Hello, friends! Today I’m sharing some ideas on How to Get Out of a Creative Slump. Many artists and creators feel plagued by this problem at one time or another in their creative life. As a quilter, designer, and writer, I’ve dealt with this many different times and have some sure-fire steps I routinely take to prevent this from happening. I also have ideas for when you just can’t shake the creativity “blues.”
How to Get Out of a Creative Slump: A Step-by-Step Guide
1. Take a Break from Social Media
I love seeing all of the beautiful things on social media–it’s really a blessing to have such wonderful inspiration at our fingertips. But too much of the beautiful can inevitably lead us to feel inadequate as creators. For this reason, I routinely take social media breaks to help prevent burnout from seeing all of the things. I generally take most weekends off and occasionally will schedule a longer break for myself. And when I do get on social media, I will often set a timer for my use.
The sorting process is healing and therapeutic for any creative endeavor. As a quilter, I have found that sorting my fabric stash and quilting supplies can help jump-start my creativity. Often, I find things in my closet and drawers that spark joy for an older project or one that just comes to mind. As I writer, I also like to sort through my journals and writings to get inspired for topics to write about. I’m sure there are some scientific explanations for why sorting is good for creativity–I do know that this process is very helpful for me.
3. Look Through Works in Progress
Akin to sorting, this step goes even deeper. I look through current projects along with older projects to determine my desire to continue working. Sometimes I abandon projects or take them in a different direction which seems to really help my overall creativity. I often decide on a new way to finish a stagnant project or scrap it all together which frees up space in my sewing room and in my head for other creative pursuits. I often take notes while working on this process. The notes can be very helpful when choosing new things to work on.
4. Look Through Books and Patterns
I will also look through quilting books and patterns that I have to help jumpstart my creative spark. This seems to be even more helpful when looking through physical books, magazines, and patterns. And I don’t just look through quilting materials. Home decor and nature books can be very soothing and inspirational and also help spark ideas for writing and quilting. Don’t be afraid to let other genres inspire your creative process.
Brainstorming is a wonderful way to help creativity blossom. There are a variety of methods you can use–and you shouldn’t feel like you have to pick just one or do them all. Experiment with several, and routinely use the ones that work for you. I love keeping notes in a notebook. The “Morning Pages” idea from The Artist’s Way is another of my favorite methods for brainstorming. I’m not perfect at this but try to write morning pages as frequently as I can. Journaling is another favorite way that I brainstorm. I have a regular routine for journaling and include list-making and gratitude reflections in this process.
6. Rest, Renewal, and Routines
Concentrating on rest, regular renewal, and joyful routines is another way to generate creativity and joy. These types of activities don’t come naturally for me, so I have to schedule them into my days. The rewards are always worth the time it takes to plan these types of activities.
7. Make a Plan
After a creative reset it’s always fun to make a plan–or many plans! I make lots of project plans and don’t worry if I get them all done. It’s exciting to start something new, and if I don’t like what I’ve started I can go back to my lists of ideas and work on something else. Find what works for you, and you’ll be able to keep the creativity flowing.
More Ideas on Creativity
Here are a couple of other posts you might enjoy that specifically apply to quilting but that can also be easily adapted to any creative pursuit:
I hope that these ideas are helpful to you as you continue on your creative path in your favorite fields. If you have any other tips and suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
Thanks so much for stopping by to read about How to Get Out of a Creative Slump.