6 Key Tips on Getting Out of a Creative Rut

6 Key Tips on Getting Out of a Creative Rut

Are you currently feeling stuck in your career? A creative rut can be a frustrating and demotivating experience for anyone, whether you are a photographer, artist, writer, or simply someone looking to tap into your creative side. It can feel like you’ve run out of ideas, or like everything you come up with is not good enough. The good news is that there are ways to overcome a creative rut and get back on track. Here are some tips for getting out of a creative slump and finding inspiration again:

1. Take a Break

One of the best ways to overcome a creative block is to step away from your work for a bit. Take a walk, go swimming, do some stretching, or engage in a hobby unrelated to your job that you enjoy. This can help you clear your mind and come back to your work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle it with a fresh perspective.

This may sound like basic advice you'd hear from a doctor, but moving your body daily, getting adequate sleep at night, and eating a nutritious meal is truly the best remedy for any mental blockage. The simplest things in life are the answers to the most difficult feelings.

When you prioritize self-care, you are giving yourself the power back to change your habits and reprogram your thinking. 

2. Change Your Environment 

A change of scenery can do wonders for your creativity. Consider working in a different location, such as a coffee shop or a park. You can also see if there's a local co-working space designed for connecting with creatives like yourself. Alternatively, you can try rearranging your workspace or introducing some new elements, such as plants, LED color-changing lights, or a whiteboard, to stimulate your creativity.

If you primarily work at home, try getting rid of distractions. Put your phone in a different room, play your favorite music, and take small breaks every 30 minutes in between work. You can take this a step further and purchase an adjustable standing desk to keep yourself from sitting too long. Keep yourself accountable by setting a timer.

3. Get Inspired by Other Mediums

If you're a photographer, try getting inspired from a movie or film you watched, unique clothing from a fashion show, or art pieces you were intrigued by from a museum. It's easy to look at work from other photographers and try to recreate their images, but it's much more fun and rewarding to come up with your own ideas. Take small elements of what you enjoyed watching or admiring this week and put them together in new work. 

4. Seek Community

Surrounding yourself with creative people and engaging with their work can help you get inspired and come up with new ideas. Follow new accounts on social media that you admire, meet up with people, attend workshops by creative professionals, or join a creative community online or a local Facebook group in person.

Don't be afraid to ask for feedback from colleagues, friends, advisors, or professionals you look up to. Constructive criticism can be useful to motivate you to keep creating better work.

5. Take Action Now

While it's completely normal to want to wait until you feel inspired again, taking action might be the only way to ignite your passion. Kill the idea of perfectionism, the next best thing you create doesn't have to be life-changing or have to do well on social media. Create something that makes the inner you happy. 

Get rid of expectations. Tell yourself to do something without expecting any results. You'll feel validated for following through on a promise you made yourself.

6. Experiment

Don't be afraid to try new things and take risks. Sometimes, the best ideas come from stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new. This can be anything from trying a new art medium to experimenting with different editing styles. For photographers, look for a new studio to rent out for a day to work in or incorporate new props in your work. Visit a secondhand consignment store or antique store, and purchase new props/clothing to experiment with.

    Remember, it's normal to experience a creative rut from time to time. The most important thing is to keep trying and not give up. With a little effort and perseverance, you can overcome your creative block and get back to creating amazing work. I'm cheering for you!


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