23 Surprising ways to Overcome Creative Blocks

I’m a Blogger, Comic Artist and Illustrator. So yes, I run into creative blocks.

When you’re a Creator, or your job is to constantly create, you will run into dead ends. Or what may seem like dead ends.

It happens to the best of us. So, don’t feel bad or frustrated. It’s completely natural.

Whether you have writer’s block or artist’s block or any other type of block, fear not. Because for every problem, there is a solution. Or 23 if you’re reading this particular post. *wink*

Ready?

Let’s kick Creative Blocks in the butt! Here are 23 ways to overcoming creative blocks that actually work.

This post includes Affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link and purchase something – I will make a little commission at no extra cost to you. This little money helps me sustain my blog and feed my lovable pooches.

Going through your stuff

1. Rummage through your supplies.

I know for a fact that I’ve amassed a lifetime’s worth of stationery and notebooks. So, if I’m feeling a little uninspired, I go through it all.

Sometimes I find a really pretty notebook that I’d completely forgotten buying or a cute sticker I never knew I had.

It kindles a fire within me that inspires me to work. And I guarantee that it will do the same for you too.


READ MORE: 7 STATIONERY BRANDS NO WOMAN CAN RESIST

2. Organize your workspace.

I cannot for the life of me focus on my work if my table is a mess. So, in short – get organized.

Tidy Up.

Go through your boxes and cabinets. Organize your writing tools/drawing supplies. Put what you don’t need/don’t use frequently, tucked in the back.

Keep only what you use on a daily basis, on the table so your table is free of clutter and you can work freely.

Keeping a journal

3. Write down your dream-to-dos.

Okay, this seriously works for artists/writers.

Have you ever woken up one morning and decided that you’d write about that dream you just had? Or paint a mermaid with a pink tail and blonde hair?

But you never got around to doing it because you were so busy?

Write it down.

Save those lovely ideas for days when you don’t feel like doing anything or have creative blocks. See the books I’ve read to get better at journaling – which includes drawing and writing!

That way, you’ll be super excited to work on that little project and you’ve just beaten that creative block.


READ MORE: 35 THINGS TO DO WITH A BLANK NOTEBOOK

4. Write down all your ideas.

Although I’m an Artist, nothing gives me greater joy than writing in my notebook. I write everything down. If I get a great idea for a headline, I write it down.

If I feel that hair cutting clipart is something I need to make someday, I write it down.

Even if I go to the bathroom an inspirational place, I write it down!

These little notes help me when I’m in no mood to create. I just flip through my notebook and I’m filled with ideas that I never even remembered I had. And it inspires me to create!

Me – 1. Creative Block – 0.

5. Buy and use a pre-existing Creative Journal.

Oh my God, these are so much fun to use. And they kick creative blocks in the butt!

I buy a lot of these and I admit that I’m kinda an addict. These are journals that are published by artists/writers that instills creativity.

My current favorite is Write Here, Write now.

This is an Illustrated Guided Journal filled with quirky prompts, quotes, and illustrations and is filled with super fun activities that will help you break out of your shell and unleash your imagination to create!

You can get it here.



I promise, I will make a more detailed list of these babies, soon.

6. Mind-mapping.

Open to a blank page of your notebook and just write the first thing that pops into your head. And then draw/write a related item. Each object can branch to many. Do this for a good 10-15 minutes.

Mindmapping is a quick way to capture thoughts in a visual form and overcome creative blocks. This article will help you understand it better.

Books, books, books.

7. Read a book.

Not only do I find a great sense of peace and comfort, but books give me ideas. They help me recharge. I like to read Fiction novels but lately, I’m really enjoying reading Business and Marketing books.

If you’re not much of reader, take up a book filled with Illustrations or pictures. There are days when I’m satisfied flipping through just a magazine or a Graphic Novel.

Read anything that transports you to another place.

P.S. If you’re a voracious reader and would love to get some quirky bookmarks, I have some in my store you’d love. And I ship worldwide.

