The Creative Slump: What To Do When It Happens & How To Get Past It
Hello! I’m Kirsty and I’m a lifestyle blogger on The Monday Project. I am prone to word vomiting and talk about everything from shoestring travel to my love of the city I live in, to personal style to affordable interiors. I like Criminal Minds, Diet Coke, the colour green, plants and organising things. I’m also a full-time student of History and Classics at the University of Glasgow.
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If your income or your peace of mind in your downtime depends on you being creative, it can be pretty rubbish if you get stuck in a bit of a slump. Being creative is important to so many people, even if their rent doesn’t depend on it, and having that little outlet you can express yourself in shut down, can feel pretty sucky.
During my university exams and at the end of the semester I went through a rubbish creative slump and I think I’m finally coming out of it. Blogging is my favourite way to spend my time and it is slowly turning into something I can sustain myself on career wise so when I hit a wall it leaves me feeling a bit lost. So, the creative slump. We know it happens but what can we do to get past it?
WHEN IT HAPPENS
This is not the first time I’ve hit a wall when it comes to writing and taking photos for posts and the most important thing to do, first and foremost, is to accept it. Don’t keep opening Word Documents if you don’t know what to write about. You’ll just get more and more upset with yourself if you keep typing empty sentences that don’t make sense. Switch off your laptop for a little while and just step away.
Do Something Different
After accepting your creative slump, step away. I write from home so if I’m feeling overwhelmed and lacking a creative spark I tend to go outside. It might to go for a run and clear my head or take a book to a coffee shop to escape my desk for a little while. If your creative slump lasts days (or weeks) find other ways to occupy your time. This might sound a little counter-productive as you might end up stepping away all together but breathing different air for a little while and trying new or different things to usual might be the spark of inspiration you need!
The worst thing you can do is panic. It will pass. Creativity slumps don’t last forever even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. If you follow the two tips above the panic will subside and you’ll be able to carry on like normal. Chatting to people in similar situations to you might help as well. Send out a Tweet or mention it in an Instagram caption or message a couple of your friends will make you feel better and less like it is the end of the world.
HOW TO GET PAST IT
Revisit Old Content
I always turn to my blog archives when I’m at a loss for words and don’t feel inspired by anything. Rereading through my old content reminds of the things I’ve enjoyed writing about it in the past, posts that have performed well and the topics of my blog that I actually cover. It gives me a little bit of direction again and allows me to think about similar posts that I could write now that reflect my blog in the present. I also read through my older blogging notebooks as they usually have post ideas jotted down which might get the inspiration flowing
Reading around also helps to get the creativity flowing! I like to read my favourite blogs, scroll Bloglovin and read actual books to get me thinking creatively and what I enjoy writing about. I really love learning about Scandinavia so if I’m feeling a little lost and overwhelmed creatively I love flicking through my fave books Real Nordic Living and The Little Book Of Hygge.
Take A Step Back From Actual Content Creation
If you can’t bring yourself to write about anything because the inspiration isn’t there do some other tasks instead. I like to spruce up my ‘About’ page to make sure it reflects where I am now and trawl Pinterest looking for photography inspiration. Taking the pressure off actual content creation makes it all feel a little less intense but you are still being productive!
Mind Map Baby
I’m a mind map girl through and through and whilst it might be a little secondary school I thoroughly believe in having a good brain dump and creating a mind map. If I’m a creative rut everything feels extremely overwhelming and I want to just pack it in, I like to make a mind map with everything that I’m thinking/planning/want to do on it as it gives me perspective. It lets me see what is possible, what I need to work on and gives me a little bit structure.
Go Old School
Sometimes typing on keys can feel a little tedious and it is too easy to delete what you write. Going old school and using pen and paper makes your writing stick and it is harder to erase. I like just having a scribble, jotting down random ideas and random sentences and then just stepping away from it. Going back to it with a fresh pair of eyes later in the day lets me see if what I’ve written makes sense or is just drivel but at least you’ve written something!
Getting out of a creative slump can take time but as long as you follow these tips to some degree, don’t panic and remember it isn’t the end of the world – you can do it!