How To Avoid A Creative Slump

  slump

Creativity.  There are so many ways to be creative.  For me, it is designing clothes and making them.  For you, it might be something else.  Regardless of your method, chances are, if you are reading this post- creativity is important to you.

I have realized in the last 5 years how important creativity is in my life.  I come from creative stock.  My dad is an artist and my mom is a musician.  I have come to terms that if I am not exercising my creativity consistently, it affects me emotionally.  There have been times in my life when either I was either too busy, too lazy or too distracted to be creative and looking back, these were my unhappiest times.  With this realization, I have realized that I need to make creativity a priority in my life.

Creativity Quote

What are some obstacles that can keep us from being creative?  Or that cause us to get in a ‘slump’? Here are a few that affect me.  You might have some to add.

  • Overbooking ourselves
  • Small Children 🙂
  • Fear (of failure, rejection)
  • Negative thoughts
  • Previous Failures
  • Laziness
  • Procrastination
  • Exhaustion
  • Putting everyone else’s needs before ourselves
  • Poor time/energy management
  • Unavoidable trying life events/circumstances
  • Creative ‘blocks’ or not feeling inspired

There are many ways we can get out of slumps- in fact, here is a great post about getting out of a sewing slump.

But what about avoiding them in the first place?  Is there a foolproof method for this?

Recently, I started reading Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind.  (affiliate link)  The book is split into sections of advice from 20 different successful creative people.  It’s pretty cool because each person has some great advice. I’m not done with it yet but I had an aha! moment when reading it the other day.

Gretchen Rubin, the author of Happier at Home and The Happiness Project (affiliate links) has a section in this book where she explains the ‘magic’ (my words) of frequency.  Her words of wisdom makes me want to read more of her work. (I have yet to read her work on happiness but it sounds interesting)

I have thought about this before, but not in such clear, concise terms.  I know the longer I go without doing something, the harder it is to get started again.  It is strange, but a real phenomenon.  When we haven’t done something in a while, getting started again can feel intimidating for some reason.  Gretchen, in the book says, “By working every day, you keep your momentum going.  You never have time to feel detached from the process.  You never forget your place, and you never need to waste time reviewing your work to get back up to speed…” Yes!

Image from Brainpickings.org

Other ideas she explores regarding frequency and how important it is to the creative process are:

  • Frequency keeps ideas fresh
  • Frequency keeps the pressure off
  • Frequency sparks creativity
  • Frequency nurtures frequency
  • Frequency fosters productivity
  • Frequency is a realistic approach

As a busy mom, it is so easy for me to tell myself I don’t have time.  Maybe I don’t have hours and hours a day to nurture my creativity, but I do have 20 mins, or 15, or 30.  Even if I pick that project up for a few minutes a day, it helps so much! I don’t feel sad that I am not accomplishing anything- and constantly reaching for your goals is so rewarding.

She goes into much more detail about these facets of frequency in the book, and I recommend you pick up a copy.  There is so much valuable insight.  (And they are not paying me to write this btw…)

So my new goal is to make sure I am doing even just a little something every day.  Do you have any thoughts or experiences to share on this topic? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Jen