As we enter the sixth month of social distancing, or self-isolation, or simply working from home, many of us haven’t been able to find the inclination, or inspiration, to create.
I know that once my health began to go down, and I was focused on getting better, my creativity took a back seat.
And, flash forward six weeks, I sit at my desk and I can’t get started. NOTHING – Jill Adair doesn’t have any dastardly deeds, my dogs are funny, NOTHING.
Did my muse go on vacation?
Well, she may very well have taken off for Vegas, but the real problem is that I forgot how to get started. I can’t remember the necessary steps to find my happy place.
As a writer, my first thought is that I have some type of Writer’s Block. That’s only part of it. What I really have is ‘A Creative Block.’
The good news – once you identify where your creativity comes from, you can be as creative as you want – and your muse doesn’t even have to be around.
Let’s explore the concept of this ‘Creative Block.’ It can be caused by any number of problems:
- Personal Problems
- Whether it’s your health, your relationship, a car that needs repairs – these things can rob you of your creativity – IF YOU LET THEM
- Work habits (that really don’t work)
- You’re working in a way that isn’t compatible with your creative process. This causes any creative work to be a CHORE. So, you work too early, too late, too long, or not long enough. (You are the ONLY one who can find your Nirvana of Creativity)
- Emotional barriers
- Sometimes, we distract ourselves with thoughts that our creations will reveal too much about ourselves – your best work reveals who you are.
- Mental Block
- This is usually what is referred to as the true Writer’s Block – and it is just YOU trapping yourself and your words inside your own head.
- There are times in our lives when we simply have TOO much on our plate. Too many commitments, information, great ideas, etc. INSTEAD of FEELING SUPER-PRODUCTIVE, you merely feel incapacitated.
- This isn’t just referring to money – but a lack of time, knowledge, networks, equipment, and resources.
- Identifying your writing tribe or space helps with this problem TREMENDOUSLY
- Communication Breakdown
- This especially pertains to working in teams. More than likely, you are working with at least one difficult person. Thoughts of spending time with them and completing the project send you into cold sweats.
Here’s the Good News. It isn’t just artists and writers who feel this way. Look at Entrepreneurs, Teachers, Fine Artists, Fashion Designers, and Actors ALL struggle with their process – and the COVID-19 has been extremely difficult for ALL of us.
What were your ORIGINAL goals for 2020?
Is it to finish the novel you’re working on? Is it to finally leave your desk job to become a full-time freelance writer? Or is it simply to get a bit more writing done each week?
To all of these, we say, “Amazing. All power to you.”
AND THEN THE WORLD CHANGED
But what if we could give you a little superpower to help you achieve all of these goals? What if we could help you boost your creativity?
It’s not as hard as it looks. Creativity is a learnable skill that you can use as a powerful tool to achieve your goals.
The ability to not accept the status quo, but search for new solutions is the heart of creativity. And, luckily, it can be trained.
To understand how we can create a formula to get our creative juices flowing, we need to understand what ‘creativity’ is. One definition says that creativity is the ability to come up with new and useful ideas. It’s not really a characteristic you’re born with; it’s a trait that can be nurtured through practice and persistence.
Does the definition say anything about a muse? Is it defined as an innate talent that a chosen few possess?
No. Creativity is the creation of new and useful ideas. Creativity is trainable.
Think of it like a muscle. And just like a muscle, it needs to be trained frequently.
So, if you think you’ve lost your creativity, you need to identify the things that bring you pleasure and stimulate the part of the brain that’s interested in new and exciting ideas.
- Go out and take a walk – bring a notebook and take notes on the things that jump out at you
- Keep a Journal -Just write. No story, no grammar or spelling – just write what you think and feel – something will eventually become a story
- Draw, sketch, color – use a different creative medium that usual. (For me, my adult coloring books and boxes of colored pencils are a great way to get my creativity back.)
- Entertain yourself – play a video game, watch a movie. Turn your brain away from your problem, your creative ideas will come back to you.
- Break your routine
- Unplug – no TV, Cellphone, surround yourself in nature
- Eat wisely – who can think if your stomach is empty?
I hope this little blog post may give you at least one thing to regain your creative spirit.