No matter how much you love what you do, if you have been in the business long enough, at some point in time, you will probably hit a creativity block. The first thing to know is that it is completely normal. Then there are some other things that you can do to help you break through your creativity block:
1) Research: Do research on the internet, social media sites and in libraries. Consider what people are talking about and sharing with others.
2) Subscribe: To newsletters and magazines that are specifically geared for creative entrepreneurs.
3) Get out: Go visit craft shops, craft markets and walk around a bit in nature. Getting exercise is also a great way to distract your mind from focussing on the block.
4) Chat: Go and enjoy some time with friends and/or family – sometimes great inspiration comes from having a chat over a cup of coffee (and maybe a piece of cake). Play a board game or a computer game with others.
5) Network: Networking with other creative entrepreneurs can be an incredible source of inspiration and support.
6) Do something else that is also creative: If your business is around making handbags, go paint a portrait, do some pottery or make a teddy bear.
7) Stop trying so hard – take time out: Instead of trying so hard, just fill your days with whatever you feel like – eat ice cream, cook, dance, go to the aquarium, watch your favourite movie and read. Do whatever makes you feel happy and help you recharge.
8) Do conventional things in an unconventional way: Instead of eating supper at the table, make a tent with blankets indoors (like we did when we were kids) and eat supper in there.
9) Surveys: Ask customers what they would like to see.
10) Workshops: Either take a course or host one.
11) Testimonials: Read through your past customer testimonials. Being reminded of how your work has touched others can inspire you to continue on your journey.
12) Old products: Re-look at all your old products and consider how you can improve on them or combine some of them to create something new. Maybe if you are making cake pops it is time to think of what else you can also make on a stick? Or what could be complimentary – if you do fabric painting on pillow cases, maybe it is time to add a blanket and sell it as a set?
13) Check your net: I carry a little notebook in my handbag – whenever an inspired spark hits me I write it down immediately or make a little doodle so that I can get back to it later when I have the time. Your little creative net (where you catch all your inspired sparks) is a great place to search through when you are facing a creative block.
14) Force yourself to create something: Even if it doesn’t come out perfect, you will at least have something to work from. Sometimes once you start with something, really getting into it just comes naturally.
Check your routine and schedule. How do you manage your time? Do you allow sufficient time for you to be creative or are you stifling your creativity because you are getting caught up in less pleasant tasks? I prefer to do unpleasant tasks first and then reward myself with the opportunity to do something creative later in the day. However if I am overwhelmed by inspiration and creativity I make an exception. Just be honest with yourself and make sure that you are not using inspiration as an excuse to procrastinate on less pleasant tasks.
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