If you have the honor of working in the creative arts you know all too well about those occasional moments of panic when creative inspiration seems to have flown to the wind. If you’ve been in the entertainment biz long enough you don’t doubt that your muse will return but when she’s nowhere to be found and a deadline is looming, it can start to feel overwhelming. So what do you do?
Mix it up.
If you have a dedicated workspace that you use without fail and you find yourself stumped then try taking your work to another location. Have laptop? Will travel! Sometimes all it takes is to try working in another room or outside in the backyard. If the more local change of pace doesn’t prime the creative pump then consider taking your work to a coffee shop, to a local library or some other quiet spot that is still visually stimulating.
Creative routines and rituals are great tools to aid productivity but when used too often the very things that provide structure can also run risk of stopping the flow of creativity, so consider working in a new way when you get stuck.
If you’re really stumped, get up and move! Walk the dog, go for a swim… anything that can get your blood flowing and your mind on something other than the task at hand. Even if you consciously stop yourself from thinking about your creative quandary your subconscious is still fighting the good fight. Even if you’re not up for exercise then at least take a few hours to see a film or have coffee with a friend.
Once you take that much needed break, especially by doing something physical, you will come back recharged and most likely filled with fresh, terrific ideas. And if you’re on a roll don’t stop, even if it means pulling an all-nighter. Again, if the muse comes to call make sure to honor that while she’s with you by putting in the good work until you drop.
Revise your mindset.
Mind over matter can be an overused cliché but it is absolutely true that your mental perception of the situation can greatly help or hurt your creativity. For instance, instead of saying “Ugh I’ve got to write this paper,” mentally reword it to say to yourself “Awesome, I’ve got the privilege of getting to write this paper.” You can even take it so far as to find thanks in your hands, mind, and all the creative ideas that come your way.
Working in a creative field has its own set of challenges, but also so many rewards; with the boon of being paid to express your creative ideas comes the challenge of remaining both disciplined and productive. But keep at it and keep enjoying what you do, and when you feel stumped or at a loss find whatever works to get you back in the creative zone.
Contributed by: Author Emma Bell writes for Coupon Croc. Want to see a film and get those creative juices flowing? Look here.