What to do When You’re Creatively Blocked

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Five minutes ago, I sat down to write my blog post. 

I had no idea what to write about, so I did what I always do when I’m struggling to come up with a topic.

I started typing random things.

This is some of what I actually wrote:

I don’t know what to write about. What do I write? IDK what to do. Hello. 

What the hell do I write? I’m just going to type random things until I figure out what to write about—wait, I have an idea. 

What if I write about what to do when you don’t know what to do?

There are a shitload of hacks for when you’re creatively blocked, but I can honestly say this is the one that’s helped me the most.

It’s simple: if you’re stuck, start.

A scene you might relate to:

Here’s what happens sometimes. I sit down, lay my hands on the keyboard, and then I watch the cursor blink for about five to ten minutes.

I think, and I think, and then I start getting a little frustrated.

After a few more moments, that frustration grows to the point where I just close my laptop and proclaim myself “blocked.”

Can you relate? Whether it’s with a paintbrush, needle, or camera in hand?

We stare at a blank white page or canvas as though it were giving us all of life’s answers—and end up disappointed as fuck.

Are creative blocks even real?

I thought it was possible to have writer’s block until I saw that a lot of professional writers and published authors think it’s bullshit. (Stephen King, Emily Andras, just to name a couple.)

Photo by La-Rel Easter on Unsplash

You can’t be creatively blocked. (You may think differently, of course. I am but just one point of view, and you don’t have to listen to me.)

I don’t think we can be creatively blocked because it’s not like creativity leaves us.

There’s no vampire-like demon sucking creativity out of you while you’re sleeping. You’re always filled with ideas and stories.

The problem is we have a lot on our minds.

Social media might be distracting us, our insecurities and doubts are too loud, or people just won’t shut the fuck up around you.

You could be tired, or have too much energy, or *insert a million other possibilities here.*

The point is you’re not blocked. You’re just not in the right space—mentally.

What to do when you’re “creatively blocked”

First, go to your favorite place to work.

That might be your kitchen or bedroom, a coffee shop, or the park. I don’t give a shit where—just go to it.

Then, take out what you need, and just start.

Don’t cry or stress the hell out. Don’t even think—just do something.

What matters is that you don’t try to do anything well.

Don’t aim for something you can share on Instagram later, for anything you can submit, or for perfection.

You only want to make something that will get you going.

Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

Honestly, you’re probably going to create something cliché, something that makes no sense (not even to you), or something ugly.

Fucking own it.

This is just for you. This is to get you going again.

A couple of months ago, I was struggling to write a good story, so I did what I said: I wrote literally anything.

Once I was done, I read my story, and it was terrible.

 Plus, I realized that I’d come up with a character that was exactly like Sara Lance from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

I’d basically just accidentally written the worst fanfic of all time.

Still, I’d written something.

Sure, I’d stolen a character, but the plot was actually not bad—not great, but not bad. 

And it made me feel like I was struggling a bit, not that I’d lost all of my creativity.

Eventually, something great will come out

Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash

Eventually, out of some ugly story, one with potential will appear. 

A character might actually be worth exploring, or a simple sentence can inspire an entire story.

You might dig out an idea that leads to your next big project.

So, try it.

If you feel like you haven’t drawn anything worth sharing, and you’ve been avoiding your sketchbook, go pick it up, and draw anything

Draw your room or copy someone else’s drawing.

Halfway through you might find that you have an idea, and you’ll end up drawing something that, by next weekend, someone wants to buy.

You wouldn’t have gotten to that place if you hadn’t just sat down (or stood up) to create anything.

Inspiration won’t always hit you. You have to summon that motherfucker out, and you do that by starting.

. . .

Let’s talk about

Let me know in the comments:

What do you do when you feel like a demon has sucked the creativity out of you in your sleep? Besides cry, I mean.

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