How to stay creative when you work alone

Self Care, The Creative Introvert

If you are a creative that works alone most of the time, you’ll likely have hit the creative wall more than once. A popular saying springs to mind – no one is an island. Much to my chagrin, even I have to acknowledge that not having someone to bounce ideas off can be limiting so it’s essential to have some strategies you can call on to break the creative drought.

Here are some tried and tested methods of mine that you can easily add to your arsenal.

  • Wash your hair. It’s a metaphor, trust me.
  • Crank up the tunes and move. Chair dancing is perfectly acceptable, if not preferable. Also, put your tunes on shuffle. Surprise yourself.
  • Go for a walk. A tricky one for introverts I know but it’s fine. Pop on the headphones, walk fast like you’re on your way somewhere, and you can significantly reduce the possibility of a complete stranger wanting to chat with you.
  • Jumping on Pinterest is particularly helpful for those of us who respond to visual stimulation. An image can easily spark an idea.
  • Accept you have a creative block and move on. Letting it sit unattended for a few hours can result in a breakthrough when you’re not thinking about the problem at hand.
  • Go for a drive. The act of concentrating on something hands-on that also requires you to focus on others around you takes you out of yourself, and away from fixating on ‘the problem’.
  • Go to a public space, get a coffee and do some people watching. Take headphones and your device of choice with you to avoid unwanted interruptions.
  • Cook/bake something that you know well and take it to the next level. Getting creative in another discipline can inspire creativity in another.
  • Have a good cry. Go ahead, no judgement.
  • Take a nap. This is my go-to solution if washing my hair doesn’t work. I also use naps to ‘reset’ emotionally. Naps are seriously undervalued in my view.
  • Do some housework or your taxes. The act of getting a different area of your life in order and the satisfaction gained can be stimulating.

Over to you! What breaks the creative drought for you? Feel free to share your strategies in the comments below.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa Scott
    April 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Great ideas!

    • Reply
      Maz Durbin
      April 19, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you Lisa.

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