We all have to admit that losing inspiration can happen on many levels. I think that’s our sensitivity always at stake. It almost feels like it’s dependent on some idea weather pattern. I’m a songwriter and I experience immense blocks at times. This seems to be universal in many art forms.
Creativity is like manipulating a perfect storm using the wind generators of your mind. It’s very hard to manipulate if depression, overwork, fatigue, negative life circumstances, stress or general malaise happens. I personally have gone weeks and even months without as much as writing down a song hook. So, I have to strategize to get, “Above the Pit.”
Here is a list of things I find helpful in my creative shakeup:
1. Give Yourself A Break. To everything there is a time and a season. We have creative times and we may have conscious or unconscious times of gestating a new idea or concept and it’s still not mature enough to be born. Be aware of the moments you are living. Don’t be hard on yourself, just be aware of the present moment. Beating yourself up mentally can be more damaging and can utilize all of the energy that is needed for breaking the barrier of the block.
2. Perfectionism Can Kill A Creative Idea. As a songwriter, I can’t think that my initial hook and first write has to be the best. It’s just a start! If we constantly judge our ideas, we are stopping other ideas from emerging. You have to begin somewhere! Very few ideas come in complete form, but require a process of time. Practice does make perfect.
3. Procrastination Can Kill The Idea. Ever have a moment where the idea or hook just comes to you? For me, it’s usually at a random place, like in the middle of a restaurant in Chelsea the other day. I immediately put the idea in the notes on my phone. Know when those creative waves are happening and float on them no matter where you are because they may not last. Creativity comes in waves, so be ready to ride it.
4. Listening and Watching Without Responding Can Be Your Greatest Muse. In this social media rage it’s easy to use all of our creativity in posting a status or reading other’s status. Just sitting and listening without trying to prove a point or engaging others conserves your creative energy to collect ideas. I often challenge fellow writers to just exist without interacting and they will find unique lines leaping from others lip just by passively listening. Be present, but too much interaction can be distractive to the creative spirit.
5. Don’t Fear Your Unique Perspective. I have always been attracted to people who never “fit the mold.” I like individuals who aren’t afraid to be themselves. I love to hear original expressions. Deeply creative people usually see a different view unique to themselves, which is their mental finger print to life. Great songwriters are original. Never fear being yourself and going at in different perspective. We are all unique, so celebrate it!
6. Put Yourself Around Disciplined Creative Individuals. I know a lot of creative people, but it’s not easy to find the creative disciplined person. People who pursue excellence and detail with their art are great motivators for other creative spirits. I have a lot of unique friends who are creative, but I can’t say it follows them into the creative process of developing. Know the difference between a fun person and a person with a responsible level of creative discipline. Hang out with those that feed that positive energy and maybe challenge you in your pursuits.
7. Little Moments of Creativity May Be Better Than Manic Moments. Don’t feel you have to give an entire day to a creative pursuit. Monet’s painting, “Water Lilies” was a process of years to the finished work. Do what you can, with the time you have. Smaller goals are much easier to achieve than larger goals. Dividing your time up also gives a rest for a fresh and new perspective.
8. Mind Over Matter It. Sometimes, you just have to roll up your sleeves and try! Even when you don’t feel creative, you might surprise yourself. They say if you will force a smile it helps to make you feel more happy. Creativity sometimes has to be manipulated by sheer discipline and there is no other way.
9. Give Yourself Creative Field Trips To Ignite New Thinking. I like to follow my creative spirit and plan to go to places that make me think, see things differently and breaks the monotony of the everyday. Knowing there is a bigger world outside of your own is a great creative awakening strategy. This trip can be local or a couple days to another place you’ve wanted to discover. Doing field trips is an easy way to hit the reset button and to reignite the romance of what you are doing.
10. Be Prepared For That Idea. What if you went into a business and they weren’t prepared for customers? It wouldn’t be in operation for very long is my guess. As creative individuals, we need to have all the necessary tools on hand to give our undivided attention to that moment. I now have many phone apps that assist me in my songwriting. You know what those tools are for you so keep them near at all times.
Being a songwriter/composer, I like to see parallels in many facets of the arts. No matter what forum of art your creativity seeks, I think these rules apply to most. You can break through that creative block! Remember, invest in your creative nature just like you would invest in your health. Let the ideas flow!!!!