5 Simple Tips To Get You Out of a Creative Rut
Updated: Jan 13
It happens to most of us at some point...we enter a creative rut and we feel uninspired and out of ideas. To get creative juices flowing, we must recharge and regroup. This post will offer a few ideas to help you climb out of the dark hole of a creative block. Blogging, designing, pinning, selling, writing - it all takes work and new ideas. I know that in my case, I have days where I don't know what to design, what slogans to use, which stock photo to pick, or what new blog post to start writing. If you feel like you need a quick pick me up, keep reading!
Whenever my motivation goes south, I like to try something new, like read a new book for example. Also, I always look at my old content and try to come up with new ways to repurpose and upgrade that content.
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1. Read Non-Fiction Books / EBOOKS
Reading is inspiring - there's no doubt about that. I suggest reading non-fiction books, self-help books, books related to your job or to your niche, and even biographies of inspirational people. Once you begin to read about "real" things, meaning stories that are not purely fictional, you might get ideas about what to do next or HOW to do things you are already doing.
Here are a few great books to help you gain back that inspiration, motivation, and creativity.
Author: Jennie Allen
This book is going to help you turn negative thoughts and doubt into powerful and meaningful action. It's all about learning to think positively, instead of living with the dark thought in your main.
This is a fun creativity workbook for adults. It's full of prompts, challenges, and fun activities to prompt you to experiment and regain some of that lost creativity.
There are also some excellent books that delve deep into the topic of creativity, and what it means to really have that "creative spirit". Trust me, it's not some sort of secret only an elite few are born with. Instead, you may find it comforting to know we can all create beautiful things if we allow ourselves to explore and experiment.
2. Download new fonts, images, resources
This tip helps me out the most. Whenever I lack creative ideas and inspiration or motivation, I check for free (CC0) resources such as free fonts, images, stock photos, vectors, etc. Expanding my resource collection helps to improve designs when I am figuring out what designs to create for my Print On Demand sites. Using a brand new font for the first time can give you an idea instantly for something to create. Even new stock photos can inspire new posts.
I like to browse cheap $1 fonts, templates, and stock images on sites like crella.net
Sometimes all it takes is some new images, new designs, new color palettes.
3. Look back at old work, photos, designs, and blog posts.
When you feel stuck, look back at your older work, preferably your earliest work, writing, designs in order to reflect and think about how you've improved and evolved over time. Looking at old posts or designs will give you a fresh perspective and help you remake, re-write, and improve the old work to make it the best version of itself. Sometimes the old photos will trigger a new idea...or perhaps an old blog post can be expanded and republished.
This is extremely helpful, believe me! I always try to go back to each post and expand or add new text or links.
Repurposing old blog posts and other content is a great way to save time and get more people to interact with your content.
4. Take new photos
If you are good at drawing and sketching, do some old school pencil on paper sketches. If you are into photography, start to take new photos. Go outside and start snapping pictures. Simple cellphone photos are good enough for designs and blog posts. Inspiration comes from actively finding things, people, animals to take photos of. Things such as beautiful photos of flowers can be made into wallpapers, stock photos, or blog photos.
Each season is a unique opportunity. Just get out and take photos, you never know when you'll get some use out of them.
Do you know what I like to do with photos? I upload them to print on demand websites and sell them on things like postcards, greeting cards, stickers, and more. I recently sold a poster with one of my nature photos.
If you've never tried print on demand, I recommend Zazzle.com
5. Browse other designer portfolios and look at curated collections
Looking at other peoples' blogs, stores, portfolios, or Pinterest account can inspire you and give you some new ideas. No, I don't suggest copying - just taking some ideas and reworking them. The best method is to visit Pinterest, websites, blogs, curated collections, and to take notes & jot down ideas on a notepad. Think about what's trending, popular, what colors you like, what topics are interesting and so on...this is bound to give you inspo for whatever you want to do next.
And finally, remember that being creative is not the same for everyone and we all express our creativity differently. It's a fun journey with some minor setbacks and many successes.