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Creative block can strike even the most experienced artists and creators. Whether you’re a video creator, brand, social media manager, or any other type of creative, the struggle to find inspiration and break through the barriers of creative block is universal. But don’t worry, there are some easy ways to help you overcome this challenge, get inspired, and start creating again.
It sounds like the opposite of what you should be doing, right? But hear us out — being bored or allowing yourself to take a guilt-free break might just be the remedy you’re looking for.
Nowadays, our minds are constantly slammed with ideas and distractions. Sometimes, it can feel like trying to paint a masterpiece on a canvas covered in random brush strokes. Taking a break and clearing your mind will let you start fresh and help you feel creative again.
So, how do you take a guilt-free break? First, resist the urge to fill your downtime with distractions like social media, binge-watching, or endless scrolling. Instead, do simple activities that let your mind wander, like going for a walk, drawing, or just sitting quietly in a room or nature, and let your thoughts flow.
Many people struggle to just let their thoughts “flow.” Listening to something soothing and not too distracting, like lo-fi, can be super helpful. Several studies suggest that lo-fi music can help people study, relax, and learn better. When you’re in this state, you might be surprised by how quickly your imagination comes up with new ideas and creative approaches.
Don’t be afraid to tune out, even if it’s just staring out the window with a coffee in your hand. The key here is to give yourself permission to take a break without feeling guilty. So the next time you’re facing a creative block, don’t be afraid to embrace your boredom and give your mind the space it needs to work its magic.
Discover lo-fi music from Artlist
Take inspiration from other artists
If you’re a video creator, chances are you also watch a lot of video content for your own entertainment, to appreciate the craft, or to get inspired. But unfortunately, finding the right inspiration isn’t always so straightforward. You might watch hours of video content and still experience your own creative block.
Never fear, though. This could be a good chance to expand your creative frame of reference and explore creativity in different forms. Good ideas can come from anywhere. So don’t be afraid to listen to music, look at artwork, get out, watch a play, or experience other types of creativity.
You never know when a cool pose, bold color, or fancy pattern might inspire you to see your own work differently. But remember, with great inspiration comes great responsibility. Don’t just copy someone’s work. Austin Cleon’s book Steal Like an Artist is one of our favorites with insights on this. Take those ideas you love and let them inspire you to create something that’s uniquely yours.
Create a clear process
We’ve all been there (and you are not alone, just learn how the Coen Brothers found a way to deal with writer’s block), staring at an empty project file, unsure where to start. Sometimes, we get so scared of doing bad work that we don’t do anything at all. So, create a clear process instead of getting stuck at the start. Processes will structure and help guide you with a map to follow. When you have a roadmap, it’s much easier to take action and avoid getting lost in the wilderness of creative uncertainty.
So, how do we create a clear process? Start by asking yourself a few simple questions:
- What do you want to achieve with your video?
- Who is your target audience?
- What message or feeling do you want to convey?
Once you have a clear understanding of these aspects, it’s time to create a list of actionable steps. For example, if you’re a video editor and your goal is to create a captivating travel video, your list of actionable steps might look something like this:
- Research popular travel video styles and techniques
- Choose a specific theme or narrative for the video
- Find the right song for your video
- Sort and select the best footage from your travels
- Edit the footage, incorporate transitions, and color grade
With a clear process and a list of actionable steps, you’ll feel way more in control and less likely to be paralyzed by the fear of creating lousy work. After all, as the saying goes, “a goal without a plan or just a wish”.
Let the bad ideas out
It’s common for creative people to have self-doubt, even creatives who have experienced great success. The very nature of creating means you always have to come up with new ideas, and it’s only natural that some of those ideas won’t be your best.
Rather than being scared of having bad ideas, embrace the fact that they are a natural part of the creative process, and once you let them out, you can get them out of the way, and you’ll be one step closer to narrowing down your pool of ideas and finding the ones worth pursuing.
Collecting your ideas in a notebook, messages to yourself, post-it notes, or anywhere you can organize your thoughts can be super helpful. The key here is that it’s a judgment-free space. Sometimes, it takes writing out all your ideas and looking at them together to focus on the ones you love and get you excited to create.
We’re also not sold on the idea that bad ideas exist. It’s all relative and personal. Instead of thinking about ideas as bad or good, focusing on the overall story you’re trying to tell or how the ideas make you feel can be helpful. Excitement is a good indicator that you’re on the right path. When you’re more excited, you’ll feel more inspired and creative.
Also, writing ideas down is helpful because maybe it’s not right for your current project, but you never know. You might revisit your notebook later and find the concept you need for your next project.
Take on creative challenges
We’ve saved our favorite idea for last. If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air in your creative journey, then taking on challenges might just be the right thing to do.
You might want to try editing a video with random music and footage or shooting with a different type of lens like prime or anamorphic. Challenges push us out of our comfort zone, force us to think differently, and keep us on our toes. It’s like trying to make a gourmet meal out of whatever scraps you find lying around in your kitchen. The element of chaos will force you to problem-solve better and can help you get out of a creative block.
It’s completely normal to experience a creative block, and you’re not alone in this journey. Creators with all skill levels still experience times when they lack motivation and inspiration. Hopefully, these 5 tips will help you shatter creative block like it’s made of glass. Instead of gambling on inspiration from nowhere, take actionable steps to spark your creativity.