How to Break Out of a Creative RUT: 7 Strategies
Here's what I did when I hit that wall, got stuck, and didn't know where to begin again.
I recently moved. I packed up everything I own including the NOORISM and Upcycle Design School studio and relocated across Brooklyn. The move was an exciting positive step forward in every way! I moved in with an amazing man I love and moved my kids to a quieter, more desirable neighborhood a few blocks from prospect park!
It was a lot of work, there were tons of moving parts and I had to focus entirely on the house stuff for about a month. I’m sure many of you can relate... when something pops up in your life and you have to put everything else aside, and give it your full attention for a period of time. It could be that a family member is sick, the birth of a child or it could be for many other reasons.
Now that the move is done, my new studio space is completely unpacked and almost organized, I found myself a little stuck. I had lost my work rhythm and creative flow. I stopped publishing my weekly blog. I had not created any new NOORISM garments and I didn't know what to do first to get back on track!!
Also, I should mention that my new studio is amazing!! It’s the best space the studio has ever been set up in! It feels cozy and creative! And I even have plants!
One thing I know is that the motivation follows the action and once I start something, a project, a new garment, THIS BLOG POST, I will start to feel that flow again.
In order to jump-kick myself out of this rut in a major way, I decided to write a blog post about it because blogging is a big part of what I do and because I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this. I also decided to start creating some new NOORISM pieces.
Getting back in touch with my process always helps get the momentum flowing!
Check out these new NOORISM re-constructed jeans!
Also, here’s a list of my top ways of breaking out of that creative rut:
1. SIMPLY SHOW UP
When I have a block of time, I find that if I simply show up to whatever it is I love to do, those activities will help the creativity within me flow.
For example, if my goal is writing, I sit at my computer with my notebook and a blank document open. The quality of the writing, or whatever else I am working on such as deconstructing, designing, sewing, doesn't matter. What matters is the follow-through.
There are days sometimes in my studio where all I do is organize my supplies and waste time on Tiktok, but it's important to be present in my creative space, allowing the ideas to flow.
2. TAKE A BREAK
Sometimes we just need a break! Stepping away for even 10 minutes can do wonders for your creativity.
After stepping away, I usually come back to the task on hand with with a fresh perspective and renewed focus.
3. CATCH UP WITH A FRIEND
Spending lots of time alone in your studio can get you into a dull pattern. Its great to have a consistent routine, but if you don't switch things up every now and then, this could be a cause of your rut.
Meet up with a friend over lunch or coffee and even go to an interesting talk or event. Conversation is a great way to get out of your own mind and shake up your perspective a little.
4. CONNECT WITH NATURE
Spending time in nature can be rejuvenating and help clear your mind. When you are spending long hours in front of a computer screen and on your phone, your mind can get burnt out.
Try taking a nature break and going for a short walk at your local park or even around your neighborhood. Getting fresh air and stepping away from the screen can be a great reset!
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE THAT MOTIVATE YOU
In the words of motivational speaker Jim Rohn: "you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." Research shows the people you habitually associate with determine as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life.
6. RECONNECT WITH YOUR PURPOSE
Remember WHY you currently do what you do. This can sometimes be called your Big Why. This is what gives you meaning and can often light the creative spark.
7. ACCEPT THE RUT
Sometimes, feeling stuck is just another part of the creative process. Often what feels like a rut is just impatience. We often want results and we want things to move quickly and in the right direction. We want to have something to show for ourselves after a day's work. Creative work, by nature is not predictable and that can feel unsettling. Try shutting off the distractions and letting yourself be alone with your thoughts. And be patient!
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