A creative rut. Everyone’s been in them. Some people think they’ve been living in one their whole lives. Here are steps to move you out of your rut and into the creative flow that you were made for.
Put the lid on that addictive game / sitcom / website / whatever – Yes, we play games, watch shows and movies, aimlessly surf the social networks to relax our minds and find inspiration. But there comes a point when we consume content too much and it hampers our creativity. It happened to me just recently. I started playing this game on my iPhone. It was addicting! It was one of those sim-business games where you build an empire of planes and airports, accumulating cash so you can buy more planes and airports. I found myself doing everything with the game on standby. Every few minutes I had to check what was happening in my game. Pretty soon one week had passed by without me writing a single blog post!
In one word, it CONSUMED me. All of my creative energy was being used to build my imaginary airline. When I realized this, I forced myself to delete the game. It required a LOT of will power, but my desire to share ideas with others and develop this blog won out over the pull of the game. (I’m not swearing off games, BTW. I’m just putting them in their place.)
The same thing would apply to someone spending hours on Facebook, not posting anything, but just scrolling down the feed, clicking down the infinite rabbit hole of links and likes.
Put the old ideas on the shelf – old ideas to someone coming out of a rut is like spilt milk. Something’s there but you just can’t get to it yet. It’s like trying to squeeze water out of a rock. These are good ideas, but they just feel like a dead-end for now. You’ll need to be in the flow of your creativity to pick them up again and make something with them. You need something new.
Make it about the other person – If the question you’re asking is “What should I write / shoot / create next?” then you’re asking the wrong question. Ultimately, your creativity is not just for you. Your gifts and talents are there for others to enjoy and benefit from. Try this exercise: Think of one person that you know. Ask the question, “What would he enjoy?” or “How could I help her?”
If you shift your focus from yourself or from the general public to a single person, then you’ll be able to create something more personal and something more people can relate to.
Hopefully, after your first creation, you find your flow and you can go back to the shelf and make beautiful things from those older ideas. :)
Question: How do you get inspired to be creative? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please write a comment. :)