10 Tips for Creative Block

I’m in a transition with my words, ideas, next projects because I am sorting through very real life transitions. (Think weddings, funerals, empty-nesting, etc.) It’s a seasonal thing. I’ll get my mojo back but for now, I feel kinda dry and undone creatively.

Because I’ve experienced this before, I know that it’s good to be kind to myself.  No terse negative self-talk or anything like that. But I also do some really practical things to get unstuck creatively.

Maybe you’re there too? Here are ten things that help me. Just swap out ‘writing’ for whatever your creative pursuit looks like.

  1. Stop Staring at the Screen. Writing is not yoga. If you are transfixed on a blank screen with a blinking cursor, you are not getting stronger and more centered. You are stalled-out. Stand up and walk away from the screen. If you really want to get brave, turn off your computer.
  2. Live Your Regular Life. Do laundry, run errands, walk the dog. Pick up carpool, make a nice dinner for your family and live your one beautiful life.
  3. Read Anne Lamott. This book is strongly recommended. I have a copy in my car, on my nightstand and everywhere in between. It is one of the few books on writing that unlocks me pretty much instantaneously.
  4. Take a Time-Out. Excuse yourself from the internet. You don’t need to make a big statement about it or apologize, just give yourself an extended time-out and do un-internet things as Emily Freeman would say.
  5. Cease Comparison. When you can’t write, all you see is people who are writing. They are everywhere doing their beautiful writing job and sadly, you are not. Yes, I understand. But comparison is a creativity killer. The fixation must stop to get work done.
  6. Stop Scrolling.  Literally stop looking around at all the people doing what you are not. Incessant scrolling is the primer for comparison. Prompted by my daughter, Emily, I am in a season of limited scrolling social media for Lent. And you know what? I’m much less angsty about writing.
  7. Start Strolling. In this book, Julia Cameron writes about the necessity for creatives to get outside and walk like the happy artist pictured above. Not for fitness but as an exercise to open up your thinking. I love this and practice it often.
  8. Chill Out. If your art income is not necessary for feeding your family, you can relax and take a deep breath. And even if it is, you can relax and take a deep breath. Anxious writers typically aren’t much fun to read.
  9. Observe Sabbath. Really though. Take one day a week and rest. Stay away from work and just replenish. Pot geraniums, go to an estate sale, make bread and then break bread with people you love. Do the things that are unrelated (but truly completely related) to your writing life. For more Sabbath ideas, listen here.
  10. Review Your Life Syllabus. I know … you’re not sure what it is, right? Yes. I guess that’s the point: God knows and you don’t know. Good news? This gives you the opportunity to let God do what He will with your life and time and creativity. Your main job is to love God and love people. If you’re doing that, the rest is just the rest. It will get done ~ or not ~ and you’ll still have your one beautiful life.