Sometimes no matter how many times you open and close the empty Word document or how long you sit and stare at the blank sketchpad, the ideas just refuse to flow. It can be difficult to become inspired and experience that excitement to start a job, irrespective of what your area of artistic expression may be. As a writer I frequently sit and wait for the articles to write themselves, but obviously that isn’t going to happen. Instead, I am going to share my methods to help get the creative juices flowing in the hope that they can help someone get past their writer’s block.
It sounds like a strange place to start but taking time out each day to reflect on your privileges may actually spark an idea that you would otherwise overlook. It’s easy to fall into a routine of wanting and expecting the ideas to present themselves to you but by listing particular reasons to be happy, you might find that some of those reasons coincide with your motivation to create. For example, I find it easiest to write when I connect with the subject on a deeper level. My work that has received the most engagement and is also written to a higher standard are those that I haven’t had to force or do much research about. And the reason I haven’t needed to carry out much research is usually because it is something my friends or family are experiencing. So, taking time out to be thankful for friends and family may ignite a vision that you hadn’t yet considered.
Building on the aforementioned, I always try and consider a case for a belief contrary to my own. Depending on the subject matter, it can often be more challenging than others. Regardless of how you create your art, whether it’s painting, sculpture, writing or photography, the intended audience are always going to be most intrigued by something that is controversial or innovative. If a majority of people believe in Reason A, let your art give them a justification to believe in Reason B. It doesn’t always need to stem from your own belief, but instead about letting your skill do the talking.
Your everyday tools can sometimes become stifling. Indulging in a different medium to one that you would normally use can be an effective method to kickstart your ideas. I don’t usually venture outside of typing to express my creativity but when I become stuck, I do enjoy taking photographs and sketching. You don’t have to be any good at whatever you decide to try your hand at, but it can help you become unstuck from that rut and produce your next great idea.
Bear with me on this one. I don’t mean research the topic you’re trying to squeeze a project out of, or something that you already know copious amounts about. Try researching something that is completely new to you. Or something that ordinarily you would scroll past because it has never piqued your interest. Navigate to a section of a general news website that you would not normally find yourself in and commit to reading one entire article. Don’t skim read it either, really digest the words. You may surprise yourself by actually enjoying it. My favourite website for doing this is Reader’s Digest because there are many categories and subcategories to choose from. I recently read an article about the rise of poetry and, where they were discussing Instagram acting as a new platform for poetry, I ended up learning more about utilising social media tools as a floor for my work. So, by reading something I didn’t expect to enjoy, my benefits were twofold: I learnt more about a social media that I use regularly, and I became motivated to write again.
The common theme throughout all of these approaches are a change in schedule. It is so effortless to fall into a routine and for many, the consistency that comes with a routine is a good thing, but it can also repress creativity, so switching up your day might be the jump-start that you need to get working on your next masterpiece. Whether it’s simply changing how you look at things or changing how you experiment with ideas, it might even trigger a new passion altogether.