When we identify ourselves as creative people but can’t figure out what to create, it may often indicates a block that is stopping our creative flow.
Once the block is identified, sometimes the best thing to do is to keep creating.
Because, as Maya Angelou, puts it so well, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
We live in a society that has taken a passive, watching stance to life.
We watch reality shows.
We watch our twitter feeds, Facebook updates, and instagram posts.
We watch sports players on the weekends and go-getter businesses on shows like Shark Tank and The Apprentice.
These things are fine in and of themselves. But if we aren’t careful, we can get into the sideliner mentality, always watching what other people do but never getting in the game ourselves.
The first thing to do when you don’t know what to create is to start letting your brain think a bit differently; you’ve got to remove the cobwebs of passive thinking and start taking a more participative approach to life.
10 Ways to Remove the Blocks to Creativity (and Begin Figuring What to Create)
So……how do we figure out our why? When we don’t know what to create, do the following:
1. Consider a media fast.
It’s going to take a bit of time to figure out who you are; it’s hard to do that with an excess of noise and opinions. I love the digital age; it’s made research, communication, and entrepreneurial pursuits so much easier. But information overload can block creativity.
Don’t be afraid to get quiet for a while.
2. Think about what you are good at.
What do people ask you to do? What do you do that you don’t consider to be of significance? That could be where your sweet spot lies for a product in the making.
3. Focus on one thing.
Almost all of the significant influencers say the same thing: focus on the one thing for the present moment.
It’s hard to go multiple directions at the same time and do it well. It’s hard to do things well when we are getting established. The Marie Forleo’s, Richard Branson’s, and Brian Clark’s of the world can branch out in as many niches and genres that they want. They’ve put in the time, have years of experience under their belt, and are well established in their fields.
But each one of them (and countless others) started with a focus in one area, became very good in it, and moved from there.
4. You can do other things in the future.
You’re not stuck on one niche. Did you know Marie Forleo used to be a dance/exercise instructor (award winning) before she focused on business coaching and marketing? Before that she focused in the world of magazine publications. She did one thing at a time, but didn’t limit herself to focusing on one thing for life.
Write down the things you want to do in life, the areas you want to learn about, the languages you want to learn, the places you want to visit. Now that they are written down, put it somewhere where you’ll find it again.
Now focus on the most important thing you need to do right now to move your business.
5. Read 20,000 Days and Counting: The Crash Course for Mastering Your Life Right Now.
One of the most powerful, small books I’ve ever read. Robert D. Smith has been best-selling author Andy Andrews manager for over three decades and has consulted with multiple companies, helping them to learn the skills of influence and success. (Don’t let the impressive credentials stop you from reading his book-it’s surprisingly easy and anyone can do what he’s done).
Focus, hustle, and production are all necessary to get things done but it will be hard to get anything done if all you do is work.
We weren’t wired for working 24/7. We need periods of leisure and rest. Lila Rogers, art agent and artist writes in her book, I Just Like to Make Stuff, “People buy your joy.”
Short on joy? Find it! It’s going to be necessary to maintain the determination and enthusiasm to seeing a project from start to finish. Take a class, pull out the bike, read a novel. Do something that switches your brain awayfrom work oriented thoughts.
7. Remove the pressure to put something together for a period of time. Re-ignite the vision for your life and business.
Where do you want to be in three years? In 5 years? Who do you want to influence? Who do you admire? Let yourself dream and be inspired the potential.
Recently I went through a redesign of my goals and where I wanted my blog to go. I allowed myself scheduled time to think, explore, create just for me. This non-performing creative time is helpful in bringing me back to the big picture, to re-igniting my original dream of what I wanted to create with my business and my life.
8. Make a new recipe from a favourite cookbook or food blog.
Something as simple as making a new recipe can relax tension held in your mind and body. You relax by using a different part of your brain and thought process to new ways of thinking.
9. Take a timer and set it for 20 minutes.
Write about your life’s hopes and dreams that, if not completed, will leave a huge void in your life. Do not stop writing. The more you do it, the free-er the thoughts will come. This isn’t for anyone else. It’s all for you, exploring what you really, truly want to accomplish with your life. I got this from Robert D. Smith’s book, 20,000 Days and Counting.
10. “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
These were the words one of my favorite artistic women-publisher, writer, and artist Jo Packham, wrote in my autographed copy of her book at a book signing event.
We get a few short years on planet earth before our time is gone. What would you like to leave behind for others? A business like Stella & Dot, allowing thousands of women to create income and a fabulous career on their own terms? A collection of art? Inspiring novels? A Scientific breakthrough? Beautiful art for people’s homes?
Take an afternoon to think about this-and do it somewhere that inspires you: laying on the cool grass under a tree, wandering around a museum, walking through a mall with beautiful displays.
Be crazy (no one else has to see this!)
Feeling Stuck Indicates a Block that Needs Breaking
When we don’t know what to create, it comes from having a mental, emotional, even a psychological block. The desire is present but the “what” is missing. Don’t be afraid of letting things go in order to become strong in one thing: the one thing that could be the foundational piece for your business.
Each of these exercises helps to gently massage the knots keeping your brain entangled so the creativity can start flowing again.
This post was written by Melissa AuClair
Melissa AuClair is an author and artist. Her life goal is to help creatives become “artpreneurs,” blending art with business to create an income and live an authentic life, true to who they are. You can visit her site here Launch Your Creative Life. Follow her on Twitter too.