Last week was a long one– I found myself in a defeating creative rut. Seriously one of my least favorite things in the world. When I’m feeling flat, I’m beyond hard on myself. Which never helps grease the wheels to get back on track. By the weekend I started to feel a little better. I started listing out what was weighing on me to be constructive and then began to break down each so I could move forward.
With a little time, I eventually overcame the block and thought I’d share a few ways to sift through ruts and let go of thoughts of self-doubt.
1. Don’t overflow your plate. After I left my 9-5, my focus obviously changed drastically. What used to be maintaining consistency and using my creative outlet whenever I could, was now a pool of opportunity. Thoughts, to do lists, admin tasks, more partnerships– and although this was all so exciting and amazing for my new endeavor, everything was swimming around my mind in no order. I had to learn quickly how to better manage my thoughts and my time. I learned to not craft a daunting to-do list each day. Break tasks down hour by hour so I could implement structure. This was a huge reason for my creative block/feeling overwhelmed.
2. Don’t compare. One unexpected thing that happened when I took on my blog full-time is I started to compare myself to others. It’s something I’ve heard other bloggers discuss again and again in the past but maybe I just didn’t have the time for it when I was juggling my full-time job and site. I also have been blogging since I was in high school, at a time where blog was not a well-known word. I kept it personal and only shared with a few close friends and family… it was the purest period for my content.
Nowadays, it’s somewhat hard not to question myself at times, because the blog space is full as ever. So many extremely talented women out there. I think comparing takes the cake for killing creativity. It’s the worst thing you can do. Anytime it happens to me; I do my absolute best to eject the idea from my mind quickly. The most empowering thing you can share is your unique point of view, letting yourself compare or put down your work only holds you back. Plus, there’s room for everyone!
3. Creativity comes from within, but you can’t don’t force it. I noticed recently that I was overthinking my content much more than when this passion all began. Overthinking can sometimes kill authenticity and the natural aspect of crafting something unique. Especially Instagram in recent months, I’ve felt this weird sense of overthinking. I downloaded Instagram the day it launched– as a lover of photography, I’ve used it daily since. It’s had a profound impact on sharing my perspective and cultivating my aesthetic, but lately, I question my posts.
I mean, at this point it’s a well-known conversation, engagement has gone down and it does affect bloggers. I’ve never been one to check on my comments and likes, but when you see a major decrease, I think it’s normal to think “what am I doing wrong/differently than before”? At the end of the day, my blog is my number one platform, it’s all my own, and I can’t control other platforms, so for this… just gotta brush it off my shoulder. I like to share; I like to take photos and experiment with my camera, so I am going to go back to sharing without holding back.
4. Remember why you started. Sifting through my thoughts helped immensely because it made me realize all I need is a little reset. Remember why I started this blog, and to continue to focus on that. I’m here to bring you content with a twist, new ideas, things you have yet to discover– this is my goal for 2017.
5. Little things go a long way. Take a walk to grab a coffee you love a few neighborhoods away. Go back and visit old posts you created. Go pick up a few inspiring magazines and flip through them. Read a book! Step away from the screen and immerse yourself in nature or somewhere that makes you happy. Overall, the best thing you can do is give yourself a little extra TLC through this speed bump. You’ll feel like yourself again in no time!
Do you ever run into a creative rut? What do you do to solve this bump in the road?
I can totally relate to being in a creative rut– same here lately, friend! Your Napa trip sounds fabulous. Have a glass for me!
Throw in the craziness that is the holidays– doesn’t help much! But everything always gets better. Hope you escape your rut soon, Ash! I will most certainly have a glass (or two) for you! xx