How to Keep the Creative Engine Going
by Nayab Imran
If one were to split the human brain into two equal or symmetrical parts, one would have a right and left hemisphere of the brain. Though identical in size, the two hemispheres do not perform identical functions. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and is more analytical, whereas the right side of the brain is more artistic and creative. It controls the imagination and insight, lets our senses become aware about art and music.
Creativity is defined as the power or as the ability to invent, to be innovative, create and/or invent something original. Creativity to most of us is as important as air. Whether it is writing about what we cherish the most, creating music or art, creativity is the key element in them all. All artists suffer from the creative block one way or another that can hinder their creativity occasionally. As a writer especially, it can mean one has to sit and stare at a piece of paper or at a laptop screen for hours, hoping that somehow you can become inspired and continue writing.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway.
This quote can be used as a motivation for all creative fields. You need to be persistent when creating something, as creativity demands all our attention and tends to suck up all of our strengths. So if you find yourself facing a creator’s block, know that you’re not alone. Each and every one of us goes through this issue It is tough to get out of the rut sometimes so here is a little fuel to keep your creative engine running:
Breathe in, breathe out:
As in most cases when we begin a project, we get sidetracked and soon find out that we no longer know how to finish the project we eagerly started. This realization is soon followed by small panic attacks that develop into large scale attacks and we are still no step closer to finishing said project. So your project isn’t going as planned. Here’s the first thing you shouldn’t do when this happens- Don’t panic. Take a deep breath of air. Count to 10. Now count in reverse. Art in any sense is not an easy thing to create. As we mentioned before, the artistic block can happen to everyone. The important thing is to not stress about it. Don’t pressurize yourself and stay calm and controlled.
Have you been sitting around the same place while trying to get out of your creator’s block? Well, news flash buddy. It’s come to light that sitting in one place for long periods of time can drain you of your energy. Thus if you’re adamant about getting out this particular rut, maybe you could try moving around. Get some exercise to get rid of the funk you are in. Movement causes the blood to flow and that helps your brain to work better. It might not be the best idea, but maybe you could also try your hand at any other manual activity, for example, cleaning up your room or reorganizing your cupboard or your store. This sort of manual labor will give your brain a little time to rest and help it revitalize, so when you get back to your project, you will look at it with a fresh brain and fresher eyes.
Go out for some fresh air:
Combine the above-mentioned step with this one to get a combo offer because nothing beats the insufferable artistic block other than a change in environment. Walk around your neighborhood, enjoy the weather if it’s nice, smell the flowers if you want. In simpler terms, let go of the anxiety of not having any innovative ideas coming to your mind, and just be alive in the moment (yeah, that might have been too philosophical for our taste as well). But you’ve got the gist, right? Leave your room/studio/office and step away from whatever project is troubling you at the moment. This allows you to re-evaluate where you stand and what you want to do with the project and will help you in the long run.
Have your favorite snack:
Another reason as to why you aren’t able to get your work done is that maybe all you really need are some calories and energy in your system to get it going. Have a bite of your favorite snack or a cup of your preferred beverage. This will also allow you to have a little movement going on so it’s a win-win situation. The time it takes to make some tea, coffee or hot chocolate (depending on your preference and weather) and scavenge for snacks will also give your brain the rest and distraction it requires. So if you find yourself in a little fix, just get up and hunt for some food. And during all this, remember to not take any stress.
Don’t stop trying:
The worst thing you can do to yourself and your creative project is to stop creating or inventing. Refusing to do anything until inspiration hits you is a foolish, foolish, foolish thing. Create and keep on creating until your work turns into a stroke of genius. Do you remember the ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ poem we learned as children? It is a lessen for us all to never stop trying no matter what the circumstances are because in the end we will succeed due to our hard work. Remember, every masterpiece was once just a practice session and hence you shouldn’t give up on your k masterpiece either.
Find a muse:
Nothing is original nowadays. Suffice it to say inspiration is all around us and all we need to do is just find it. There is almost nothing that hasn’t been written, filmed or created before. Copying something is entirely wrong but finding a muse or taking help from artists gone by or even present today is not a bad thing. Try to take a break from your project by indulging in other arts and maybe you will find yourself inspired all of a sudden. Listening to music, reading books, looking at art or watching movies are some of the best ways to become inspired. The best way of them all is to admire the nature and the wilderness present right here on earth- the most beautiful masterpiece is the world around us.
Feel your work:
If you are not passionate about your work, it is going to reflect badly on yourself as an artist. Masterpieces demand sweat, blood, and dedication. When you give yourself over to your work completely, you will be able to create absolute works of art. But until then, don’t even think of releasing unfinished work before the public as you might not like the criticism you receive. So make sure when you’re working on your project, be as innovative as you can be, as imaginative as you can be so that your hard work, imagination, and creativeness reflect in your project and makes it stand out from the rest.
Change your routine:
Sometimes inspiration can hit you anywhere, and anytime. It is not restricted to either day or night, not even while you’re awake or sleeping. If you have a specific time of the day when you work and a specific time of the day where you do all your other chores as well as rest, and you find yourself suffering from creator’s block, lacking in creativity and imagination, maybe it is time to change your schedule. Start on a miniature project that has nothing to do with the real one that you are working on, or plan a picnic during the time you have set aside to work or even go out to meet your friends. The entire purpose of this step is to once again distract your mind or find inspiration from somewhere other than your workplace since you might have exhausted all the inspiration from there in the first place.
All that overthinking is bound to have given you a headache. Take a break and rest for a while. Come back to work after taking a nap or doing anything other than work such as simply laying down. After a brief pause, you’ll find your mind has been refreshed and that new ideas have now found a clear path to your brain. Resting for a little while gives not only our brains but all the other parts of our body that have been working along with us, a moment to feel energized once again. Working non-stop will not benefit you in the long run and you will only exhaust your body and make yourself tired and sick.
Believe in yourself:
This is the best thing you can do for both you and your sense of creativity. Wallowing in self-pity isn’t going to get you anywhere in your field or generally in life. Just give yourself some time, a little belief and lots of moral support and see where your artistic sense takes you. Sometimes we’re just one small step from achieving our goals. All it takes is a little blind leap of faith- in this case, mostly in ourselves. If you have friends and family that believe in your talent and creativity, then keep striving to complete your project so you can make them proud of you as well. And if you happen to have some friends and family members that don’t particularly believe in you, then you must strive harder just to show them your belief in yourself is enough for you to innovative and creative in life.
I sincerely hope this article has helped you even if it was a little bit. Reading this article can also be considered as changing your routine and finding a muse. So that’s two steps down, eight steps to go. Read the article again and go through the steps one by one. Now stop procrastinating and find the inspiration in the surroundings around you. Go, shoo, get back to work. And before you go, share this with all the people you know who might also need help in keeping the creative engine going.
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