10 Ways to Conquer Creative Block

original post: 12/13/16, edited and reposted: 08/31/17

  1. Watch people doing what they love to do, existing in their element. I recently watched this video that J. Cole released in time for his newest album. It shows him in his creative process while working on the album, and it is inspiring to say the least. Even though I'm not a musical artist myself, seeing him working with his team and witnessing the conversations that he has with the people he makes music with, makes me want to be in that same space. The space I'm talking about is a space where I feel motivated and supported to express myself with the art wanting to burst out of me. I've also felt the same way when watching dance videos on Youtube and videos of actors interviewing other actors about their work.
  2. Browse social media intentionally. I'm an avid browser of tumblr and instagram. Sure there are a lot of funny memes out there, but social media is also out there when I need some inspiration. For instance, when I'm feeling like my bullet journal is dull I love to browse different people's bullet journals on tumblr. I get so much eye candy and ideas I can put my own spin on. Usually you can search keywords that relate to what you do. Social media is also such an easy way to find other people in the same field as you, maybe even doing things that you aspire to do one day. It's a good way to get a boost of motivation. However, be mindful of comparing yourself to others especially on social media. You want to be a better version of you not better than someone else (who may have similar interests as you, but everyone is on their own path).
  3. Visit your favorite place. This could be a coffeeshop, a park, a bar (beware lol), a friend or family member's place, or even in your car while driving. When you're in a place where you are comfortable, you're more likely to get those creative juices flowing. Also, being in your favorite place will probably spark memories of good times you've had there or even simply remind you of the feeling of being productive.
  4. Make a visual representation of how you're feeling. Try art journaling, collaging or making a vision board to physically look at what's going on inside. Here's a post I did about art journaling for some ideas.
  5. Put on music that fits your mood and write away. Lower your inhibitions and see what the fuck happens. No one is going to be looking at what you write except you, and maybe some new ideas will come about when you use free association to just get your thoughts on paper.
  6. Talk to someone who is into the field you are in. Great ideas can spur from simple conversations. Talking to people who are passionate about the things you are passionate about can really ignite some positive feelings and even help you brainstorm creatively. For example, two of my friends inspired me to start collaging as a part of my self-care, and several friends have encouraged me to continue my blog. Without these interactions and relationships, I would not be where I am today creatively and as a person.
  7. Read up on current events and process right after. You could write, paint, draw, or whatever it is you do best to process. What feelings come up for you? Some of the best art comes from times of internal turmoil.
  8. Read poetry while being mindful of what feelings and thoughts come up. Poetry is such a raw form of art that when you read poetry, it really draws out raw emotions from within. It sounds cheezy, but it's true. This actually reminds me of a poem by Nayyirah Waheed in her book Salt.

listen to my poems.


do not look for me.

look for you.


9. Go through old pictures on your phone and pay attention to any themes. Photos equal memories, and memories can make you realize chunks of themes in your life. These themes could be applied to something happening to you in the present, and nudge an idea or concept to spark in your mind. For example, I was looking through old pictures from a few years ago when I was going out and partying a lot more than I do now. I noticed a theme of wildness and spontaneity. With this observation, I felt inspired to add more of those types of elements into my expressions, including my writing and collages.

10. Sleep on it. You should never underestimate a good night's rest. Don't take your sleep for granted, because you definitely need ample amounts of sleep in order for your mind to be on point and ready to create some awesome-ness.