The Creative Rut | 4 Steps To Recovering & Refreshing Your Creativity!

by Holly Swasko in


If you’re a writer, a blogger, and photographer, an artist - if you’re any kind of creative, then you know the drill; some days you’re pounding away at your keyboard and your hands can’t seem to keep up with or even sort out the overwhelming flow of ideas. Maybe there are visions for photographs swirling around in your head that you just can’t wait to bring to life. But then there are other days, weeks, months, where it’s just not there, where you find that the sparks of effortless flowing words and ideas aren’t so effortless.

You burnt out.

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If you’re any kind of creative, you know how it goes; the burn out, the creative ruts, the inspirational lulls - whatever you want to call them - they’re a real thing that we’re bound to run into at some point or another. I know I’ve run into my fair share of ‘em - even recently! That’s why I compiled this list of a few key things to do to help you get back on track, refreshed and more inspired than ever before. So if you’re feeling stuck and all out of inspiration, don’t panic, keep on reading! It’s time to recover that creativity!

  • Tip #1: Relax - don’t force it!

Often our first mistake when we find ourselves in a rut is jumping so quickly to do everything we can in order to get re-inspired when we really should be just allowing ideas to come naturally. Forcing the production of any creative work is like trying to pour from an empty glass; sometimes you need to take a break to be filled up again in order to get your creative flow back.

There’s a reason for this too! Our brains best utilize their creative centers when they’re relaxed. So don’t feel ashamed if you have to step back from your creative work for a bit to de-stress and refocus. Taking purposeful time to recharge your batteries is never a bad thing!

  • Tip #2: Get out beyond your norms!

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We often get so stuck in our routines and everyday environments we don’t even realize it. (I know I’m guilty - I’m a total homebody!) So step back like tip #1 says, and better yet, go somewhere new or do something that ventures outside your norms! I’m not saying that you to jet set out of the country to get inspired (I mean you can if you want). But go grab coffee somewhere different, get outdoors - literally go explore anywhere new! Wherever you go, there’s going to be new things to observe - and being a creative, you’re likely already super observant. Inspiration can often stir from the most unexpected things and places, so go mix up those surroundings!

  • Tip #3: Look - but don’t touch!

I love getting inspiration from others, through fashion, photographs, Pinterest, other blogs - and I think it’s important to do so! We can learn and admire a lot from each other as creatives.

That said, it’s important to look without touching - in other words, you can look and appreciate someone else’s style and creativity, but don’t use it only to create an copy! Doing this will only lead you to producing inauthentic work that isn’t truly a product of your own creativity - and what fun is that? Your own creativity is the best creativity!

  • Tip #4: Take note!

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Sometimes creativity and inspiration have a funny way of showing up at times that are a little less than ideal…like busy times at school, or work, or maybe at 4am when you’re trying to sleep. But when this happens, don’t ignore it - write these ideas down! You’ll thank yourself later.

Whether you’re the pen and paper type, or maybe you’re the type to fill up notes in your phone - having a place to jot down whatever in the wherever’s of our daily lives serves as a resource to look back on in the seasons where we need an extra spark.

Even if it seems silly or potentially useless in the moment, take note anyway! I know I’ve kept my fair share of random fragments, quotes, and photo ideas scattered in my phone’s notes that I eventually picked back up and pursued down the road. Think of it like inspiration for your future self!

So to whatever kind of creative you are, and whatever kind of season you may find yourself in right now - your ability to use your gifts to create and inspire is precious and is something that you should never skimp on. Whatever you put out into the world, make it genuine, make it authentic, make it real and from the heart - and don’t ever let a rut stop ya!

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