Whether it’s the holidays or from everything that 2020 brought, recovering the stress and pressure of life can make anyone feel creatively drained, and if one of your goals this year is to harness your creativity, you might be wondering how to get that creativity back. Here are some of our favorite methods for returning to your favorite creative expression, just in time to celebrate International Creativity Month this January.
When your creative well is dry, it can feel impossible to fill it again. If you’re having trouble being creative, consider, looking outside yourself for inspiration. Try asking yourself questions like: When was the last time Ifelt inspired and what was happening in my life that added to that feeling? See if you can recreate those circumstances to build an inspiring space for yourself.
Inspiration doesn’t have to come from any particular place, and what leaves you feeling inspired might not work for someone else. Start by looking for it out in nature, on a drive, while talking to a friend, or bingeing your favorite series on Netflix.
Read great books
At BookClub, we know how books can be used as tools, in fact, it’s part of why we created this platform. If you’re eager to learn more about the power of creativity through reading, How to Fly a Horse by Kevin Ashton is a great book about creative thinking. This book looks at different examples of creativity throughout history and how you can use their examples in your own life.
Additionally, the War of Art by Steven Pressfield is perfect for those who deal with art block and don’t know how to overcome it. This book really challenges readers by forcing them to examine the demons that stop you from doing what you truly desire, whatever that may be.
Don’t let others tell you how to create
There are a lot of people who talk about creation and how to do it. These people mean well, but it’s important to remember that there’s no one “right” way to create. No one can tell you what creativity will feel like for you because it’s something you have to figure out for yourself.
This principle also applies to people who tell you that creativity is a waste of time because it isn’t productive. Creativity has its own place in the world; it creates beauty that gets us through difficult times, like with the shows and books we use to escape from the troubles that plague everyday life.
If you’re struggling with this, it might be helpful to surround yourself with like-minded people. After all, there’s only so much you can figure out on your own. Consider finding a group or forum on the internet to gather some inspiration and support. Reddit can be a great place to turn to for inspiration — there are subreddits for just about everything, including writing or art prompts. Chat platforms like Slack or Discord have servers that bring people together. Your people are out there, you just have to find them.
Join an artistic challenge
When feeling creatively drained, sometimes the best thing to do is to commit to something that stretches you a bit, like a creative challenge. There are hundreds of creative challenges, from National Novel Writing Month, to Inktober, and tons in between.
You don’t have to wait for a particular month to get started on a challenge. Try doing something every day for 30 days. That’s enough time to build a habit, which is also a great way to kickstart your creativity. You could write a poem, fill out a page in your sketchbook, or write a certain amount of words in your notebook every day. The creative possibilities are endless.
Try something new
When the typical things you do seem like they aren’t working anymore, it might be time to turn to something you haven’t tried yet.
If you normally paint, then try writing. If knitting is your thing, give graphic design a try. There’s no limit to what you can do and no hobby too weird for you to try. Football players have been known to take ballet lessons to increase their agility on the field. As a creative person, try thinking of something you wouldn’t usually do as a way to get your brain working in new ways.
Though it’s perfectly okay to feel a little creatively drained after last year, there are still plenty of ways to make 2021 the year your creativity stretches farther than ever before. It doesn’t matter if you start off the year in a funk, give any of the methods above a try in order to get out of the rut and you’ll see the creative benefits follow you all the way to 2022.