8. Read an Inspirational Story of someone.

When I’m particularly bored or unmotivated, I read an inspirational story of someone’s achievement or watch Shark Tank.

By learning that someone else with the same number of hours in a day as me has accomplished so much more than me motivates me to pick up a pencil and work.

Now don’t go overboard and beat yourself up by jumping on the Comparison Train.

Because there are two ways to look at someone else’s success.

You can beat yourself up by thinking, “I can’t believe he’s my age and already accomplished what I’ve wanted to.”

Or you can believe, “If he’s done it and he’s only 26, then I can do it too! It is definitely possible! And I’m going to work really hard till I achieve my dream!”

Going the extra mile to beat creative blocks

9. Get out of your comfort zone.

And by comfort zone, I obviously mean your house.

Take a walk.

Just disconnect.

You don’t need to go somewhere special. Just take deep breaths.

See, the problem with today is that we are constantly in front of a screen. If it’s not our computers, it’s our TV. If it’s not the TV, it’s a cellphone.

Our brain slowly shifts to autopilot and in order to poke it and get it to start thinking actively, we need to shut out all the noise.

Take a walk. It will help you breathe. It will help you think.

10. Travel.

If you’re not much of a walker, then drive a car or sit in a bus or a cab and go somewhere. Go to the mall or go to a museum.

Go to a place that inspires you.

For me, it’s the mall.

I love looking at pretty window displays and seeing how the items are arranged. It really inspires me. I also like looking at people all dolled up.

Of course everyone thinks differently. Go to a place that gets you all excited.

11. Shift your workspace.

There are times when my office just won’t do it for me. I need something different. I need to break the routine.

So, I pick up my notebook, some pens and my laptop and skip walk to the nearest café.

The smell of fresh coffee, and the sight of people just carrying on with their normal routines refreshes me.

As a quiet observer, I sketch some random objects and people in my notebook. I like to sketch poses.


READ MORE: 7 SKILLSHARE CLASSES FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE DRAWING + FREE TRIAL OF PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP SINCE YOU’RE MY READER

12. Do something super boring.

Oh, this works more than 90% of the time. I either start cleaning or washing dishes. I do something that requires just my hands and my mind wanders.

And that’s when I am able to think of a 101 different things I’d rather be doing than washing the dishes.

Trust me hon, getting bored is one of the best ways to become motivated to work!

13. Do something different.

Go cycling or start playing a musical instrument. If you’re just a writer or just an artist, it can get boring to draw/write all day, every day.

We all need a little change every once in a while.

Pick up a different hobby and just go for it. You’re not only sharpening a new skill, but you’re getting over those nasty creative blocks!


RELATED POST: 27 HACKS TO BECOME AN ULTRA PRODUCTIVE BLOGGER

14. Do something you love.

Writing/drawing for your target audience means always writing for them and not you.

Once in a while, you need to write/draw something for you. Something that you are passionate about.

So take a step back from what you have to do, and do what you want to do.

If your job is to constantly write articles about tech and gadgets, and you want to write about art, then do just that.

Write what your heart is craving to talk about. Sometimes, we need to give in to our hearts.


READ MORE: 50 WAYS TO FIRE UP YOUR CREATIVITY

Breaking through your mental barriers

15. Ask yourself why you’re here.

Sit down quietly and think why these creative blocks keep happening to you.

Did you just find out about a friend’s successful event? Did it suddenly make you feel like you’ve not achieved enough?

Or are you just feeling depressed because you’ve had a rough couple of days?

There are loads of reasons why we run into creative blocks. And if we can diagnose the issue, then we can beat it once and for all.

16. Remember why you started.

Whenever I feel like there’s no point in creating, or I’m just in a low mood… I remember why I started creating my illustrations and writing my blog.

My goal is to have a creative outlet that helps me achieve a passive income. I want to be able to live off of my Blog and Etsy Shop. I don’t want to have to do commissions every day in order to pay my bills.

And when I remember that goal, (that I’ve written that in my Planner) I am instantly motivated to work on my blog. In fact, this blog is my baby.

