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?