Got Art Block?

I think everyone gets blocked from time to time, regardless of their chosen creative outlet. The specific reasons may be different for everyone, but sometimes the solutions are shockingly similar.

Need a Break
Sometimes, it’s something as simple as the need to step back for a little while and refocus yourself. If you’ve been doing a lot of the same thing for an extended period of time, you may be a little burned out on it. Once you get back to what you were doing, you’ll be more productive and the end project will be of better quality.

Stress
This is a huge creativity killer. Whether there’s just a lot going on in your life at the moment, your work is being stressful or you’ve found yourself stuck in a high pressure situation, it’s hard to focus on creating something when there’s so much else to do.

Depending on your situation, there are two basic coping strategies I’ve figured out.

The first is to make a list of everything you need to get done, then prioritize it in order of when each task must be finished. From there, make a plan of when and how to accomplish each goal. I wrote an article about reaching tough goals a while ago, here.

Once you have the larger plan etched out, break it down into days and concentrate only on your daily goals as you’re doing them. When that sense of accomplishment is reached, your creativity should return.

The other strategy is to just sit down and experiment. For me, that means learning a new skill. If I’m learning how to work a new system of macrame knots, it’s like something in my brain clicks over, and it’s easier for me to create new patterns and pieces.

Distractions
Getting distracted is a huge problem for a lot of people, especially if they’re already tired when they start their crafting session. If possible, turn off the computer and the phone, turn on the music, if that helps you tune out the rest of the world, and let yourself get lost in your craft.

If people demanding your attention is the problem, set a period of time in which you can do what it is you want to do. Close the door and make it known to family and friends that you don’t want to be disturbed during this block of time.

These are really the three biggest blocks to creativity I’ve come across. Usually things like issues in technique or anything like that can be traced back to any of the three factors listed above. In the end, we each have different triggers to blocks and methods of getting around them.

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