What to Do When You’re in a Creative Rut

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?

Feel in a creative rut? Here's what you can do to get through it.

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! 

Don’t panic

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? 😉

Just write

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?

  • Nicole DaRosa

    I had this issue about a month ago. I just felt burnt out and out of ideas! So I took a break from the blog and now I’m back at it. I feel so much fresher and invigorated now 🙂

    • Taking a break can help SO much! It’s when you stop thinking about it all the time, ideas come to you way easily.

  • Sydney Power

    A good meeting with my friend/photographer really helps and talking with my mom!

    • Those are great ideas!

  • mckenna bleu

    I like the write in a journal i have and i also go to pinterest ALL the time to help and for inspiration!

    • Pinterest is such a great source of inspiration! I honestly don’t know what I would do without it.

  • Anna Hubbard

    These are great tips because I find myself in creative ruts much more than I’d like! The most important thing by far is not to panic because everyone gets through it!

    • Girl, I feel you! And panicking just make things worse. As you said, everyone gets through it, so it’s important to remind ourselves to BREATHE.

  • It’s so upsetting when that happens! Great tips. It’s always good to ask readers what they want.

    • Agreed! I honestly hate the feeling of being uninspired.

  • thesophiadiaries

    I love how you added the ‘…not too much’ part! Because that is true! When I’m in a rut I actually don’t even look haha I feel like it just messes up with the way i think lol but love this list!

    • Haha, I feel you! But since reading posts is normally the way I get inspired, I still do my fair share of blog reading, haha. However, I make sure not to get too worked up and read dozens of posts because otherwise I just feel even more lost and confused.

      • thesophiadiaries

        Everyone has a different way of getting inspiration so I totally agree! I like to do some light reading so to speak hahaha

  • Great ideas. This is exactly what I’m dealing with at the moment. Not very inspired to blog and feeling a bit disconnected from the blogging community. I’m trying to find some different blogs and after reading this I’m thinking I should switch things up in my life and try some new things and maybe get some blogging inspo from there!

    – Courtney

    • Ah, Courtney, I relate to this so much! I’ve been feeling so out of it and uninspired lately… But it is true that change cannot hurt! As you said, you’ll probably be able to find inspiration from that!

  • Love these ideas. I want to do a reader survey soon. I also keep a little notebook of ideas or in my Notes on my phone. Ideas always come to me so randomly and they are usually pretty good ones too haha.

    • You’re lucky then! haha But it’s true that writing down your ideas as they come is a great way of always having material on hand!

  • Ah, Prerana, I totally feel you on that one!

  • Jordyn Upchurch

    I love that you said, “just write”. I am so guilty sometimes of putting out content for contents sake, but that’s not why I started my blog! So when I write just to get my thoughts out, that’s when some of my favorite content has ever come out 🙂

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

    • Girl, I think we’ve all been there! And it’s awesome that some of your favorite content has come up by simply writing your thoughts down! It’s definitely happened to me too and it’s so awesome when it does.

  • Greta Hollar

    Girl I feel you. I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump too. It’s why I started taking weekends off the unplug. I feel like it’s a mini vacation and feel ready for the next week come Monday!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

    • I think that’s what I’m going to have to do! I’ve never tried that before, but I’m sure it help a lot! Thanks for the advice, girl!

  • I always check other people’s content and then I always feel like I’m copying theirs! It’s definitely a balancing act.

    with southern grace,

    • As you said, it’s all about balance. The thing here is not to copy, but simply to take inspiration from it. Put your own twist to it!

  • I just did a post on this very topic a month ago! Most of my tips are the same (with variations, obviously) but I have got some in my post that you haven’t! 😉 and vice versa, of course!

    Happy Blogging,
    Carleton | Carleton Caws.

    • Haha, that’s so fun! I’ll make sure to check out your post. 😉

      • Thanks! Also, please do more in depth posts on getting more blog traffic. Your most popular one helped me a lot and I would love to see more from you on that topic.

        • Noted! Thanks for the input! I’ll try to work on something that can hopefully go out soon. 🙂

  • I absolutely love this. As a blogger about creativity, I relate to this so much. I experienced a creative drought for more than a year with blogging. But I let myself relax into it. I tried not to panic or worry because that harms us and our creativity that much more. It’s always good to let your creative side come out in different ways even if you are feeling blocked in others.

    • This is such a great idea! I’ve been creatively stuck for months now, but just as you, I try to let myself relax into it. I try not to pressure myself to create content just for the sake of creating content. As you said, worrying and panicking just harms us and our creativity in the end!