10 Tips for Clearing Creative Block
Posted on Feb. 8th, 2013 in Creative
Whether you work in a creative agency, marketing department, or something else entirely; you’re not immune from the curse of creative block.
It can strike at any time – usually when you have an important brief that needs to be met – leaving you lacking in inspiration and confidence. But rather than staring blankly at your computer screen, wrestling with your inner block, there are some simple ways to combat it.
Here are 10 tips for clearing creative block, and getting back on track:
1. Brainstorm with peers
The saying “2 heads are better the one” is completely true when it comes to creative block.
If you’re struggling to come up with that winning idea, sit down with your team and brainstorm. Share the brief and client expectations, and ask for ideas and input. You’ll be able to bounce off one another, and end up with more ideas than you know what to do with.
Everyone’s unique ideas will help you approach the brief from a new angle. Be sure to note down the ideas you come up with in these sessions; you never know when they will help you out in the future.
2. Approach the brief from another angle
Sometimes completely closed briefs are more trouble than they’re worth.
Without the freedom to let your creativity run away with you, it can be tricky to find inspiration. But instead of letting it get the better of you, why not approach the challenge from another angle?
It might not be the route you choose to go down in the end, but approach your creative challenge with the opposite of what you – or someone else – would normally do. For example, approach your blog post writing from a contrarian point of view. You might not end up publishing the post, but you’ll spark your imagination.
3. Look outside your discipline
If you’re a graphic designer, experiment with copy or photographs. If you’re a content author, try doodling some pictures. One of the best ways to clear the dreaded creative block is by approaching it from another discipline. While this might not get the task itself completed, it’ll help you get some much needed inspiration.
4. Put pen to paper
Following on from point three, stepping away from your computer is one of the best ways to get your creative mojo back. Write down some bullet points highlighting the key aspects of the brief, and go from there.
Draw graphs, scribble notes all over the page, use different colours – anything that gets the creative juices flowing. Sometimes we can struggle for ideas when sat at our PCs. But reverting back to good old pen and ink can really help you plan the project.
5. Inject some fun into your working environment
If you’re working in an uninspiring environment, you’ll struggle to come up with great ideas.
Try and inject some personality and life into your working environment. By surrounding yourself with inspirational books, blogs, podcasts and videos for instance, you’ll find that creative block becomes a thing of the past.
Everyone is different though. For some individuals, working in an informal environment will make the situation worse. Try a few different ways to bringing some personality to your desk and see how things go.
6. Get some fresh air
When you’re struggling for inspiration, sometimes the only situation is to remove yourself from it for a moment.
Pop outside and grab some lunch. Getting fresh air will awaken your senses and kick-start your creativity. If you’re lucky enough to see some sunshine, why not take your brief outside? Even if you just make a few written notes, you’ll be surprised what the fresh air can do for you!
7. Curate past examples
A key part of any content marketing plan, is content curation. This is the act of ‘recycling’ past posts into something new and engaging. For example, turning a list post into an infographic. If you’re suffering from creative block, curating past examples of your work is a great place to start.
Look back at what you’ve worked on before, and see how it can fit in with your current brief. This is just another way you can look at your dilemma from another angle, and try to solve the problem.
8. Try something new
When you’re struggling for inspiration, now is a great time to try out that new method you’ve been reading about. It can give you some great ideas for this brief, and all future ones. And if it doesn’t work? You’ve still learnt something, and are sure to have a whole host of new ideas to complete your project.
9. Come back to it later
If the above 8 points haven’t worked for you, simply close the file and start on something else. Give yourself time to subconsciously come up with ideas for completing the brief. When you come back to it later, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your creative block cleared.
10. Sleep on it
Spent all day battling creative block? Then go home and sleep on it.
When you wake up, you’ll be refreshed and hopefully buzzing with great ideas. Sleeping will completely clear you mind, and fill you with endless ideas and sources of inspiration.
Creative block doesn’t have to put a stop to your productivity. By following these top tips, you’ll be back up and running in no time. What are your top tips for clearing writers, designers, or developers block? Share them with us in the comments below, or tweet us @WeAreSuperdream.