How To Get Through Creative Burnout

What to do when you’re going through a creative rut.

Felix Cabrera
Jan 5 · 5 min read

During the past couple of months, I have suffered from creative burnout. I’ve been working on my YouTube channel, and I started to run out of ideas.

As a result, I started slowing down on the amount of content I would produce every week. During this time, I started to lose interest in making videos.

Has this happened to you?

No worries, if it has. You are not alone.

Nonetheless, I have learned ways to cope with these phases of creative burnout in my life. These lessons have helped me get back on the creative flow after having a time of no ideas and feeling stuck creatively.

Hence, I wanted to share them with you.

Switch creative mediums

After being stuck in a creative rut for some time, I started to shift my focus to writing more articles instead of making videos.

Before this shift, I was writing one article per week and shooting two videos per week. So, what I did was to make one video per week and write two articles per week.

By making this shift, I reduced the amount of workload I had on the video side and started to capitalize on what was working for me.

At the time, I was having a lot of writing ideas, but not so many video ideas. By focusing on what worked for me, which was writing, I could keep the positive momentum going when it came to my creative projects.

What I started to notice is that I was coming up with other ideas for videos as I was researching when writing articles. Then, I would then make videos on these topics.

So, try to switch creative mediums. You can do this is by working on more than one project at a time. Make sure these projects are different in terms of the creative medium you use.

For instance, making videos, writing, or even playing a musical instrument. Thus, you can work one project for some time. Then when you start feeling stuck on that project, you can go on and work on the other one.

It’s okay to take a break

At some point, I started feeling overwhelmed by making videos. I reached a point where I began losing the motivation to keep going.

What can you do if you reach this point?

I stopped making videos completely for some time and kept writing more articles.

“Wait, what? Stop. Isn’t that counterproductive?”

Not exactly. If I forced myself to make videos, the quality of the content would not be up to par. In turn, I’d get even more frustrated when I saw the output and lost even more motivation.

I wrote more articles. After, ideas started coming to me, I began making videos again. As a result, I got my motivation back.

“A little bump in the road is just a bump. There’s more ahead until you reach your destination.” — China Cancio

The key is not to give up and be flexible. We all need a break sometimes, and that’s okay. There might be obstacles on the road to success, but we need to stay positive and open to make changes.

So, take a break if you need one.

Change topics

There have been times when I have also run out of ideas when writing articles.So, I started switching the topics I was writing about.

By changing topics, I tapped into other writing opportunities I wasn’t even aware of.

For instance, I started on the Medium platform writing about Computer Science Education and Computer Programming. However, after writing about these topics for over a year, I started to plateau. I ran out of ideas, which lead me to feel stuck when publishing new articles.

So, I started to write about my other passions — self-development and productivity. Consequently, I began to come up with even more ideas and started to help people with these articles.

Also, I started to see ways where I could combine these areas when writing about Computer Science Education and Computer Programming-related topics. This led more articles, hence, increasing productivity.

Here are some other things I did that helped me get unstuck:

  • Make a list of your interests
  • Read books and watch videos on different topics
  • Think about the obstacles you have overcome in your life
  • Write about a lesson you have had on that day

The critical insight I have gained from this experience is to spice things up when feeling stuck. By changing your focus, you might spark your creativity and avoid the feelings of stopping and giving up.

If you give up, you will not grow as a content creator.

Takeaways

When going through a creative rut, channeling your creativity in different ways may help you cope during this time. By focusing on what’s working for you can assist inbuidling momentum.

If you reach a point where you’re exhausted, frustrated, or overwhelmed it’s okay to take a break and focus on other projects.

You might have new ideas when you remove yourself from what frustrates you. It may seem counterproductive, but this has worked for me.

Finally, switching topics may help you become aware of writing opportunities that you may have missed in the past.

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health or counseling professional. These tips and advice are based on my experience and opinion as a student, tutor, teacher, and software developer. Everyone is different, so the advice shared in this article may or may not work for you.

The Brave Writer

The next generation of writers breaking barriers together.

Felix Cabrera

Written by

A.k.a. Felix The Dev. Software Developer. Writer, programming teacher, tutor, and coach. youtube.com/c/FelixTheDev yadielcabrera.com

The Brave Writer

The next generation of writers breaking barriers together.

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