An inevitable part of any creative’s timeline is the creative slump. Unless you are one of the lucky few who can maintain a creative output for as long as necessary, a slump or halt in your productivity is pretty much a given. Although it can be a difficult time, a creative slump should never be feared. For it is in this interval, which many of the great thinkers of our generation experienced, where the most unique ideas may manifest themselves. It is how we reconnect with our inner creativity that makes a productivity slump a potentially exciting prospect. Here are some steps you can take to reacquaint yourself with your imagination.
1.Surround yourself with like-minded people
A decline in creativity can be attributed to a multitude of factors. Creative exhaustion is just one of these. Just like the body may fatigue after running for a long distance, the mind tires and you can simply run out of ideas. But perhaps it is more important to think of creativity as running in the relay rather than running alone. Creativity can be a collaboration; and for the person who finds themselves in a creative slump, this is where they may find their inspiration. As creatives, we influence each other and even the simplest of interactions with another may hurdle us toward a new perspective that we would have never entertained otherwise.
2.Break your routine
We must often seek inspiration externally. We spend a vast amount of time in a day in our thoughts and they are often directly influenced by our surroundings. For this reason, it is important to occasionally part with your routine. As we become comfortable in our routine so do our thoughts and when we are trying to solve a creative problem, this can be detrimental. No matter how subtle, changes in our day to day lives can have a surprising impact on our outlook and can offer us new insights into the events of the day and this is where we may find new ideas. Walk the long way home from work. Sit and drink in the café instead of taking your coffee away. These minor changes will help you to distance yourself from your slump and reinstate your imagination.
3.Dedicate your spare time to creative endeavours
Think about your favourite song or your favourite painting. Now think about the many things that would have inspired this creation. Creativity must be fuelled. Whether you are writing a symphony, developing new innovative piece of technology or simply wanting to brainstorm for a new project; immersing yourself in a self-constructed creative environment is your most effective way to find inspiration. Devote your spare time to indulging in a range of materials. Read books. Listen to music. Do whatever it is that you find inspires you. You will find that inspiration often comes from the most unlikely places.
4.Take a break
A halt in productivity is really nothing to be feared. It is natural. Sometimes you need to leave and re-visit a problem to truly understand its essence. We have all experienced this. We create a psychological distance from the problem and once we return, we find that we are able to solve it almost right away. Be prepared for this. Sometimes it is necessary to centre yourself and then return with a new perspective.
A creative’s livelihood is their creativity and so implicitly, a momentary lack of creativity can be an intimidating concept. But as we have shown, this can also be a promising and exciting situation. Ideas may not spring to mind in rapid succession at this moment in time, but there are still multiple avenues to explore. In each you may find an abundance of originality and innovation, and with time unique ideas will follow.