18 Apr 2019 25 comments

Let’s Talk… Creative Ruts & Finding Inspiration.

The dreaded creative block…

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, I think that happens a lot whether you work for yourself, you’re in a creative job or you’re just going through a quiet spell. It’s so easy to get out of your usual rhythm, and usually by the time I notice that I’m not feeling myself I’ve veered so far off course it feels like starting again.

I usually feel like this when I’ve had a slow couple of work weeks (usually around January/February when things are quiet), or when I’ve made an effort to change my content or the way I work and I’ve gone too far with it and lost myself a little.
You may remember one of my goals for the year before last was to feature on my blog and Instagram a lot more – at the time I felt like I was only sharing home pictures and flatlays, and I wanted to add some personality in to the mix.
I seemed to go from one extreme to the next – suddenly I wasn’t sharing my usual room tours and style flatlays, and I wasn’t blogging little update posts because I felt like I should be featured in every single post (which takes a lot more effort, by the way!) and I lost my way a bit.

As much as I love stopping and reflecting on where I’m at, wondering what I could be doing differently, there’s something to be said for doing what you’ve always done – at least on a small scale, anyway – and improving on that.
I definitely think self-comparison plays in to this a lot; usually when I feel like I’ve lost myself a little it’s because I’ve been overthinking things and second guessing myself. I think in these cases you have to remind yourself that you are you, there is only one you, and it’s good to embrace that!

I find the start of the year can be a little uninspiring, I think it’s that sort of transitional period where we’re itching to turn over a new leaf but nothing is quite falling in to place. I always feel like I need to have a lot of patience, but I’m constantly in a cycle of feeling restless, uninspired and unproductive!
I wanted to share some ways I got out of feeling like this, as well as some tips for staying motivated and on track…

Make Use Of Moodboards

Moodboards are something I only recently truly embraced, I always thought it was a bit of a cop out creating content inspired by other peoples work – I never wanted to become “too inspired” so in a way I almost feared them. It wasn’t until a few brands sent me moodboards for campaigns that I realised how beneficial they could be – seeing beautiful imagery laid out in front of me really helped me to get a vision of what I wanted to create.
These days I look to both Pinterest and my Instagram saved folders when I feel like I need some inspiration, whether it be for a campaign, a room refresh or my outfit that day!

Gold Hand Sculpture// Mug // Coral Ornament // Flora Art Print // Weekly Planner // Ceramic Dish // Sunflower Earrings // Diptyque Eau Rose // Diptique Candle // Stoneware Face Vase // Brass Plated Table Lamp

Have a refresh…

This is my absolute failsafe method for getting out of a creative rut; I’ll reshuffle my office, tidy my desk, buy some fresh flowers, clear out my makeup table…! It’s basically a Spring clean for your life and mind.
And if all else fails, I recommend new stationery. I’m serious – new notebooks do wonders for your productivity. I went a wild on the Wilde House Paper website recently and I’ve been feeling so good ever since. Jotting down my thoughts, dreams and plans helps me to set my sights on my goals.

An Instagram Declutter

The first thing I did recently when I realised I was in a bit of a weird place with my work was to have one hell of an Instagram clear-out. I noticed I kept skipping stories and posts because they didn’t interest me, and following those accounts that weren’t really up my street anymore were preventing me from seeing the content I really wanted to see.
I thought that if I was following 800 people, even if only half of those people were uploading an image every day, I still wouldn’t have time to scroll my feed and see 400 photos.
I cleared out a lot of brand accounts, followed a lot of real life friends on my private account and also just unfollowed people that weren’t bringing me joy. I didn’t feel bad about it, I was even pleased to see that some of the people I unfollowed were no longer following me – a mutual growing apart, I guess.

Dive Right In

I think it’s easy to get caught up in the planning stages when you’re working on something – I often put off shoot days because I want to wait for the perfect conditions or I want it to coincide with hair wash day or I just want to be a bit more prepped, but then I find myself not loving what I create because I’ve put so much pressure on myself!
I’ve found that the days I decide to just jump in and take a few quick snaps are always the days I love what I’ve worked on. I try to remember this when I’ve lost my motivation, I’ll style a little corner or get my favourite makeup products together and spend an hour or so creating some beautiful imagery. No biggie if it doesn’t work out, but there’s no harm in trying either – I’m usually pretty pleased with what I end up with.

