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What is a Creative Slump?

All creatives find themselves in creative slumps. A creative block doesn't just happen to individuals who like to paint and craft. Writers, actors, woodworkers, and sculptors alike can be affected. No matter your creative medium, don't be discouraged if you find yourself in this situation. It is important to step back and evaluate what you are experiencing. Why do you think you might be having a creative block? 

A creative block can be described in many ways. For some it feels like a lack of motivation to create. Creative processes that once brought joy now feel like a chore. No new ideas or inspiration can be found. Other creatives feel gripped by fear of perfection. Another way it can be described is creative burnout.

A common misconception is that “real creatives” don't have blocks. This is a myth. It couldn't be farther from the truth. This myth is rooted in an idealized, unrealistic view of the artist. We are all imperfect beings that experience highs and lows of life. Challenge your thinking of the creative cycle. The creative process isn't meant to be a continual outpouring of inspiration and imagination. It is a cycle, or an ebb and flow of creativity versus unimagitveness. 

A creative slump can feel devastating and even crippling to a creative person. Creating is an integral part of someone’s personal identity. It is important to remember that if you are feeling a creative block,  it is ok to take a break. It doesn't mean that you are no longer a creative person. Challenge your thinking on this idea too. Taking a break isn't quitting. Taking a break for self-care is essential to recharging your creative batteries. 

The best example is after the holidays. Perhaps you spent months making quilts for family members for Christmas. Come January, you are feeling a lack of motivation and burn out. Consider stepping out of the craft room for a week. Use the time that you would normally set aside for crafting to do self-care. Don't fill that time with that to do list that has been nagging you! Doing this will have the opposite effect of working through the creative slump. Self-care can include long walks, reading, journaling, and traveling. Focus on what brings you comfort and replenishment. When you are ready to step back into the craft room, you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle your creative projects.

There is hope when experiencing a creative slump. Next week we will be continuing our discussion of creative blocks and how to work through them.

June 13, 2022 — Tamra Merrill


Michelle Allen

Michelle Allen said:

I love this article. As a designer sometimes I get into a slump. The ideas just don’t come. I focus mainly on paper crafting, but when I get into a slump I sometimes focus a little on another craft (crochet, sewing, etc) for a little bit. Other times I make other designers tutorials, such as making projects I have Craftology Box kits for. Recently, remaking one of my older projects with new papers really inspired new creativity. More often than not, doing these things snaps me out of the slump and the new ideas start up again.

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