What to do When the Creative Lights Go Out


You know you need to get started on that Modlette or write an article for your blog but although you know what the subject is it’s hard to get started

Creativity is a funny business

And it requires funny solutions when you are experiencing problems.  We need a renewal vigour or passion for the work that we do from time to time.  There are the typical answers, such as “listen to music” or “take a nature walk” but I must confess these do not work for me even though we have some of the best nature walks in the world within ten minutes of my home.


That’s the challenge we all face

When we want to be creative

If you’re not finding new ways to spur your creativity or invigorate your spirit, things can go downhill very quickly.  When you relax into routines, part of your creative self may begin to wither.


Your creative self gets bored and lazy

And eventually it starts to die

Here are some ways to keep the creative zing fresh in your spirit:

  1. Quit: Sometimes, the best thing you can do is give up.  Hand the challenge to someone else who will see it through different eyes.
  2. Leave your creative spot (usually in front of your computer which doesn’t have a creative capacitor in its case). Get away for a while and do something wild, like draw with crayons or play with LEGGO
  3. Stop avoiding. Pull up a chair and listen to what the Block has to say.  Have a conversation with it.  Don’t reason with it, but hear it out.  Listen and learn from it.  And then move on.
  4. Face your fears, whatever they may be. Whatever it is you’re afraid of, do that thing.  Even if it has nothing to do with creativity
  5. Do something completely unrelated to your discipline. If you are an instructional designer try drawing cartoons, if you’re a writer, paint.  Get the idea?
  6. Move around. Kinesthetic learning has been proven to work.
  7. Go for a photo walk. Just take pictures of random things and look at what you find afterwards
  8. Laugh out loud. That doesn’t include “LOL” on your computer screen.  Try really laughing, Loudly.  Really cool stuff happens to you physiologically and mentally when you do this.  In particular, it relieves stress.
  9. Go to a movie. Take the afternoon off and go to a movie.  Go with a friend, someone who also likes to play “hooky”.
  10. And dance in front of a mirror. (Now that’s weird if you’re an adult . . . however, it may cause you to do number 8 uncontrollably).

Some of these are pretty weird but if you think about it, why do we tend to solve our problems with creativity with uncreative solutions?

Whatever you do to get unstuck or re-inspired why not exercise a little imagination, even have a little fun, and risk being a little weird.  The worst that can happen is you could get laughed at.

I have posted another article on this e-letter on how I get past creative block when designing a Modlette.



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