Try Something New

When I’m seriously stuck in a rut, I love to leave my comfort zone and try a new approach. I think I hit a “what have I got to lose?” stage and it awakens something in me.
Recently I’ve been playing with a new camera, trying out more food posts for the blog and posting more videos on my Instagram Story. I like to keep things varied and fresh, and making small changes here and there is always a good way to do that.

I always think of that Cardi B video where she thanks her haters, because without them she would get too comfortable – it cracks me up, but it’s also so, so true! As long as you’re moving forward, making small changes for the better without changing yourself and your work too drastically (as in, losing your spark!), you’re doing great. Creative ruts happen to the best of us, stay grounded and ride it out and you’ll be back to your productive self in no time.

What are your tips for feeling inspired and getting out of a funk?

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  • Lovely post, I really like the photos! Moodboards are something I really want to try, I use Pinterest and IG frequently but I’d love to put something physical together, that used to always bring inspo before my phone.

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

    • Hey Anika, thank you so much! There is something so lovely about having something tactile to play with! It can get boring staring at a screen for too long! I hope it helps you. x

  • Jessy Ferreira

    I had this little block last year and even stepped away from my blog cause I was just meh… ya know? hahah
    mood boards do sound like it could help!! you got this 😉

    dorky-and-weird.blogspot.com

    Xoxo <3

    • I know the feeling, taking a step back can be the best thing! x

  • Lisa Autumn

    Moodboards are honestly so helpful!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • These are so many lovely products

    Candice x

    natalyaamour.com

  • Feeling this big time…I am so confused by the kind of content that I want to create, whether to niche my blog or just write what I love, that I’ve sort of hit a creative wall. And then I begin to question if everything I’ve made up until this point is even been creatively ‘good’? Can’t wait to put these ideas into use! Thank you for your wisdom, as always!

    -Georgia | http://www.thestatesofgeorgia.com

    • Hey Georgia, being creative can be such a mental struggle at times, especially when our brains are full to the brim with ideas. Overtime I have managed to dilute and only post about what I love, but it did take me a while to truly discover what that was. I would create whatever makes you feel happy and what feels right and try not to get to get caught up in what people want to see! I hope this helps in some way and good luck! x

  • I totally agree with the fact that some photos turn out the best when you take a few quick snaps and not when you’re waiting until everything is perfect! I find the loveliest photos come when they’re least expected! I also need to start using mood boards more often. ❤️

    Arianna | Southernbelleforever.com

  • Thank you so much for all of these great tips <3 🙂 Creative ruts are definitely hard, but I agree that reshuffling and decluttering really helps!

    XO, Elizabeth T.
    http://clothestoyouuu.com

  • Karama by Hoda

    Yes! I always do IG clean up every week, it just is more empowering and more intentional of whose energy you allow in your circle.
    xoxo,
    KaramaByHoda.com

    • Hey Kamara, that’s totally true. I’m glad you find this helps also. x

  • 活到老,学到老,认真拜读咯!

  • I feel like me always get into a rut every now and again, it is only natural!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

    • Very true, I’m so glad I have my own little steps in place to get out of them quicker! x

  • Creative ruts are so rough. I relate so much to the feeling of wanting to create something, and feeling… empty… like nothing will come out of you. Trying something new always helps me, also because I find I am not so hard on myself if I am trying something that has nothing to do with my job. I am not supposed to be good at it, so it’s easy to just let myself go and be creative.

    xxx
    Isabel
    https://isabelstories.com/

    • Hey Isabel, thanks for sharing this. That’s the trick isn’t it, theres no real expectation so if you fail – it’s no biggie!

  • Chloe

    I’ve been in a bit of creative funk really so I can really relate to this. I find doing something creative but unrelated to my blog always helps, so often I’ll go away and do some painting without thinking about blogging, and then the inspiration hit.

    This has also made me realise I need a big instagram clear out! xx
    http://www.chloeharriets.com/

    • I find this so helpful also, nice tip! Glad I’ve inspired you, happy decluttering! x

  • Loving all these tips. I’m in a creative rut right now, but I now it will pass 🙂

    http://www.aneditedlifestyle.com