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Conquering creative blocks

nstallation with paper blocks by Emilia Napoletani
  • Written byJacqui Rudd, UAL Employability Educator
  • Published date 07 March 2023
nstallation with paper blocks by Emilia Napoletani

Creative blocks, or barriers to inspiration, are an inability to access our inner creativity. And there are many causes of this including self-doubt, rejection, comparisonitis, feedback, life events as well as burnout and more.

Sometimes creativity isn't magical and spontaneous, inspiration doesn't come to us like a muse whispering in our ear.

Creativity can take work, time, motivation and self-management and you are not less creative simply because you need support or methods for organising yourself and nurturing your creativity.

Here are 5 of my favourite ways to spark inspiration:

  1. Describe a memory, writing exercise – write a highly descriptive positive memory, which could be in a journal or on notes on your phone. This is great for anxiety, focusing on the present moment but also helps with creative burnout as it’s removing pressure.
  1. Learn and fail at something new – play with a new medium unrelated to your practice and enjoy the process. As well as helping to spark inspiration this also helps with recovering from rejection and negative feedback as well as fear of failure all of which can be a cause of creative blocks.
  1. Vent creatively – put your struggles down on paper, you could write a journal entry, imagine it visually and draw it, vent through paint if you wish. Take out your frustration and put it to creative use free from perfection!
  1. Allocate time to be creative – dedicate some time every month, week or even day to be creative, this could be as little as 5 mins. Remember spontaneous creativity is a myth, utilising self-management methods to be creative doesn’t make you less creative.
  1. Remove pressure to be creative – take a break, your inspiration well might be tapped out simply because you need a break, allow yourself to rest free from pressure by pursuing other passions, explore and come back refreshed.

If you’re struggling with finding motivation for a goal or project check out our other article on regaining momentum and motivation.