5 Activities when you Feel Creatively Blocked
- Try a Different Medium
If you feel creatively stuck, try changing your medium or mode of working. For example, if you are struggling with writing a passage of prose or poetry, try switching to sketching or playing an instrument to explore the same theme. Or if that’s too much of a leap, try switching within medium (e.g. from prose to poetry then back again).
- Try Creative Play
When we feel blocked we find that connecting to a sense of playfulness can be helpful. At Create Recovery, one of colleagues finds doodling and or using finger print/splash doodles as a very useful tool if they are stuck on a drawing or illustration project. We also have found playing with children, dance and movement can all unlock us when we feel stuck within or on a particular project. Sometimes just colouring in for a few hours can be meditative enough to generate ideas or “soft” thinking time.
- Try Exercise/Physicality
At Create Recovery we believe that the body holds much of our experience, so if we feel stuck we often find it helpful to “shake it out” like we can do in yoga or dance/movement therapy. We also find the act of walking or other physical mediations can be helpful. Formal exercise in the form of running, cycling or swimming have also shifted energy for us and helped us to indirectly work/think about projects in a non-conscious way. We know an amazing composer who swears by playing tennis and another musician who can only write lyrics when they are also surfing regularly.
- Try to Access Your Community
We all can feel stuck sometimes. This can happen both in terms of recovery and also with our creative endeavours. Whilst it is important to recognise that this is a natural part of the process/ the curvature of life, it is also crucial to reach out to our community at these times. This can help us to not feel so alone and/or the sense of failure or inertia that can emerge when we feel blocked. Calling someone just to name that you feel stuck can sometimes help in the most basic way.
- Try to Make Time Work for You
Time is the one resource we can often forget or take for granted in the creative process. The most successful artists learn how to make time “work for them” and not against them. For example, if you are feeling creatively stuck, you may sometimes need to either 1) self- impose or enforce a deadline to improve your work or 2) you may need to give yourself some “space” and time. Knowing when to push forwards and when to take time for rest and contemplation can be a challenge for people in recovery. As with most things in recovery it is often a question of balance and experience…but if you are stuck it is sometimes worth reflecting specifically on your use of time.
We would love to hear any ideas you have to add so please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
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