The Only Way Is Up!
We've all been there. We're staring at our screens, our blank pages, and the ideas are just not flowing. I've been there myself and quite recently too. Staring at my screen, staring at my notebook, staring at my Instagram. You get the idea, it was a lot of staring and not a lot of doing. It took me a little while to admit to myself that I was actually in a creative rut. I just couldn't get my creative juices flowing and that is so discouraging. I think the first thing to realise when you're in a creative rut, is that you're not alone. We all get there at some point or another! I found myself moaning and whining about it so much until I realised, that there is really nowhere to go but up and out! From all my experiences, I've noticed that there are five key things that really help me come out of any creative low point. Scroll down to find out!
I realised that the more I pushed myself to come up with an idea, the less I actually came up with! The best thing to do sometimes is to just stop and take a step back from the situation. Think about something else and allow your mind to relax. Without the pressure of having to be creative, you might just find yourself on the path to some of your best ideas! I've noticed how pressure can stifle our creative process and in such an overly saturated space, it can be hard to feel as though your ideas are creative enough. If anything, taking a step back and clearing your mind will help you put things into perspective. Remember, you are good enough!
This photo took forever to take! There were about 100 trial and errors before I got it right. I felt so useless but what finally did it in the end was when I just took a break, did something else and came back to it!
I always believe that inspiration is everywhere, we just have to find it. Sometimes when you're in a creative rut, you just need to look for a bit of change. I always try to find new sources of inspiration that might spark a new idea. Whether it be flipping through a new issue of a magazine, one of my coffee table books or discovering a new Pinterest board, I find that a change of what I'm looking at tends to do the trick. I think something to remember is that you could be looking at travel photography, and it may spark an idea for something completely unrelated; don't close yourself off to anything! I also find that music can really help my creativity flow!
All my life my father has told me that getting bored is a good thing. I never understood what he truly meant until now. Boredom is something we all need in our lives. If you're reading this thinking I've gone crazy, let me explain. Sometimes what we need to do is allow ourselves to get bored. It's within that space of boredom that an idea will strike. Our mind is finally and completely at ease and you'll start to see all the ideas flowing through. I've tried this and it works like a charm! It can take a day, or an hour, but I always find that spark in boredom.
My dad and I took this photo on a rainy day. We were both a bit bored and the photo just was a result of us having some fun! The final product on my Instagram was actually a video with sparkles on the bag!
I originally had a different idea for this photo but It wasn't what I wanted it to be. We walked around in so many different spots and finally came up with this! It wasn't my favourite but it still did super well
Fresh air and nature can do wonders for our minds. Don't coop yourself up behind your desk all day. Get outside and take in a different scenery. Appreciate the beauty that is around you and just takes a moment to be present in the moment, away from all the thoughts that were previously clouding your mind. Regardless of whether it's a walk down your street, in the park or in a forest, a little bit of sunshine and a change of surroundings is sure to spark something when you get back to the grind!
Sometimes what drives us further into our rut is ourselves. It is so easy to be your biggest critic. Take it from me, I think I find something I dislike about my work every other day! Don't be so hard on yourself and try to cut yourself some slack. It's totally fine to hold yourself to a standard and to push yourself to exceed expectations. At the same time, it's important to acknowledge your successes, your progress and what you can and have achieved. Focus in on the positives of the work you have created rather than the negatives. Then channel that positive energy into getting better! It's so much more constructive than bringing yourself down!
I criticised myself so much about this photo. I thought it was horrible! Instead it got so many likes, comments and even got reposted!