Practical Tips to Cure a Creative Block

Branding / Digital

Working as a freelance designer, writer, video editor is hard. There’s usually no support – it’s a lonely road. The most annoying thing about doing creative work on your own is the “creative blocks” (should we call them monsters?) you hit from time to time.

They’re scary, those damn monsters. They’ll get your agent angry, your readers unhappy, and your clients running. The reason they attack is because your day-to-day state really affects your work. The way you feel on a consistent basis determines the quality and refinement of your efforts.

But there’s a way to survive. First, you can avoid everything by just making sure you keep the monster inside you happy. Here’s how.

Create your micro-cosmos

Your workspace is like the painter’s canvas. Don’t keep it clean; keep it inspiring. If you’re a neat, tidy person and order inspires you, then yes, clean it up. If not, and you’re like the majority of creators out there, make sure your workspace is:

  • Comfortable for your body
  • Isolated/Undisturbed by an outside presence
  • Easy to get to, preferably in your house
  • Has writing equipment for jotting down ideas
  • Full of the things you like (no matter how ridiculous others may think it is)



Set a quota

Set a goal for yourself. If you’re a writer, set a daily amount of pages you’ll write. Anthony Trollope, a well-known, successful novelist of the 19th century was known to force himself to write 3000 words (250 words per 15 mins, for 3 hours) before going off to his job at the postal service. This he kept up for 33 years, in the span of which he wrote more than two dozen books.

Create a work ritual

Unlike some people think, a routine work schedule helps your creativity in that it helps you achieve the before-mentioned quota. A routine is just another sort of ritual, which takes place in your micro-cosmos.

Killing the “Monster”

If all else fails, and you find that you’ve awakened the monster, and the giant comes running at you, grabbing you by the neck, you should, with the last life you’ve got left in you, do the following.

Start working anyway, despite the fact you don’t feel too creative. Don’t analyze your work, just compose. No judgement, just creation. Go ahead and create, not thinking about the way in which you do it. Often times, that’s enough to loosen the monster’s furry grip.

If you’re still barely clinging on to life, do the exercises below. Their goal is to jumpstart your brain’s software, literally “warming up” your creativity by putting your synapses and neural pathways to work!