The last time we discussed something like this it was on blogging, and it seemed to be a big hit. That’s because we all feel that way at some point, right? Well, what about being creative? I know I have those days when I’m just not feeling it. I’ve had those days where I just can not make a moodboard for a client – the photos won’t come together and feel like a whole or maybe I just can’t find what I’m looking for to include. That can always be the same way for anything I do. The thing is, as a creative business owner those days can be the toughest. You’re just not into your work, but most of the time you try to force it because you know you have to get it done. But here’s a comforting feeling: we all feel that way at some point.
As I said in the blogging post, it’s okay to feel this way. You’re not losing all of your creative juices, you’re not about to watch your business go under, and yes, even if you put it off until the next day, the client isn’t going to hate you. While it’s not so much like blogging, you can’t do the work weeks in advance for clients or ask other people to sit in and do the work for you. However, there are still things you can do:
Take a break and look for inspiration elsewhere When I’m working on moodboards and I just get stuck, it can be the most frustrating feeling, especially if I just can’t find what I’m really looking for. If you’re feeling this way with your work, take a break. Most of the time, if you’re really searching and you can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s probably not going to just come to you. So, take a break. Go for a walk, grab a coffee, or watch your favorite tv show. Let the inspiration come to you from somewhere else. If you put yourself in a different environment, you never know what will come to you!
How has the problem been solved before? Look back at your own previous work or even that of those who inspire you the most. Don’t copy it ( duh ), but do look to see how a similar problem has been solved before. Maybe you’re looking for a certain type of font, or you can’t figure out how something should go on some sort of design. Chances are very high that what you’re working on has been done before, and looking at your own or someone else’s work on it may inspire you to try something you hadn’t thought of before. However, let me say it again: don’t just copy the work you’re looking at. That’s bad joojoo!
Consider what’s causing the feeling What exactly is making you feel not creative in the first place? Did you wait until the last minute to work on something? Did you take on too much work, and you can’t focus because you’re worried about all that’s on your plate? Or maybe you haven’t taken on enough work to really create a work routine for yourself. If you find yourself feeling so not into it often, thinking about what’s causing it will help alleviate this feeling when it comes. A cool app that can help with this is Unstuck. It’ll help you discover exactly how you’re feeling and find ways to get.. well, unstuck!
Don’t force it! If you need time away, take it! Last but not least, the same tip that was in the blogging post. This is the number one reason I give myself plenty of time to do client work and start working on it early. If you wait until the last minute to get something done, then when you start feeling like this you have to force it. However, if you start early and have plenty of time, you can work on something for a little bit, and then take a day or two to refuel on the project. Forcing creativity is not the answer, so create the room in your project calendar so you don’t have to.
Feeling not creative is one of the toughest feelings we can get when our businesses ( and / or blogs ) are just that : creative. However, create plans to help you get out of a funk if you’re in one, and you’ll feel much less frustrated when these types of feelings come to you.
How do you cope when being creative feels wrong?