If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that I’ve hit the biggest creative slump lately. That explains why I’ve barely posted anything on here or on Instagram in almost a month. I tried several times to come up with something, but every time I ended up staring at a blank screen, sighing loudly, and turning off my laptop. Been there?
Let’s be honest: this sucks. There’s nothing worse than wanting to get your creative juices out and not having any good ideas. But don’t worry, if I can live through a creative rut, so can you! It happens even to the best of us.
I thought I would make the best out of this situation and try to help you go through a creative rut without losing your mind!
I don’t know about you, but the first thing I tend to do when I hit a creative slump is panic. What am I going to do? What’s going to happen to my blog? But through my two years as a blogger I’ve figured out: panicking is only going to make it worse. It’s when you get inside your head too much that the creative rut seems to stick. You’ll start thinking that you’ll never find inspiration ever again, and you’ll be afraid to write anything. So, when you notice that you’re feeling uncreative and uninspired, take a deep breath and step back. No one is going to be mad at you if you don’t get that new post out tomorrow. Trust me when I say, your readers will understand. They’re human too! And they’ll still be there when you come back, so take as long as you need!
Take a step back
When I get too much inside my head, the panic just seems to make it worse. So instead of chaining yourself in front of your laptop for hours, waiting for inspiration to strike, go do something else. Forget about your blog for a hot sec and enjoy life a little. Want to catch up on your favorite tv show? Now is the time. Explore your city. Try something new. Go get that donut. Go out with your friends. Not thinking about your blog will not only allow you to (finally!) take some time to yourself, and who knows, maybe you’ll find inspiration on your adventures? 😉
Another way to beat the creative rut is to just write. Write about whatever. Don’t think about SEO, your niche, or anything that ties you down to your blog. Hitting writer’s block is the worst, and I personally find that the best way to get through it is to just write whatever comes to mind. Even if you know you won’t end up posting it. Even if it’s just “I hate this why did I even start a blog”. At least you’re getting it out of your system. And trust me, eventually, inspiration will come back. Creative ruts are often just a state of mind. Once you’ll get over this mind block, you’ll get back on track in no time!
Consume other people’s content
There’s nothing that helps me get inspired as much as reading other people’s content. Why? Because it helps me spark my own ideas. I cannot count how many times I’ve read a blog post and it inspired me to write my own. Of course, I’m not stealing anyone’s ideas. But sometimes a blogger says something that I disagree with, asks a question or lives a situation that is similar to mine and it makes me want to write about my own experience. So I highly suggest that you browse through your favorite blogs and read other people’s content.
One of my favorite ways to find good content is Pinterest. It’s the perfect mix of imagery, ideas, and blog posts – basically, an uninspired blogger’s dream! Search for keywords within your niche and see what other people have been writing about. Who knows, you might find the perfect idea for a new blog post! Just going through your feed might help spark an idea!
…But not too much
The trap with Pinterest and looking at other people’s content is that it might have the opposite effect. When you consume other people’s content too much, you’re bound to start comparing yourself to others, and that will just make things worse. You don’t want to start doubting your abilities, especially now that you’re already vulnerable. Comparison is a trap that I’ve fallen down into on more than one occasion, and trust me when I say that it’s not a pleasant experience. What I suggest is: find 5-10 bloggers that you absolutely love, and only read those. Ask yourself, what did you love about this post? What do you love about this blog? Reflecting on this can help you beat your creative rut.
Ask your readers what they want to read about
When in doubt, ask your audience! There’s nothing easier that whipping up a quick survey to get the ideas flooding again. Get to know your audience, and ask them what they need help with. Sometimes, the only way to find out is to simply… ask! Once your survey is ready, promote it on social media to get as much input as possible.
Shake things up
A lot of bloggers rely on routine to make their blog work. And trust me, I get it. We’re all busy, and sometimes establishing a routine is the only way to make it work with our busy schedule. But when you find yourself hitting a creative rut, try shaking things up. Keri Smith, an illustrator and author of several bestselling books on creativity, says “Creativity is enhanced by our ability to look at things from as many different perspectives as possible — not repeating the same thing over and over. Even if [new things] feel uncomfortable, even if they seem small or insignificant, [these] little changes can lead to bigger changes over time.” So shake things up! Changing your routine, even a little bit, can lead to breaking that creative block that has been holding you back. For instance, are you always reading the same blogs? Reading different points of view might help you get your creative juices back. This might be just what you need!
Creative ruts are the worst. Trust me, I know what it’s like. But don’t give up! Eventually, inspiration will come back, and you’ll be stronger than ever!
What do you do when you hit a creative rut? What helps you find inspiration?