We all have it. Days, weeks (even months!) whereby we can’t seem to pull our fingers out of our proverbial and actually get on with anything creative. Whether it’s work, or a passion or hobby of ours that involves some level of creativity, there are just times when nothing seems to flow out of you, and even though you know you want to do something, your brain feels like it’s wading through treacle, and an evening on the sofa watching DIY SOS and ploughing through a bag of mini eggs suddenly becomes infinitely more appealing.
How do I know this? Because I’ve frustratingly recently had about 10 days whereby I’ve just not been feeling ‘it’ blog-wise. I had lots of work on from my other job, a hectic weekend, and was a bit ‘down in the dumps’ about a few things. Essentially, i’d sort of lost my momentum. I don’t sweat this too much, as it’s happened before, but it can be so irritating when you were previously on a roll.
So how do I help get my creativity back?
Here are some of the things I find that help me….
Look after yourself
Sounds SO obvious, but I always feel terrible if I’ve eaten badly/drank too much/ not exercised. I find that a HIIT session at the gym, or even a jog around the block helps me feel that I can take on anything! It also gives me time to think, and get the juices flowing again. Hangovers are also creativity suckers, and one of the reasons I’ve cut down on booze hugely is that I found I was wasting 2/3 days every time I had a night out on the sauce (these hangovers are killer once you’re in your 30s!). Drinking too much really makes me lose my ‘mojo’ and I always feel more anxious and depressed the day after. With lack of boozing and more exercise comes naturally healthier eating, leading me to feel mentally and physically in better shape.
Work from a different location
I’m really lucky that I have a home office now, but at times when i’m in a rut, I just can’t bear to go in there! It’s almost like there’s some invisible barrier preventing me from going in, and if I do, I find myself staring at the screen blankly, or wasting loads of time on Pintrest (not always a bad thing). So I mix it up. I move to the breakfast bar in the kitchen, or the kitchen table, or go to the cafe down the road. Anything for a change of scene and to see if it will give me the push to get going creativity again. More often than not, it does.
Brainstorm your ideas
I’ll write down on paper and/or brainstorm any ideas that I have for blog posts, or for marketing ideas. I might not crack on with them that day, but it makes me feel that I’m still working towards something, and by writing one idea down it quite often sparks an interest, that leads to writing something half decent!
Mix up your photography
This past week I’ve had some homeware items that I need to photograph for a company, plus some giveaway items that need snapping too. Thankfully I haven’t been on deadline and I have ages to take them, but I’ve not been loving the fact I’ve been feeling ‘meh’ about it. Taking photos is usually one of my favourite things! Especially since I have a new camera to play with too. So I’ve been out and about in the garden, taking photos of the new plants coming through, and also random angles of the children’s bedrooms on my manual setting, just to make me think outside the box a bit. I won’t use these photos for anything in particular, but it’s made me get excited about my camera and what it can do.
This one can be useful or deadly, depending on your state of mind! If I’m in a rut, I’ll spend one of those sofa evenings (with Mini Eggs, natch) ‘flicking through’ my favourite blogs, and being inspired by what they’ve written or photographed. I don’t mean copy their post or anything, but I find I’m given a boot up the bum to up my game, and also their post can give me a fresh idea for one of my own. This can, of course, have the opposite effect and make you feel worse, but I tend to find the former applies to myself!
Try something new
Don’t panic if it’s really not happening. Sometimes it’s good to have a breather from your passion, and step away and try something new for a bit. I’ve spent ‘rut’ times before doing jigsaws (rock n roll folks), those adult colouring books, cooking, as well as watching craft/photography tutorials on YouTube. All these things still make me feel like I’m ‘doing’ something creative (and enjoyable) without any pressure. After a while, I’m feeling better and itching to crack on with my blog!
What do you do if you’re in a ‘rut’? Do you just accept it for what it is, however long it takes, or do you have your own ways of digging yourself quite quickly?
I’d love to know!
This is all such brilliant advice Becky. I’m definitely one who falls into a rut very easily, but usually a bit of time away helps get me back on track. I’m totally blaming it on the weather at the minute – I’m definitely more inspired when the light is good and I can take pretty photos. All this grey is driving me insane! Xx
I agree the weather really makes you feel ‘bleeurgh’ if it’s bad! I just wish I didn’t fall into a rut so often! x
Great post-I definitely get like this Becky and sometimes a night in front of the telly, chocolate & catchup is just what I need to feel like I need to be pro-active the next day!
Like you said, abit of inspiration is good so some Instagram & Pinterest scrolling gives me the boost I need to get going again, start writing down ideas for photographs, upcoming events etc.
I’m no blogging queen like you (maybe i’ll give it a go one day…i’ll be coming to you for advise!) but even with a teeny little business like mine you can still get in a rut.
Although I do sometimes find the opposite where I can get ahead of myself and really need to rein it in and stick to my niche! Anyway, it happens to the best of us! X
Aah thanks F! I think it doesn’t matter how ‘big’ or ‘small’ your business/passion, I think we all feel the same from time to time. I know what you mean about peaking too soon/getting ahead of yourself- I tend to have an explosion of ideas and activity and then burn out, I wish it was more a steady stream sometimes! x
This was me THIS WEEK. I was feeling so blah about writing every single post (AND I had deadlines!). Eventually, I stopped staring at the screen and just stopped trying. As soon as I did that, I found myself forming sentences for posts in my head and rushing to write them down! Sometimes I have to just trust myself that the words will come … I respect you as a writer because you write so well. There are some bloggers out there who, erm, aren’t the best at writing (which always surprises me, since blogging is about – duh – writing, amongst other things!). These are great tips and ones I’ll be returning to the next time I get stuck!
I get the odd week or two where I feel like I’m swimming underwater and can’t get anything cohesive down on paper but it tends to be when I’m tired or when the boys are having a tough week. I have no space in my brain for anything else so have learnt to just walk about with my camera and read books rather than force any creativity. It soon returns when I’m rested x
Tiredness definitely saps my creativity, the brain just feels like fudge and can’t do anything! x