There are many reasons why you might fall into a creative rut and I know that there have been many things that attest to mine. Some people experience lack of energy, writer’s block or something similar but if you are a creative of any type I am sure you have fallen into this inevitable trap.
In the creative field, it is completely normal to experience highs and lows in your creativity (also in your personal life as well!). A creative rut however, goes far beyond these regular fluctuations and sometimes last much longer.
A dry spell is a terrible feeling – it creates a sense of powerlessness and it creates challenges of huge obstacles that you will have to overcome and pull yourself out of. If you are struggling with issues related to your health, family, friendships, relationships or finances, it is extremely easy to fall prey to these types of ruts; however anyone is a perfect candidate.
To get out of a creative rut, you don’t (and probably shouldn’t!) work harder or longer. These ideas below will hopefully help you if you find yourself in one, as they have definitely helped me out of mine.
The first step to overcoming your creative rut is to fully embrace it. Recognize what is happening, accept it and think about why. Something that I tend to do when I fall into a creative rut is to think constantly about my failures. While I don’t necessarily love giving that advice, the thing I would recommend is think about why I think they are failures and how can I grow from them. This allows me to embrace my self- doubt and fears and turn it into something that will actually help me grow as an artist.
This is probably my favorite tip for getting out of a rut. When you create space for something, this allows for something new to be brought in. If you hold onto what is old, uninspiring or anything that doesn’t serve you, you are letting the universe know that you are content with where you currently are.
DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Okay, so you’ve embraced it, created space…what now?? Use this time when you’re feeling down or uninspired by doing something completely different! Start a new book, take on a new hobby or start watching a new TV series. Seriously – I think my latest obsession with America’s Next Top Model started getting me excited about shooting again, without forcing anything or concentrating too hard on anything.
I don’t know about you but I love when I get a jolt of inspiration. For me at least, this is one of my highest creative highs. The other day I was watching a YouTube video that popped up in my feed of one of my favorite fashion photographers, Jessica Kobeissi. I hadn’t really made room lately for anything creative. For a while, I kept getting this little tug that I wanted to buy watercolors and paint. Keep in mind; I am NOT an artist at all when it comes to drawing, painting, etc. The only other time I have ever used watercolors, was when I was very young – maybe even in Kindergarten! But, I went out and bought a little watercolor set and notebook at Michael’s and I painted a little sun and moon that night and had so much fun. Anyway, I was watching one of Jessica’s videos and she completely re-inspired me. Ever since then I have been gathering all kinds of inspirations, listening to podcasts, watching videos and even starting this blog! Inspiration is key and we have all that we need at the end of fingertips at any moment so I encourage you to take advantage when you can.
SHOW UP & COMMIT
My last tip for getting out a creative rut would be to show up and commit. No one can take down the person who shows up in my opinion, because honestly sometimes that is the hardest part. Show up, even when you don’t necessarily feel like it. Once you’re there, commit! Why show up if you’re not going to commit to what you’re there for? I’m committing to you all right now publicly my plans for my photography. Sure, I might not have everything figured out or every post planned but what I do have is a new wave of inspiration and a new love for photography and I am so excited to share that with you all in all of these blog posts. Cheers to a new adventure!