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Recharge your creative battery.
5 Simple ways to shake off creative fatigue.
Keeping it short and sweet this week with a few tips to get you out of a creative rut.
Ever have one of those days or weeks where creating seems nearly impossible? Just looking at the blank page/screen seems to cause physical discomfort? Creative fatigue generally affects me differently than normal fatigue. It doesn’t necessarily come when I am at my most tired and worn out, although that doesn’t help the situation. Mostly creative fatigue comes from too much repetition. Performing the same creative task over and over. But what if it’s your job to be creative? Then you have to come up with new ways to recharge your creative battery.
Define whether you have creative fatigue or you are simply suffering from burnout. These two things can have different causes and therefore different ways to remedy them. Burnout is more severe and most likely the result of multiple factors, including being generally overworked, overtired, and suffering from too much stress and anxiety. The fix for burnout might be different than the advice I have found to work for creative fatigue. Although some of these tips may help with both. If you are suffering from burnout the best thing to do might be to fully disconnect for a time. Take a vacation if you can, or just take time off of work. Use mental health days if you have them.
Having a strict schedule of when you are expected to create can lead to fatigue. As it puts extra pressure on you to create. This can make it more stressful and can change the way you think about creating. Changing it from something you get to do, to something you have to do. Obligations are always less enjoyable than things we choose for ourselves. So flexibility is key to avoiding creative fatigue. As creatives, we are incredibly blessed to have a job that lets us use our expression on a daily basis. Given this, it can be challenging when we run into creative fatigue. Here are a few ways I have found to combat this.
Limit the tools you use to create. Necessity breeds innovation. In the same way, creating constraints for yourself will help you find new and meaningful ways to approach and solve creative problems. You may find an exciting new way of creating, that can lead to a more fulfilling experience. It will also interrupt your routine, breaking the monotony of your process.
Change your view.
An easy and effective way to boost your creative energy is a change of scenery. Changing the location where you create can give you new inspiration. It's like taking a breath of fresh air when you have been indoors for days. It just feels good to have a change of scenery sometimes and that will come through in your process.
Create something different.
Find an alternative to create that is not your normal job or the normal creative endeavor that has you feeling fatigued. Try creating music, gardening or baking. These each require a different skillset that is easy to pick up but difficult to master. You will find that using a separate part of your brain to accomplish these tasks will recharge your other creative energies.
It seems like this is the fix-all advice, but it really does help with many mental issues. It also gives your mind a break, where you don’t have to focus on creating. It can be very meditative. You might find that not only is your body recharged but your mind is as well. Exercise can also boost your overall mood by releasing endorphins, which can help lift you out of a creative rut.
Take a break.
Taking a break from creating is sometimes the best solution to help get past creative fatigue. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. This rings true with creating as well. A self-imposed break from creating can do wonders. Even if you love what you are doing, taking a break will help keep you sane and fuel your next creative pursuits.
Hope this helps you if are feeling stuck!
Here is a good thing to read this week.
Rare Thoughts on Writing From Cormac McCarthy in This Unlikely Interview It Only Took Two Arizona High School Students to Get Answers From the Legendarily Reclusive Author. By Murray Carpenter