It happens to all of us; we’re writing or designing and suddenly, we hit a block. We can’t think of a single thing to add, out of gas and out of ideas. So what’s the solution to hitting a creative wall? How can we get back into the swing of things? We asked some industry experts for advice on how to get out of a creative rut. Here’s what they had to say:
“Keeping working. There is a famous book called The War of Art that preaches the craftsperson approach to creativity. The idea is that no matter the circumstance, spend a certain, predetermined amount of your day working of your creative endeavor.
Our best work is always more a curation of all of our work, so give yourself a bigger pool of content to select from. This mindset helped me move past lulls in my own creativity time and time again.”
- Jacob Smith, Founder, ProductViz
“Lots of our clients struggle with creative block when working on a book or trying to come up with their next topic. Often, it’s putting pressure on yourself to be creative on demand that causes blocks, because you wind up focused more on “gotta do this” than on engaging with the creative process.
- Kate Sullivan, Content Director, TCK Publishing
Do Something Different
“When I’m hitting a wall in my marketing content creation process I have 3 ways to jump-start the creative process:
- Go for a walk outside to clear my head: Even just 15 minutes of walking and people watching can do wonders to free up your thinking
- Read a book: It’s easy to default to heading to the next browser tab when you’re having trouble focusing but this will compound the issue. Instead of spending 10 minutes reading the news or a marketing website, pick up a good book and give it your full attention. Sometimes entering another world through a book allows you to totally reset your thinking. I’m always amazed by how often an unrelated idea comes to me after I spend time reading about something that had nothing to do with my day job.
- Talk it out: Content creators often hesitate to share half baked idea but sometimes the best thing you can do is to explain to a friend or colleague what you’re working on. Maybe they will have an idea that pushes you over the hump or simply the act of explaining your concept to another person will open new avenues in your thinking.”
- John Liston, Manager of Strategy and Operations, All Set
“Get out of your office or usual design environment.
- John Smigaj, Co-Founder, Trxstle
- Joe Goldstein, Operations Manager & Designer, Contractor Calls
“What has helped me with my mental health and creativity is playing the piano.
Playing an instrument has been scientifically proven to engage practically every area of the brain at once especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices so it gets my mental capacity going. Its like a mental full body workout. It has helped me with my mental sharpness and creativity.”
- Gene Caballero, Co-Founder, GreenPal
Give Yourself Room To Breathe
- Lynne McNamee, President, Lone Armadillo Marketing Agency
Figure Out What You Need
“As the main creative in my businesses, I’m constantly producing new content. Over the years I’ve developed a great trick for coming up with new ideas. It’s a technique that I got from the book Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.
- Diane Elizabeth, Founder, SkincareOx