Thursday, November 28, 2013

Five Ways to Overcome Creative Blocks

English: designed by artist SAUMYA BANDYOPADHYAY
By Saumya Bandyopadhyay (Wikipedia)
by Christine Herman

As an artist or creative entrepreneur you enjoy being a font of ideas and self expression.

Yet there are times, in spite of talent or persistence, you might find yourself unexpectedly and abruptly stuck.

That's why it's key to have a few proactive remedies on hand to ease your way back to your inspiration and passions.

Move forward with or without approval

It's in our human nature to feel buoyant when we feel the moral support as others spur us on toward our dreams.

However, when that support isn't forthcoming, you might find yourself holding back because you haven't received the accolades, enthusiastic encouragement or cheerleading you hoped for.

Doubts start to creep in as to whether your creative idea or project is worth your time and energy. You stall, procrastinate and turn to other 'more important' responsibilities to subdue your pain.

Remedy: Close your eyes for 5 minutes with the intention of releasing your disappointments, doubts or fears about what others think. Next,write a letter to your future self asking how you were faithful to your creative goals even when others didn't see the value or share in your excitement.

Connect to your why

Imagine someone asks "How's your creative project coming along"? You internally cringe and admit that it's stalled out or faltered. This may be a signal it's time to reconnect with your 'Why'. Ask yourself what inspired you in the first place.

Was it a whim or was it an idea you've pictured in your mind's eye for months? Were you excited to begin writing your book and simply got burned out from not pacing yourself? Were the steps in preparing for your solo show too rushed or too big that you got discouraged and impatient with yourself?

Remedy: Return to the reason you were chomping at the bit to bring your ideas into form. Was it for a passionate cause? Were you thrilled about collaborating with others? Were you finally going to design that spectacular product?

Keep your word

The truth is that no one else is overly concerned if you realize your goals or not. But your heart and soul care.

Remedy: Keep your word - to yourself. When you say yes to your dream and then hit the pause button, stop or bail, your creative spirit sits silently crying. This can eventually show up in several ways; feeling irritable, depressed, restless, and even physically ill.

Most of us lead harried lives and our busyness can easily swallow up our best energy with little left to fulfill the muse whispering between appointments and responsibilities. To avoid this, nurture your creative time like you would a date with a favorite friend and be devotedly committed to keeping your word.

Promise your inner muse that you'll protect her time for self expression. In turn, your reward will be that you have the joy of publishing your first book, making that memorable quilt for a family member, creating a provocative blog or wildly successful business.

Avoid feast and famine

It's common for creatives to work night and day for months, then crash and burn. Yes, sometimes deadlines need to be met. You're committed to championing a project and you've just got to get it done.

Falling into this pattern however then usually requires a prolonged or unexpected recovery period to regain momentum. Along the way you lose your spark. You might even be sick of seeing your project by then. This is unfortunate and counterproductive because it's the antithesis to the joy and juice of what's possible in the creative journey.

Remedy: Expend shorter bursts of creative energy,preferably in your time zone of brilliance. I've recently been experimenting with getting up a half hour earlier to write before I do anything else.

I know from experience that fitting in my writing during the day gets riddled with interruptions and distractions. Know your peak creative periods. Book yourself that time to get your best creative work realized and think in blocks of 30 to 45 minutes.

Call in your allies

If you've been spinning your wheels for an extended period, it's time to ask for help.

Remedy: Call in your allies. Visit a local museum, take a break alone in nature, play music, or dance. Get inspired by the work of those you look up to and ask how they stay motivated or overcome slumps. Work with a mentor or coach who can help you overcome your blocks and get you moving forward.

Finally, follow your heart, be proactive and print this list of go-to remedies to help you overcome your blocks to your creative goals.

Christine Herman helps talented women transform their doubts and blocks so they can bring their creative gifts into the world in fulfilling and prosperous ways.

As a creative breakthroughs coach, artist, and founder of Your Path on Purpose, she blends artful self-discovery and pragmatic tools to inspire her clients through retreats, speaking, workshops, private and group programs.

Get your free 'Transform Procrastination into Creative Success Kit' at

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