3 Ways To Support Yourself During a Creative Block


This episode is about creative blocks. This is a big topic, a lot of people really dread the idea of a creative block - when they happen the temptation can be to immediately try to fix it, or get past it  - to solve it, all to avoid this inevitable part of the creative process. In this episode, I'm going to give you three really tangible, actionable things that you can do when you're experiencing a creative block that will, in the end, make your creative practice that much richer.


Hello there, lovely friends, it's time for another one of these mini in between episodes, I hope you're finding them useful. I really enjoy sitting down and just having a moment to talk to you directly.

And I love being in conversation with our amazing guests. And if you haven't had a chance to listen to Kimberly Gregg from last week, Ha, that was an amazing episode. For me personally, I really, it was a wake up call I needed to I needed to have that conversation, I needed to hear everything she said about how she had learned to hack her creativity and always be producing and what that did to her stress levels. And ultimately, her health at nearly cost her her life. And then what she was able to do to turn that around was I personally found that really, really useful. So if you haven't had a chance to listen to that yet, do go back and make time for Kimberly, because that was a great episode.

Today's episode, I wanted to talk to you about creative blocks. This is a big topic, a lot of people really dread the idea of a creative block. A lot of people I see a lot of people trying to fix it and transcend it and get past it and blow through it and solve it and and change it or navigate circumnavigate all these ways of sort of trying to avoid this inevitable part of the creative process. And so this episode today, I'm going to give you three really tangible actionable things that you can do when you're experiencing a creative block that will, in the end, make your creative practice that much richer.

Before we get into that I just have a few things I want to make sure you know about take a minute to remind you to join the creative genius family. It's a private Facebook group that we started a couple of weeks ago. And it's really small and intimate. And it's such a lovely way of connecting with other listeners. And we're it you'll find that it's a lot of like minded people who are really excited about being in connection with you and supporting each other. As we, you know, the whole point of what we're all trying to do is help creativity take a front and center really leading role in our lives. And so the creative genius family on Facebook is an amazing little community that's sprouting up. So to join that you have to send us a request. And you do that by going to the creative genius Facebook page, and you'll see the group there. So just send us a request, we'd be happy to let you in. And I want to take a minute to ask you humbly to consider becoming a patron of the show. It takes a lot to put together all of this beautiful content for you. And I love doing it and it's an honor. And in order for me to keep doing it, I will need some help. So head over to patreon.com/creative Genius podcast, can also find your way there from my website, Kate Shepherd creative.com. And I want to make sure you're signed up for my newsletter, because that's the golden mine of information. It's where I communicate with you about all the important stuff, give away a piece of my original art once a month, and everybody who signed up for the newsletter is entered automatically into that draw, which is awesome. I also do gratitude offerings. So every once in a while I'll launch a little collection and often with really special pricing for members first. So if you're signed up for the newsletter, you'll get a little note saying alert gratitude offerings are here, you can find out how to get to the page and see often it's 50% off and you have access to those pieces before they get published to the general public. The water lilies that I've been doing that with lately have all sold out before they've even gotten posted on Instagram publicly. So makes me really happy makes you really happy. It's a nice little thing I can do for you. And also, sometimes I'll do tutorials or extras or little worksheets or little guided meditations or just lots of little extra little bits and pieces. And those, the only real consistent way to find out about those is by being signed up for the newsletter. So I want to make sure that you are signed up for that. And you can it's all over my website, Kate Shepherd creative.com. Just, I won't spam you ever. And it's just beautiful, heartfelt, lovely content and great opportunities that I think will actually make your life that much better. So creative blocks are the bane of many artists existence, you find yourself in a beautiful creative flow state. And you just think I hope this never ends when you're turning out consistently amazing pieces. And it's almost like there's something else in the room with you doing it with you and bringing up waving a magic wand over whatever it is you're doing. And there kind of is. I mean, I think that's what creativity is the intelligence of creativity is with you. It comes through us and it's and it's here sometimes and it isn't other times. And I think so much about the creative process overall, especially creative blocks comes down to how you see it and how you're choosing to see it because we can choose to look at things in a different way. And it creates a different story in our mind about what's happening and then the meaning we make about it is different than than our experience of it is different

