5 Ways To Be Creative When You Think You Can’t Be Creative

We’ve all experienced times when we feel we’re all washed up and dried out of new ideas and pushed face first against an impenetrable wall, whether this lasts for a few moments, or a few weeks, or even longer.

image: suburbanslice

There are many practices we can put in place to ensure that these kinds of creative block happen more rarely, if ever, but that’s for another post.

For now, let’s talk about 5 effective ways to be creative when you feel you absolutely cannot be creative.

1. Focus on a single sense. Sit somewhere still, and focus entirely on just one of your senses. Sight is a great place to start. Block your other senses and absorb your surroundings purely through your eyes and what you see. Imagine your vision is like a language, communicating to you the complexity and beauty of what’s around you. Then after 5 or 10 minutes, when you’ve seen every last detail, do the same again with another of your senses.

2. Write down a secret procrastination list. Reveal everything, all the most cunning and devious tricks you know and use regularly to help you to avoid actually getting down to creating. Once you start writing you’ll be amazed at how many there are. When you think you’ve got them all down, step back and take a look. impressive isn’t it? All these can surely only have come from a highly creative mind.

3. Write a word at random.
And another. And another. Once you have your three words, you’ll notice your creative mind instantly begins making connections and associations between the words, forms sentences, ideas and images that weren’t there before. You can’t help it, you can’t turn off your creativity, it flows constantly. Don’t forget this!

4. Remember the times when you were most creative. Go for a walk, don’t set a destination, just head off and walk where the mood takes you, all the time recalling those times of abundant creativity. What were the key elements in place during these times that allowed you to be so creative? The little differences that made the difference? Let them come to you, they’re right there. When you return, set about recreating these conditions of creativity so you can be that creative again as soon as possible.

5. Write out the advice you’d give a good friend who’s stuck.
If one of your closest friends came to you and said they felt they absolutely could not be creative, what would you advise? Write exactly what you think they should do to help them get creating again. Write all the ways you would encourage them. Then look at what you’ve written. Isn’t that great advice? Now turn it around and apply it to yourself.

Try one of this tips, any of them will help you get creative again.

Try them all and you can’t help but feel that creative flow slowly return.

As a bonus, what you’ll notice as you try these techniques is you’ll adapt them as you go to help you even more, to make them even more effective too.

If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, please use the buttons below to share with others who might too. Thank you.

7 thoughts on “5 Ways To Be Creative When You Think You Can’t Be Creative”

  1. Hey Dan,

    I am so impressed with your consistently quality posts! This one helps me a lot as a writer, especially when I have to produce consistently.

    I really like #2: Write down a procrastination list. I’m gonna get started on it soon…as soon as I have a little time…:)


    1. Thanks Damien, really pleased to hear the posts help you.

      Re number 2, procrastination is at the core of so many people’s struggles to create, and we’re all so wired up these days it’s easier than ever to find “important” and “urgent” things we just have to do before we get down to creating.


  2. Dan,
    I love the idea of focusing on a single sense. It’s centering idea that I think will help alot when things feel a bit frazzled. Did I say “a bit”?! 🙂
    Many thanks for your great post.


    1. Thanks Jean, yes it’s a technique that’s effective in many ways. I think a huge part of being creative and being able to be inspired is to be aware of everything around you. Wherever you are there will be sights, sounds, scents etc that can stimulate new ideas, if we’re willing to be open to them. And a great way of doing this is to focus on one sense at a time, so that with practice all your sense become heightened and you notice your surroundings in more detail.


  3. I do some mental metitiave exercises: I send all negative / doubting thoughts out of my body & down into the center of the earth.
    & bring new cleaned energy back up into my body. Meditation is a daily morning practice for me. That really helps me.

    I’m really enjoying your Blog & appreciate your suggestions.
    Thanks so much.


  4. Thanks for your comments Gail, glad you’re enjoying the blog.

    Any daily practice that helps us feel more healthy and creative can be very powerful when it becomes a habit.


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