Things to do when you hit a creative road block.
Deadline looming? Not enough words? Too many words? Forgotten why you started in the first place? Surrounded by distractions?...
I spent nearly a whole day trying to not get frustrated with my lack of inspiration and struggling to construct a reasonable sentence for a piece that I've recently been working on. Writing really doesn't feel like it comes easily to me, unless I'm not trying to write and that's when the words flow out. Typical.
So here are a few tricks for you (and my future self) if ever this situation arises and you need to connect with your muse.
Muse (noun): a woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.
Give yourself time // Nothing is more creatively stifling than a ticking clock, knowing that you've got a limited amount of time to get the work done. By not leaving the task to the last minute you have the gift of time to navigate any challenges that may come up for you.
Clear the energy of your workspace // Make sure your workspace feels right for you. I like to use sage to clear the energy where I'm working, especially when I haven't been feeling in the flow or not-so-great feelings have been coming up for me in the process. I really don't want those vibes hanging around and potentially blocking what needs to come out. Burning sage or using an aura spray will neutralise your creative space and ensure that any stagnant energy is cleared. Sage is also very grounding so it will help you feel more embodied while you are in the creative zone.
Go offline // Phones and the internet are fertile ground for procrastination, turn your phone off or switch it to flight mode to remove the temptation of checking in with your social media and emails.
Meditate // Prepare your mind by centring and focusing your awareness into the present moment. Meditating will support you to disconnect from any distractions and clear any brain clutter to create a clear channel for all of your creativity to flow.
Turn down the volume of your ego // When we are trying to get creative our ego can start to play nasty tricks on us. It will send distracting thoughts into your mind that can end up feeling quite debilitating. These thoughts may question your worth, the relevance of what you are doing, how many people will like it and try to diminish everything that you are trying to do. DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR EGO. Tune out and carry on regardless.
Activate your Chakras // Chakras are energy centres within our body that relate to different functions (crown chakra - connection to spirit, third eye chakra - intuitive insights, throat chakra - creativity and self expression, heart chakra - love and purity, solar plexus - confidence and personal power, sacral chakra - creativity and emotions, root chakra - grounding and support). When you align your chakras you create space for your energy to flow with ease.
How to activate your Chakras: Close your eyes, bring your hands into prayer position - take a moment to set your intention (ie. Activating your solar plexus chakra). Rub your hands together, feeling your palms getting warmer and the energy building in your hands. Place your hands on the chakra that you want to activate and feel the energy you have created in your hands transferring to this chakra. Visualise your chakra clearing and expanding, sense your chakra activating and its power amplified. You can do this on all of your chakras, I recommend starting with the crown chakra and working down to your root chakra, or you can just focus on one or a few.
I like to send extra energy to my crown, throat and solar plexus chakras to activate their powers to give me an extra boost when I'm trying to write.
Surrender to the process // Detach from any specific outcomes and trust that it will turn out perfectly. I know that this may sound easier said then done but by freeing yourself like this you create an expansive energy where anything is possible.
Dress for you muse // This is my favourite trick and I took the inspiration from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Power dress, make yourself look the part and feel amazing to invite inspiration to come and work with you. All dressed up with nowhere to go, who cares? Imagine yourself getting ready for a date with creative destiny. It's fun and there's no doubt for me that this works.
Dressing for my muse, bring it on!!
Move // If you've been sitting in front of your screen for too long and the struggle is feeling all too real. Step away. Press pause. Call a friend, get some fresh air, do some yoga, go for a walk, make yourself a nice cup of tea because you really do deserve a break when you've been working so hard. Distractions are good if they reset your focus. If your creative energy feels stagnant or blocked, there's nothing better than moving your physical body to realign yourself.
Try again tomorrow // This one only works if you haven't procrastinated so much that time is precious. It always helps to keep in mind that there is always tomorrow. Nothing catastrophic ever happened because a post was shared a day (or a few days) later, the world will keep moving with or without your master piece so if you need to start fresh tomorrow then do it. You will thank yourself for it later and your creation will be all the better for it.
May the muse be with you on all of your creative endeavours but if it's not then I hope these tricks help you bring your magic into the world!