Five Steps to Overcoming a Creative Block

Five Steps to Overcoming a Creative Block

Posted by ironshe

Have you ever enthusiastically sat down to start working on a project and suddenly felt frozen? Was your mind completely blank? When an artist can’t access their inspiration or bring themselves to create new work it’s known as a creative block. Creative blocks can be a terrifying obstacle when deadlines are involved. Luckily, progress is only hindered temporarily. Below are five steps to overcome creative block and regain access to your arsenal of ingenuity.

Take a Break From Technology

Put your cell phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode and stay away from checking your social media and email accounts. All three are a major distraction and can induce anxiety or negative emotions making the creative block stronger. Once you’re committing to tuning out to technology you’re ready for the next step.

Take a Walk

This is creative use of your brain to get back on track. You get to pick your setting for the walk. It can be the mall, a neighborhood or park. Once you start walking you will naturally be relieved of any stress and start to clear your mind. You’ll also start to notice people, plants or things that are inspiring. Inspiration for color palettes, design styles, and creative subject matter are easy to come by in the outdoors. Try to walk for at least 30 minutes.

Work From a New Environment

When you are finished with your walk do not sit back down at your work desk. Try a new environment. You can find a place to sit down where you just finished your walk, use your back deck or visit a local coffee shop. There’s no wrong or bad choice. Working from a new environment stimulates your creativity and can also be relaxing.

Turn On Music Without Words

Have you ever had music on and involuntarily found yourself singing along out loud or in your head? Your brain struggles to process lyrics and focus on work simultaneously. If you don’t like to sit in silence turn on some instrumental music. You can go with the old school classical music but if you would like something more modern Lindsey Stirling is one of our office favorites. Stirling’s music is relaxing but it also helps us to focus.

Sketch Out Ideas 

You’re ready to settle in and brainstorm once your work environment and soundtrack are picked out.  Take out a blank sheet of paper or sketchbook and write down your ideas and make word associations. It is okay to have ideas that feel completely outlandish. Your ideas and associations will build on each other. The more amusing the better and you’ll eventually feel the creative floodgates open and land your inspiration or winning idea.


Creative blocks are a nuisance but they are manageable. You need to focus on overcoming the creative block and seek some stimulation from outside resources. Moving beyond a creative hurdle doesn’t always mean “trying harder.” More often it means slowing down, relaxing, and zeroing in on the task at hand. When you’re settled down in your new environment with your music and sketchpad you will open a portal to brilliance.

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