjoy next week!

{1} Take it less seriously. According to Fast Company, “Often feeling stuck in creative work is simply a matter of being too precious about it—being afraid to let it get messy, to crack open whatever you’re working on and just see what happens. That can mean letting yourself start in an arbitrary place, no matter how silly or random an idea seems, and seeing where it takes you. Not being precious about the work can often free you to be more creative.”

{2} Stop concentrating so hard. “Knowing that the very time we believe we should be chained to our desks mulling over a problem is when we should actually put work aside and take a break can help us come up with new and unusual solutions,” Sian Beilock, psychologist and author of the book Choke writes in Psychology Today.

{3} Let yourself be bored. “Every free moment has become an opportunity to get something done, or at least be entertained. But doing nothing, being bored, is a precious thing,” Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, writes in Psychology Today. “Occupying our brains is too easy—and that’s killing our creativity.”

{4} Work on multiple projects. “I like to have several things going at once. That way, if one’s not coming I can work on something else. If none of them have any life to ’em, the best thing to do is to just take a break. There’s nothing worse than trying to force it and the world doesn’t need any more bad art; there’s already plenty of that.” — Dmitry Samarov, Painter and Writer

{5} Find inspiration in others. “After attending a great play, or great musical concert, I tend to become creatively inspired. After listening to someone like Stevie Wonder in concert for 2 hours, it’s kind of hard not to.” — Billy Branch, Three-time Grammy Award Nominee

{6} Seek a change of scenery. You might be struggling to come up with new ideas because your mind is associating elements of your workspace with the good ideas you’ve already had. Therefore, “get yourself out of the physical location where you feel comfortable and into some place that lacks associations,” according to Inc.com.

{7} Seek out new experiences. “Creativity is enhanced by our ability to look at things from as many different perspectives as possible — not repeating the same thing over and over. Even if [new things] feel uncomfortable, even if they seem small or insignificant, [these] little changes can lead to bigger changes over time,” says Christine Mason Miller, a mixed-media artist and author of Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World.

{8} Show up. “With more time, I find that if I simply show up to whatever it is I love to do — those activities that feed the well of creativity within me – I am 90 percent there,” Miller says. For instance, when her goal is writing, she sits at her computer or with a journal and pen. T “There have been days in my art studio when all I did was organize my supplies and waste time on Twitter, but it was important I was there, in my creative space, tending to it and giving it attention,” Miller says.

Let those creative juices flow!

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