So I wanted to share some possible shifts that you might have, if you're somebody who struggles with creative blocks. If you find that they're happening to you all the time, if you find that they happen, not all the time, but that when they do happen, you're really uncomfortable with them and you don't you know, you want to fix them and solve them and change them and make them stop. I want to invite you to first when you're experiencing a creative block,

catch yourself having the reaction that maybe you've always had, which is oh no, or

you know, avoiding it or trying to make it not happen. And see if you can enjoy it. See if you can see this as an opportunity for rest. Because it is that is what's happening is that the creativity itself, the creative muse, creative intelligence, whatever want to call it needs a rest, you know, at the end of your day, every day, relax a little bit in the evening, maybe read, maybe hang out with the kids may hang out with your significant other, go for a walk, or whatever it is, your whole day goes by. And then you come home at the end of the day, wash your face, you brush your teeth, you get into your PJs, and you go to bed and you go to sleep, and you're not productive all the time, you're not up 24 hours a day, being a productive human being, you are sometimes in need of rest. And that is exactly what happens with creative energy and creative intelligence, it also needs to rest and it's as an artist, as a creative person that can be really frustrating when you're in the mood to create. But creativity isn't, just isn't showing up for you. And so, the first thing, the first new habit you can create is to teach yourself how to enjoy it, don't fight it, understand, and really come to appreciate that this is a natural part and a required part of actually even your deepening into your own creativity. You know, you can only kind of sort of exist at one level with creativity, if you're not letting it go through its natural cycle, if you're fighting that, and if you're kind of trying to hack it and, and make it always work for you, as Kimberly did, you know in the previous episode, so learning how to enjoy and and and enjoy the rest and see it as a rest that that is that is a really important sort of first habit that you can have that you can change. If you find yourself, oh, I can feel creative block is coming or I just can't seem to get into, okay, this is my signal, I'm going to try something new, this time, I'm going to enjoy it, I'm just going to enjoy the rest. And in that time,

you know, if you feel now that you've rested, the second thing you can do is you can start to clean your space. So you've had your creative block, you've decided to see now that it's a gift, it's an opportunity. This is a natural part of the cycle. I enjoyed it, I let myself rest. Okay, now I feel rested. And now I feel like I have some energy again, and oh, still not back yet. Where's my muse, this is a really amazing time to clean your space. So cleaning your creative space, if you have a studio or if you have a little corner of your home or a desk or whatever it is that you do your work, pull everything out and organize it and dust the surfaces and clean your tools. And you know, if you're a writer and you write on your computer, maybe this is time to do a backup, tidy up your desk. If you're a painter, and you've got an art studio, this is a great time to go through all your old brushes and find out which ones don't work anymore and organize your paints, maybe put them all on, warms and cools. And you see what I'm getting at this is an amazing opportunity for you to interact with your creative tools to be in the vicinity of creativity, creativity, adjacent fuel, but you're not forcing yourself to be doing your craft, you're but you're still really serving that Muse because it needs to and in fact, is often really inspired by a cleared space. And I often find that if I've been experiencing a creative block that's gone on for a little while. And I do this I go to my studio and I clean my space. I often can't even get through the hole all the cleaning that I want to do, because Sure enough, you know, that little part of me will wake up and go Oh, well. Oh, I haven't seen that kind of paint for a little while. I wonder. Well, yeah, I meant to do I meant to do I meant to do a little experiment with that pink and that blue that day. And I know I've totally forgot about until I just see this kind of paint here now and I'm going to I'll just sneak over here. I know I'm supposed to be cleaning my studio now. But I'll just I'll just do that right. And before I know it often there I am back in another flow state. And I wasn't trying and I think that that can be such a wonderful way to gently re approach that territory in your creative practice.

