What To Do When You’re Feeling Stuck

”I don’t think I’m getting any better and I’ve got a creative block. I’m stuck. What should I do?”

You wouldn’t imagine, but I get this question a lot.

It seems creatives don’t really like to talk about phases of creative blocks because they don’t want to be seen as not creative.

Creativity and ideas are the currency of this century and, if you lack them, it feels intimidating.

Truth is, we all come to that point from time to time and it should stop being a taboo topic; we’re not machines. Everyone’s got their own methods of dealing with blocks, and I’ll share with you what works for me.

IGNORE SOCIAL MEDIA

Instagram, Facebook, Flickr or any other social media are jam-packed with imagery. Absorbing all these visuals sometimes feels like brainwashing, and avoiding seeing lots of pictures makes my brain ‘reset’. That means I can start creating from the heart again, oblivious to what makes a ‘good’ photo and wondering if my images resemble too much something I had already seen.

TALK TO FRIENDS

Talk about anything besides your work. Just forget about it for a while, and talk about common themes, discuss movies, great music and books. It’s a great way to distance yourself from your work and forget about it for a while. Sometimes we just need a bit of mental space. Another everyday tip — dance like nobody’s watching (because nobody is, really)!

GO ON A TRIP

If you have money to go in a new place far away, do that. But if you don’t, then don’t hesitate to rediscover beaches, smaller towns, mountains and woods near you. Even a 10-minute ride can have a refreshing effect. There have been a few situations when I was walking down the same old street like I’ve done a gazillion times before and I looked up: there were balconies, murals and lazy cats sleeping on windows that I had never seen before, just because I wasn’t looking. That was a true discovery in a very familiar place.

Pack your bags! It’s time for a trip.

STOP THINKING ABOUT WORK

I used to have a lot of problems overthinking images while I was laying in bed at night, still full of adrenaline, my brain racing from idea to idea. It can become overwhelming and prevent you from falling asleep. It’s common sense we want to quickly find a solution when we face a creative block, but overthinking it mostly has a negative effect. 
My solution was to start exercising about a year and a half ago. It relaxes my mind and engages my muscles and, when I reach my bed, I fall asleep in a matter of minutes. It doesn’t work for everybody, but if you have similar issues, it is worth a try.

All of these tips share the same core: getting away. The more pressure we put on ourselves, the less we’re able to produce satisfactory results. Sometimes we need to slow down and just enjoy the ride.