I'd just about guarantee that we all know the feeling of being in a creative dry spell. Your mind is empty, that piece of writing paper is excessively blank, designs refuse to work the way they should, and you'd rather be sitting in the sun sipping something frothy and fruity than be anywhere near your office or work table. What do you do when the artistic doldrums take root?
Well, I wish I could say I had all the answers to wash away the blahs, but I don't. In fact, here I am, 9:30 - no, now 11:30, the night before this blog entry is due, and I haven't a clue what to write. I feel like I am back in school trying to compose that 15-page paper that I waited until the last minute to write. I remember sitting in my parents' basement (my desk and stereo were down there), dozens of index cards covered with almost illegible notes piled in front of me, stacks of library books covering the old, 1960s Colonial print sofa, pencils sharpened, half-chewed pens at the ready, and my trusty Smith Corona manual typewriter sporting a clean, white sheet of paper. I was all set to write that ground-breaking thesis, except for one thing: my thoughts wouldn't gel. I might as well have been looking at stone tablets incised with hieroglyphics. Nothing made sense. My brain was drained.
"Maybe I will feel more inspired after a snack." I'd appease my inner muse with food to encourage her to return to work. Half a bag of chips or six cookies later, I was no closer to putting my thoughts on paper; the only thing that had been coaxed out by that culinary bribery was my waistline. Maybe I needed a nap. No, unfortunately no time for that. The report was due in the morning. Music...certainly music was well known for enhancing creativity. Luckily I had headphones for that stereo which was playing late into the night.
I would not necessarily advocate my methods for anyone but myself, of course. Your mileage will vary. However, there are a few elements commonly related to banishing dry spells that are hidden in this approach.
First, step away from the task at hand. Stop trying to force things to come together. Breathe, walk, meditate, listen to music, visit a flower garden, fold clothes, walk the dog, enjoy a cup of tea, or whatever feels right and relaxing at that moment. Don't think of this as evading what you have to do; think of it as clearing the mind in order to open the airways to receive new inspiration.
by Beth Peardon Prods
Perhaps a change of location will stimulate your creative juices. Try creating in a different venue, or even set up a small table outside. Move your supplies to a different room. Use an unfamiliar desk in a different room, or move your work table into a new corner. What do you see from this vantage point? If you can't move to another spot, then change your mental perspective. Really look at your surroundings with a fresh eye and note something you may not have noticed before; jot down some quick observations. Which colors stand out? What objects have you missed during your usual routine? Tilt your head to the left, then right. Do you see anything out of the ordinary? You never know what small detail, previously hidden from view, could jump start a new design or story idea.
by The Creators Palette
If you are a writer, then play with word sequences and associations. Open a dictionary, close your eyes, and point to a word. Open your eyes and write down what you see; repeat this process until you have a list of words from which to start a theme for a written piece. Try to write until you include all the words. Don't think too hard about this process. Just write what streams into your mind!
Old Glory Beaded Pen
by Ghi-Goo-ie Designs (JStinson)
Southwest Heart Treasure Box
from Jill's Treasure Chest