In this episode, I will talk about what to do when you’re out of creative juice. I’m also going to give you a creative prompt, something you can do easily and in a short amount of time, to get some creative play into your day.
A small caution might be in order. If you’re sensitive to language, I must warn you that the occasional swear word might slip through the cracks when I edit. That might happen if I’m talking about something I’m particularly passionate about.
17 - What to do when you're out of creative juice
What to do when you’re out of creative juice
From time to time, it can feel like you’re out of creative juice. Like you don’t have any ideas or inspiration to create. Frankly, it sucks to feel that way. A creative person who’s not creating feels miserable. I know you’re a much happier person, a greater artist or crafter, and even more fun to be around when your creativity is fully juiced.
You may not have heard, but self-expression is one of the human needs. Some scientists have placed it above identity and freedom. The link between creativity and improved mental and physical health is also well established by research. A study by psychologist Gene Cohen showed that people who became and stay involved in art saw huge improvements in their physical health. Other research also shows that expressing yourself in a creative way increases the function of your immune system.
So you need to get yourself out of that slump and start creating again, even if it’s something really small and simple. Small and simple is actually a very good place to start. When you hit a slump like that, the best way to get out of it is to play. You can go on a creative adventure, like I talked about last week, or just play around with the materials you normally use. Don’t make it into a big deal, just play with something small. It’s a good idea to keep a couple of smaller things handy for those times. Like a creative band aid or creative duct tape if you will. Ready to fill you up again when you need it.
You’ll need some ideas too, and if you’re in that place where you can’t come up with anything, ask your kids (or the neightbor’s kids) for ideas. They’re usually very quick to come up with something fun to do.
You will also need peer support, people you can talk to who understand what it means to be a creative. They’ve probably been in the same situation and won’t make you feel bad about it.
That’s one of the reasons why I created the Creative Explorers group on Facebook. I wanted to give you a safe place to share your creations and obstacles. The group started on Facebook, as a group for the Creativity Challenge, but has become much more than just a challenge group. The group on Facebook is set to Closed, so people may see that you’re a member but they won’t see what you post.
Feel free to join us right now. We have weekly prompts to get you playing again, and when you need support, ideas or tips, all you have to do is ask.
Today’s inspirational words are by Jonah Lehrer, and he says “Creativity is a spark. It can be excruciating when we’re rubbing two rocks together and getting nothing. And it can be intensely satisfying when the flame catches and a new idea sweeps around the world”.
Today’s creative prompt is a bit different because of the upcoming holidays. Plan your decorations for your next seasonal holiday, by whatever name you call it. Think about if you really want to do it the same way as last year, or if you want to create something new. If you want to create something new, now is a good time to start.
This Sunday we picked up a new family member. He’s a completely black, four-month-old kitten we adopted. He was born on June 1, and his owner couldn’t keep him any longer. His name is Tomas. It used to be Tom, but we added the ‘as’ because Bonzo thought we were telling him to come to us :). Today I took him to be chipped and vaccinated. I also had to treat him for ear mites. Apparently, the previous owner kept him fed, and that’s about it. He’s very happy here, and as I record this, he’s sleeping in the window behind my head. If you want to see pictures, he now has his own album on my Facebook profile, same as Bonzo does, and I’ve left a link in the show notes.
That’s it for me for today. Thanks for listening to the Creative Explorer Podcast. The next episode will, among other things, be about how you can use your inner sleuth to find gifts. If you have any questions, just reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to rate and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
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