Re-reading your goals is the perfect pick-me-up for a gloomy day.

Learn how I use my Planner to blog more creatively and efficiently.

17. Go through your praise box.

Every time I get a lovely email from a reader/subscriber or someone writes a positive comment on my Blog, I take a screenshot and save it to a folder.

Basically, these are little rays of sunshine that you can go through on a day that you’re feeling mopey and unmotivated.

It really gives me that much needed boost to kick those creative blocks to the curb!

18. Mediate or do yoga.

Sometimes a little silence can do wonders for your brain and body. As creators, we are constantly used to not moving our bodies for hours together because all our work involves sitting or crouching.

And to get more oxygen to your brain, you will need to move and stimulate your mind. Yoga is the best way to accomplish both.

I honestly cannot tell you how wonderful I feel after 15 minutes of Yoga.


19. Talk to a friend about your project.

I often find myself increasingly motivated when I talk to my best friend about my current project. Talking about the project will also help you look at it from a different perspective.

It’s so much fun to bounce ideas back and forth and then I can’t wait to to get off the phone so I can begin working on my project.

Looking to the almighty bright screen

20. Pinterest, baby.

I’m such a Pinterest addict.

Whether it’s just to look at really good sketches or infographics, I love browsing through Pinterest.

Pinterest is probably one of the best Social Media ever in terms of being inspired.

Just pin your favorite pins to your Inspiration board. And when you’re out of ideas or just need something to do, go through your Board and pick up an idea that you like and work on it.

As simple as that!

Oh, and if you’re a blogger who blogs about blogging, you’re more than welcome to join my group board.

21. Watch a music video on Youtube.

I don’t know what about music is so inspiring and moving, but it really gets my mind going. I love listening to music when I work. But more so, I love watching music videos when I’m tired of looking at words or pictures.

Calling it a day

22. Take a break.

There is a huge difference between having a creative block and just being burned out. Maybe you’ve had a rough night or the previous day was too hectic.

In this case, I suggest that you stop working/creating and just focus on a light activity that will help you relax.

You could watch some TV, call a friend, or play with your dogs who’ve been climbing into your lap for the past 10 minutes.

23. Take a nap.

Again, if you’re seriously tired or just want to recharge, there’s nothing wrong with taking a nap. In fact, after writing 5 points of this article, I took a mighty long nap.

But hey, I’m back and writing again, aren’t I?

It’s okay to be tired. It’s okay to want to sleep sometimes.

Cut yourself some slack and just take a nap.

And that pretty much brings us to the end of the list.

I hope I was able to help you overcome your creative blocks. Let me know which method you love! And if you have a new one to add to the list, leave a comment!

About the Author:

Angela is a 26 year old Illustrator and Comic Artist living in Bangalore, India with her husband and 2 cute little Labrador retrievers who resemble a cream-bun and a chocolate kiss.

16 Comments

  1. Excited to try some of these tips! I struggle with creative block every few months.

    • Angela Vaz July 9, 2018 at 10:18 am - Reply

      Hello Paige,

      Oh, creative blocks hit me almost every week. 🙁 So glad you loved the tips! <3

      Warm regards,
      Angela

  2. Huda July 9, 2018 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Such a helpful list!!! Thank you Angela!

    • Angela Vaz July 11, 2018 at 5:59 am - Reply

      Hey Huda!

      OMG, you’re so amazing! <3 I haven't been on Instagram for a while but I do check in once in a while to see all the comics from my favorite artists - including you. Hope you're doing swell. So glad you loved the list!

      Lots of love,
      Angela

  3. Khaoula July 10, 2018 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Hi Angela,
    I want to let you know that you are amazing. Your blog/instagram are very original and I can see the hard work you put in every detail. Thank you for the great art and content, I’m fascinated by this combination. Your blog is a happy place for me 🙂

    • Angela Vaz July 11, 2018 at 6:00 am - Reply

      Hey Khaoula,

      You’re so sweet. Thanks a ton! Oh, yes. Work is hard, but it’s totally, totally worth it when I see the results. <3 Let me know if there is anything you'd like me to write about.