And then the other the third and last one that I wanted to suggest for you today. And there are more and and we'll talk about more in the future. But the third one I want to talk about today is just simple. The change of scenery

So with COVID, a lot of us have spent a lot more time at home lately than we maybe normally would have. And so what that means for a lot of us is that we've been looking at the same four walls a lot more than maybe we did in the past. And that can be very there can that can be the recipe for stagnancy. And so if part of the block is coming from a stagnant energy, because creativity, one of the things about creativity is that it thrives on movement, it thrives on flow, and fluidity, and, and it doesn't really enjoy stagnant energy. And so sometimes actually, a cause for your creative block isn't just that it needs a rest, it's that there's some stagnant energy that just needs to move. And so not getting a change of scenery, necessarily as like a strategic way to try to force your creative block to end. But just as a, as a wise way of moving through your life, maybe I need to do something different here. Maybe this is the time for me to go to the museum. Maybe there's a show that I wanted to see at the museum or, or maybe I just want to take myself on, you know, Julia Cameron, in the artist way talks about taking yourself out on an artist's date. So maybe this is an opportunity for you to think about something that you've always kind of wanted to do, but never really made time for, well, this could be a really good time to get yourself a change of scenery. And a change of scenery doesn't have to be a big expedition, it can simply be a walk around your block with an intention to see something you've never seen before. I took my kids out last year, when they were being homeschooled during the height of the pandemic, we entered the forest every day, that was you know, I told them, Don't worry about your schoolwork. We'll get to that. But right now it's the middle of the day, it's beautiful. Let's go hang out in the forest. And let's have an intention to see something we've never seen before. I'll tell you, every single time we went on one of those walks, we saw something epic that we've never seen before one time. It was it does. It's not usually cold enough in Vancouver where we live for there to be snow and ice. But this one day, it was cold. And so there was this beautiful frost that was actually sort of growing up out of the mud in the forest. And it looked like these crystals from Frozen, like it was just beautiful. And on that same day, all of the ice in this pond around these trees had frozen. But in this crazy formation with these concentric circles, and it looked like art, it looked like somebody had gone in there and painted the ice for lack of a better or carved or etched the ice. It was so gorgeous. And we would not have seen that if we had just stayed at home and continued on our day trying to get all the stuff done that we were supposed to get done. We only saw those things because we gave ourselves an opportunity to have a change of scene to get out of our four walls and to give ourselves some fresh new energy. And we still all remember that that one walk with that ice that was was quite a day. So I hope those three things are things that you can take into your creative studio and your creative practice, whatever it is that you do, and that they can help you navigate through the moment of a creative block. And I don't even like calling them blocks, maybe we can change the name of them. But when you're having that sort of creative downtime, rather than trying to fix it, or change it. These are things you can do to support yourself and nourish yourself and nourish that part of you that really cannot be controlled, cannot be steered can only be loved and supported. And I find that as soon as we do face it that way. As soon as we just turn to and say Ah, you need a change of scene or you need to have some movement, we need that you need to have some clear, some clear space in your space or you need to just rest I find that it's so responsive. I find that it's just it just seeing it's almost just like it says thank you, God wants us to see that that's what it needs. So I hope that's really helpful for you and useful for you and that you can come to learn to love the creative blocks, or creative downtimes your creative rest stops. And I would love to see you over in the creative genius family the Facebook page I mentioned earlier before, and do make sure that you sign up for my newsletter on Kate Shepherd creative.com There really is to so much goodness coming at you. Take care of yourself. And I'm so excited for you to hear this week's episode. I'm not going to tell you it is but it is one I have been looking forward to for months. And it's a good one. So I can't wait for you to hear that. Talk to you soon. Take care of yourself

here is another post about taking rest when you need it to support your creativity

1 comment

  • Glynis

    Just beautiful I need this thankyou ❤️❤️❤️🤗🙏

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