When creativity just ain’t happening
Creative entrepreneurs know the struggle better than anyone: There’s work to be done, but you just… aren’t feeling it. Blah.
If you’re running low on inspiration or motivation today and aren’t sure how to move forward, this goes out to you. Before you skip on down to the good stuff, take a pause here and check in with yourself.
Today, have you:
- Eaten an actual meal that included a vegetable or nutrient of some kind?
- Hydrated? (Coffee doesn’t count FYI)
- Talked to another human? (On the phone/FaceTime counts – email doesn’t)
If you answered “no” to one or more of these items, start there. I promise that taking the time to meet any one of these basic essential needs will improve your mood, focus, or both, even if only minimally.
Now on to the good stuff…
This post contains affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please visit our Disclosure page for more information.
How to get back in the flow
The necessary evil of having a creative business is that as a creative person, you likely work best when inspiration strikes and the stars align. Once you find your rhythm, you can crank out some incredibly focused work. But as a business owner, you also need to keep up with demand and keep your business running; the luxury of waiting for motivation to come isn’t always realistic.
Sometimes the only thing to do is forge ahead. Stuff needs to get done. Before you push on in agony, though, pick one thing off this list and do it. Inspiration can only come when you’re positioned well to receive it.
18 things to do!
- Take an Epsom salt bath to help relax muscles and reduce tension
- Listen to a guided meditation
- Read a good book (Check out this list of my favorite creative business books for ideas!)
- Put on a “focus” music playlist
- Brain dump in a journal
- Try a new recipe
- Tend to something growing; a plant, a pet, or a person
- Do some at-home yoga, barre, or HIIT with a free app like Down Dog
- Pull out a sketch pad and doodle for 15 minutes, even if it sucks
- Get fresh air – Go for a walk around the block or hang out on the porch for a few
- Make a board on Pinterest of images that spark ideas for you
- Make a cup of tea or drink a big glass of water
- Do your full skincare routine and/or a face mask
- Browse online markets for healthy meals and snacks to have on hand. (I like Thrive Market or Sun Basket)
- Connect with a creative friend who gets it; if they’re up for it, set up weekly chats or ways to keep each other accountable and share what you’re working on
- Diffuse essential oils. (Here are the oils I use.)
- Listen to a podcast that inspires you
- Watch a YouTube video about something you’ve been wanting to learn
It can sometimes feel really hard to create things, no matter how much you love your craft. The sooner we can embrace this, the sooner we can begin to move past it.
Move with your intuition when you’re trying to find your flow again, and pay attention to what you’re moving toward. Maybe you’re uninspired because you’ve been pushing on a wall instead of a door. Many things worth pursuing will be hard, but the things worth your time and attention should be challenging, not torturous. If a project completely bores you to tears, evaluate whether or not it’s a wall before you try to keep pushing through it.
On the other hand, if some days you push forward even though it’s hard and make something that is totally crap, so what? Making occasional garbage is all part of the beautiful process of being an artist. Make garbage, observe what makes it garbage, and move on. Sometimes you have to pump out a few duds before you can strike gold.
If you’ve tried any of these tips, tell me your results and share this article with a friend! I’d love to know what’s working for you, what isn’t, and what you’re making.
For more on art, creativity, and inspiration, hit me up on Instagram and subscribe to my newsletter – I’m regularly sending out all the best stuff to my email list; I know you’ll love it!