All of us have felt creatively blocked at one time or another. Creative block—or creative crisis as I also call it—can simply be feeling uninspired in your life. It can show up as being unsure of your life’s purpose. Or, creative crises can be the excuses you make to not take time for your dreams or pursuits. Personally, I felt creatively blocked for a few years in my life, and during that time I was aware that something essential to my being was missing, but I wasn’t exactly sure what. My relationship with my creativity was suffering.
Creative block is like an unwanted guest. It can ruin our plans and trap us in a cycle of fear and panic when thinking of the big picture of life. But today, I invite you to look at creative block as not your enemy, or something to fear. Instead, look at it as a pausing point to reevaluate what you want in your life.
Remember these five truths when you feel creatively blocked:
1. Creativity Must Be Nurtured
It took me many years to realize that my relationship with creativity is as important as the other ones in my life. Imagine that you went on one date with a person you really found inspiring and attractive, and you loved the way you felt when you were near them. Then, you never pursued the person after that one date, but expected to have a sense of intimacy with one another. Chances are, the relationship would not grow in that scenario. This same idea goes for your creativity.
Make sure to keep pursuing your creativity with passion—find new places, books, ideas, art, and people to keep you inspired. Take time to cultivate the relationship that you want to grow. Carve out a date with your creativity every week, where you take yourself out to a place that motivates your imagination.
2. Your Creativity Doesn’t Need an Audience
Do you ever feel that you look outside yourself for validation or approval of your talents? You may feel dependent or trapped in making your next move out of fear of how your creative boons will be perceived. Now is the time to turn inward and find inner guidance for your creative tools. Try to carry out individual creative acts, such as journaling, sketching, or even sitting in silence with your thoughts. Don’t tweet, post to Facebook, or Instagram the result. Begin to cultivate your creative practices knowing that you don’t need to share them with anyone else. Maybe your new creative project needed to be born to just one audience: you.
3. Comparison Zaps You
We live in a connected world where it is easy to see, read, and hear about the creative milestones of others. This can easily lead to comparison, which is an energy zapper. When you compare yourself to another person, a barrier goes up between yourself and your creativity. Free yourself from comparison and its weight in your life by simply asking yourself: What trait or thing does that other person have that I want in my life? What steps can I take today to have that attribute or tool I want in my life, right now?
4. Self-Care Is Your Foundation
When you feel creatively blocked, it’s worth it to take the time to refocus and strengthen your core being. Take a moment to check in and ask: How am I feeling in my body? How are my soul and spirit doing? Am I connected to my life? Creative crises can make it feel like all areas of life are overwhelming. So step back and take a look at your life and your emotions, and don’t forget to take care of yourself amidst it all. When you take time to make sure your spiritual and health needs are being met, then creativity can spring forth from the healthy vessel of your being.
5. You Are Not Alone
When going through a creative crisis, feeling isolated can bring you further down. As an artist I work solo out of my studio, and I often sense that I am the only one in the world when I’m creatively stuck. What breaks that spell for me is connecting with others. My musician husband is one person I can talk to about the creative process, but I also have a large network of friends who are entrepreneurs, writers, artists, and creative parents—all who look at their life as a creative journey. You are not alone. Start building a community to remind you of your truth: You were born creative.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not defined by your creatively blocked time. It’s a natural process to be inspired and uninspired in moments of life. Embrace the block as a period to take a break and decide what is important in your creative life journey. Remember that your creativity is a path that includes many pit stops and soul-infusing wanderings along the way.
Photo by Sasha Juliard
Rose Candela is a passionate artist who writes and teaches women the power of creativity. Through her mentorship programs, she invites her clients to become in rhythm with their intuition and unique creative abilities. Join her weekly musings online at rosecandela.com.