      Lots of love,
      Angela

  4. Ch4 July 10, 2018 at 5:12 am - Reply

    I needed this. Thanks!

    • Angela Vaz July 11, 2018 at 6:00 am - Reply

      Hey Ch4,

      No problem. <3 So glad you loved it.

      Thanks a ton!
      Angela

  5. Sara | mshealthesteem.com July 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    These ideas are absolutely amazing Angela! And I am so with you on boredom – it aways breeds such creative thoughts. I absolutely hate washing dishes so that’s basically creativity fuel haha. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas ♡

    • Angela Vaz July 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Hey Sara,

      Oo0o0, so glad you loved ’em. Yes! Boredom does breed creative thoughts. That’s a creative way to put it. 😉

      I’m so in love with your posts too. They are so mature and thoughtful.

      Have a lovely day,
      Angela

  6. Angela July 19, 2018 at 1:01 am - Reply

    This is so accurate!
    I’ve tried going out of my comfort “home”, and it helps a lot. Oh! and doing the dishes? A bunch of ideas dancing in my head. I’ll surely give it a try to many of your tips.

    Thanks a lot for sharing it Angela, all your blog content is always so useful!
    Big fan here! 🙂

    • Angela Vaz July 19, 2018 at 2:47 am - Reply

      Hello Angela Machado,

      Hold the phone! You’re the creator of Pasu? AHHHHHHH! This is so amazing! I am totally in love with your work too! I love the hair, the colors you use and the expressions. Your Illustration style is so pretty. I didn’t know you had a blog! I was just reading it and I’m totally blown away. So cool!

      You should feature more of Pasu on your Blog. I think it would be amazing! Rather than linking to Tumblr. That way you’ll get more traffic and your blog and Pasu will become more popular!

      Doing the dishes seriously works. So does ironing or cleaning after your dogs. Haha. Anything boring will give you tons of ideas or inspire you to start working on something more creative. It’s total torture for artists like us.

      Such a delight seeing you here!

      Lots of love,
      Angela
      P.S. I love Penelope Bagieu’s illustrations too! I recently discovered them on Pinterest and they’re so cute! No idea she had an agenda!

      Lots of love,
      Angela

      • Angela July 19, 2018 at 3:30 am - Reply

        OMG! Can barely believe you like my work! (so blushed right now!)
        Thank you so much, it really means A LOT to me! I respect so much your opinion, knwoledge, expertise and everything!

        I’ll give it a try on posting more Pasu related content on my blog, That’s a good idea! I’ve been giving baby steps because dealing with client work and creating stuff for personal projects can be a bit of a challenge (but it’s not impossible, I know)

        Checked on Amazon for the Agenda but it’s currently unavailable. It was super pretty!

        Sooooo glad I finally commented here!!!! (I’m to shy)

        Feel free to comment or talk to me anytime you want!

        A big hug to you,
        Angela

        • Angela Vaz July 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm - Reply

          Hey Angela,

          It’s so cool that we’re both named Angela. Lol! I love it. <3

          And of course! Your illustrations are so neat and sassy! You should totally put more of Pasu on your blog. She is the superstar, after all!

          Omg, yes. Client work takes up all my time. It's really hard to find time to actually blog and create illustrations! That's the hardest part about being an Illustrator. Making time for personal projects.

          I checked on the Agenda too. It's not available! 🙁

          I would love to talk to you. My email is me@straycurls.com and I’m saving yours as well. Just shared your website with my audience! And why are you shy? I won’t bite, I promise. 😛

          Are you on FB? Would love to be friends!

          Lots of love,
          Angela

  7. Tokki July 25, 2018 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    I didn’t even know creative journals existed, wow thanks! This was really helpful.

    • Angela Vaz July 27, 2018 at 4:52 am - Reply

      Hey Tokki!
      Yes, they do! Isn’t that amazing? 😀 So glad you found it helpful! Are you planning on starting a creative journal?
      Warm regards,
      Angela

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