All designers, writers and creatives have experienced the dread of sitting in front of a computer, a deadline lurking around the corner and nothing taking shape on the page. When you hit this point you have reached “creative block”. As we all hit the wall from time to time, it is helpful to have a pocket of tactics to get you back on track. Some of our favorites at 834 are:
Change your environment, your attitude or your energy. If you’re at the office, get up and walk around. If you’re home, go for a run, the endorphins and energy you get from working out can help kickstart your creativity. A change of scenery for your body and mind could help you find new inspiration.
Sometimes creative block comes from the insurmountable stress and deadlines you are facing. When this happens, prioritize your projects and relax. Nothing good comes from a creative immobilized from stress. An 834 favorite to relax is yoga.
Drag yourself away from your technology and see what you can create on paper. Drawing, or mapping if you don’t fancy yourself artistic, engages your brain in a different way because of the tactile practice. This could lead to new discoveries, ideas, or inspiration. Mind mapping is a common brainstorming activity among fortune 500 companies and has even helped create TedTalks.
Listen to Music
Music has magical powers. The beat and rhythm of a good song can keep you going when you’re on a roll and even overpower creative block. Still stuck? Sing along karaoke style.
Similarly to drawing and listening to music, reading will change your frame of mind. Search the Internet or local newspaper for an article or short story if you don’t have a book in the office.
Leave it Alone
Sometimes the best solution to creative block is to just walk away for a while. Working on other projects could even inspire a pass through your creative block. Just remember your deadlines!
Go in the Opposite Direction
Take your design the opposite direction. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Do something your client would hate and just be creative. That crazy design or outlandish writing may hold the key to solving your creative problem.
Search for Inspiration
The Internet is full of inspiration and distraction. Schedule out small breaks every hour to surf the Internet. It will give your mind a break from the task at hand, and you can get caught up will recent celebrity gossip. Watch out for the YouTube worm hole though. We don’t want you out there for hours.
Pass it Along
Pass along your creative block work to another person in your office. A new set of eyes for your design or writing can do wonders for fresh ideas. Your coworker might have exactly the answer you were looking for.
Every creative block has a different cause and problem to solve. When one solution doesn’t work keep trying. When it feels as all is lost, drink wine and try again.