A regular struggle for creative people is the creative block. Writers have writer’s blocks, painters have artistic blocks- we all have things that interfere with the flow of our creative energies. There are many reasons for creative blocks and they all impact us in different ways. In a previous blog post, we looked at using mindfulness to address a lack of inspiration. For the purpose of this exercise let’s examine some of the physical things that get in your way. In other words, what about the atmosphere of your daily life interferes with your ability to create?
What is your ideal creative time? What are you doing? Where are you working? What are you using? What do you hear, see, smell? Take a moment and envision the space. Envision the project. Are you making creative time part of your regular life? Most of us aren’t. We already know that creative people need to create like we need to eat and sleep. Why aren’t we prioritizing being creative? What are some of your barriers to creating?
For many of us it is about time. We have full time jobs, we have families to care for, households to run, other priorities. For many of us it is about money. We have recurring expenses in our lives and can’t carve out extra for supplies. Sometimes it is about space. We live in a home where every room is already spoken for. Where are we supposed to create? On the kitchen table? Maybe! Often, a barrier is motivation and/or creative energy. The problem with a lack of creative energy and motivation is it is its own feedback loop: the less creative we are, the less creative energy we have, and vice versa. Where is a creative person to start to address all of these obstacles?
An important part of therapy is basic problem solving. I say basic to emphasize fundamental more than simple- it is a first step but not an easy one. Go back to your vision of your perfectly spent creative time. Describe it. You can write about it, talk about it, draw about it, make a list- but do something to qualify it. Next, think about if you were to do something creative RIGHT NOW. What do you need? What is preventing you? Again, do something to document this. Put the “ideal” and the “real” creative time side by side. What are you lacking? Great! You have taken your first step to addressing your creative barriers. Now, let’s problem solve.
If you have a list of differences from this exercise, prioritize them based on need. How critical are they to your creative time? Once they are prioritized, you will know what you need to accomplish first for regular creating to become a reality in your life. Don’t put this off! Accept that it is a basic need and something you will work towards in some way each day. If your first item from your list feels too monumental- break it down further. This is goal setting 101: you want to set yourself up to succeed, so set goals that are bite-sized and reachable.
Of course, another vital part of this process is to get support. With my help you can get support in the form of therapy. Bring other healthy people in your life onboard as part of your process. Let’s work on this together and bring more creativity into your daily life!
© 2017 Creatively, LLC
The information provided in this blog is from my own clinical experiences and training. It is intended to supplement your clinical care. Never make major life changes before consulting with your treatment team. If you are unsure of your safety or wellbeing, do not hesitate to get help immediately.