How to Get Out of the Creative Rut
It would be a lie if I told you I’ve never been in a creative rut. You know, the one where you feel uninspired, uncreative and unproductive? It’s a creative’s worst nightmare. What’s more is the fact that once you proclaim yourself as being uninspired at the moment, your followers may think it’s impossible, as if running out of ideas is not something people in the blogging, photography, designing and any other creative industry are capable of, because they are always “creating”. Yeah well, sorry to burst your bubble, but it tends to happen at some point of our creative process. Does this mean that I don’t want to blog anymore or design or photograph? Well, Rome wasn’t build in just one day, was it? It takes time, research, and sometimes even unplugging of our surroundings in order for creatives to create and be inspired again. So, what to do if you hit a wall and your creative juices stop flowing?…
⁃ Start at the beginning of it all, meaning go back to the reason why you FIRST started to share your creativity to the world. Is it because you want to be a voice for a certain group or niche? Is it because you want to demonstrate YOUR point of view in fashion, design, photography, etc? What’s your reason for starting what you started? Once you dig deep and find that purpose, ALWAYS GO BACK TO IT. Type it, write it in your notes, frame it, but whatever it is, have it with you at all times so you know the purpose of what you’re doing.
⁃ Research, research, research. No, not the scientific kind where you’re stuck in a lab for 927,389 hours. I mean the fun one, where you spend countless hours on a website, on a magazine, on a blog. Use those sources to find what inspires you. My best source of inspiration is hands down PINTEREST. God, what would life be without Pinterest? UNINSPIRING THAT’S FOR SURE. I can spend HOURS pinning my life away, creating boards for all types of occasion, from fall outfits to colorful mood boards (hence where I get a lot of my colorful mix and match!). In fact, the reason why I started to pin is because this was my new way of creating mood boards and collages, where I go back every time I feel uninspired. Don’t know what to wear for a summer vacation? I have a board for that. What to wear in the fall? Got one too. Don’t know what to see, do, and eat for your next destination? Best believe I got one for that too! Don’t think of research as homework or a project, but as a hobby that can lead you to create ideas you hadn’t thought of or new content.
⁃ Step outside the box and look at your surroundings. I find that my best ideas come from my surroundings, seriously. Most of all, they come from human connection; the feeling of wanting to connect with my readers comes from connecting with people in my surroundings as part of my daily life. It can be a tv episode that talks about social matters, the foreword of the editor-in-chief of your favorite magazine, a tweet, a quote, really anything that sparks something deep inside of you and makes you want to talk it out publicly. As a matter of fact, this post came out of a pair of bloggers stating in one of the comment pods I’m in that they’re in a creative rut and honestly, I messaged them on a separate conversation and gave them some advice, which then led me to talk about it publicly.
⁃ Like Victoria Bardega, a Darling writer + photographer whom I follow on Instagram, said on one of her pictures, “surround yourself with the people who encourage + motivate your own creative flow”. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been inspired by other dreamers + doers in the creative community! If there’s something I love about the blogging community is the connections made with bloggers, photographers, web designers, and everyone that uses their creativity as their outlet to inspire other people. From a conversation with a fellow blogger to a picture posted on these fellow creatives’ instagram, I’m always inspired by the content created in this community and use it as a source of inspiration as well.
⁃ Last but not least, let yourself be in the creative rut. Yes, actually let yourself be uninspired. Sometimes when we don’t know what to create, our “uninspiration” makes us think outside the box. I’ll never forget an episode where Mondo (from Project Runway’s Season 8 and yes, I’M A HUGE FAN OF PROJECT RUNWAY) made a garment and all of a sudden, he decided to create a garment at the last minute because he didn’t feel “inspired” with his first garment. What I’m trying to say is, if he hadn’t taken the time to let himself stay in that creative rut, he would’ve continued creating poor quality garments and worst of all, something that wouldn’t make him happy as a designer. The worst that can happen when stuck is keep creating content; you create things that are poor quality just to have “something” and actually lowers your self-worth. Don’t create just to “create”, but do it because it fulfills you and makes you happy.
You see, I find it best when I see a problem or an issue that I personally believe may be something that everyone goes through, so I decide to speak up about it and share what I can say is my best advice or opinion. Sure, you don’t have to follow it, but at least you know someone out in this blogging world is having the same issue as you are and after all, isn’t it about comforting each other in times where we feel like we’re “alone” or we’re the “only” ones going through the same issue? If you’re feeling uninspired, understand that this is just a rough patch in your creative journey and you won’t be stuck in it forever; you’ll get through it and continue to bloom in what you’re meant to create.
Until the next post,