Arts and craft projects
What to do when creativity left the building11:10 AM
We creative creatures are a strange species. We can be engaged in non stop creativity to the point of loosing sleep for weeks, and then suddenly find ourselves waking up without a purpose for another few weeks.
Science seems to confirm that is all has to do with how a creative brain is wired, and that those periods of creative lows are unavoidable and probably a necessary break in the system to allow the body and mind to get some rest after a period of almost manic creative high. If you aren't creative, you will not understand the struggle, but it is real people!
In fact it is so real a struggle that ancient Greeks felt the need to devote 9 Goddesses to task of inspiring all those relying on creativity for a living: the Muses. Muses that were worshipped in exchange for inspiration by musicians, painters, actors and even scientists. Yes! Science was considered a creative art (and rightly so)
The real problem with the sudden low down in creative juice is that when you make a living, or made a point to showcase that creative talent publicly, you can't really afford to suddenly wake up one morning and forced to explain the crazy demons you are battling internally to people that decided that your creative input is like an ATM dispensing what they need at the press of a button at any time of day and night. And, again, the Greek understood that before us too. But worshiping ancient Goddesses you are likely not to believe into might not be the thing to do.
Fortunately there are things that are more sensible in our days and times, and which will yield some results still:
Prepare yourself for rainy days
I know it is a hard thing to do, I struggle with it at time (ok often). But it pays off to save some of your projects for when you have nothing to blog about anymore. As tempting as it is to just post ALL of your creative projects right after the other, DON'T! Save a few for later. Nobody will know that you made those cute little painted pots, or that stunning frame weeks ago, they will be just glad to see it.
I found that even if I am in the mood to create absolutely nothing, I still get my ya ya out of making lists of what I want to do one day. And I use said lists all the time. To the point of even finding a few things I want to do on my down low.
Change your scenery
It doesn't have to be going on an exotic and expensive vacation (though it never hurts). But sometimes just working in a different location will help you snap out of that creative rut. Can't write anything productive and coherent at home? Head to your local cafe, or park, or the library instead.
Go for a long walk
Dealing with the creative block monster is very frustrating. The best way to deal with frustration is to work it out. I got a lot of my best ideas while walking the pent up frustration away. Some like Swimming, others like running, some will play video game. I think the idea is to engage the brain into a simple yet repetititve task to re-tune it and redirect the energy toward something more productive. Those repetitive tasks free up brain resources that can be used more efficiently.
Do something new
Bringing some fresh water to the mill will get the wheel spinning again. A creative lowdown is often the result of boredom. It happens when something suddenly becomes too routine and familiar. For me, the worst of the worst time in the year is Summer. I feel trapped indoors, and miserable with nothing exiting bound to happen. Then I find out that just watching a new TV series, or reading a book I would never have thought of reading just get me back in the groove.
Keep on creating
What will come out of it is likely to be "crappy" at least under the perception of your low on mojo self. But keep doing it, you never know when a doodle or a random string of mindless sentences will suddenly spark a great idea. In the end it is still better than mopping about it.
Take it easy
Remember, creativity works in cycles, and it is OK to feel stuck. Kick your shoes off, put your feet up and relax. Your juice will come back, it always does. And when it does, you know you'll probably give the Energizer bunny a run for his money once again.
So, how do you cope when your creativity decided to go on a vacation without any warning?