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!