The awful thing about being a creative is that your inspiration usually comes in bouts and it can be very difficult to establish a smooth, consistent flow of content - that and the fact that we're usually paid a single penny (if anything at all) for pouring our beating heart and squishy soul onto the pavement for passersby to stare at and/or trod all over.
When our head is full of creative fodder, we'll launch ourselves wholeheartedly into and idea or project. We get caught up in the rush of our own brilliance because that feeling of following through on a single speck of an idea and moulding it into something tangible is like heroin to the veins.
But, like any drug, the come down is a real bitch. When you've got nothing but empty space in your imagination, it's terribly easy to start telling yourself that you're not good enough. People expect a certain level/amount of work from us and as soon as we're not delivering on those expectations, we think of ourselves as un-talented, un-inspired sacks of flesh, moping around in our normcore culottes.
That, of course, is completely untrue and yet it seems to be the easiest conclusion to draw when in actual fact what's most likely happening is that our creative tank is running on empty. You wouldn't jump into your car and venture out on a five hour journey without first pumping your car up with petrol. The same goes for being a creative being. You've got to find your fuel and re-fill regularly.
"We get caught up in the rush of our own brilliance because that feeling of following through on a single speck of an idea and moulding it into something tangible is like heroin to the veins."
I've had writers block for about three weeks now. My fuel comes in different forms. Sometimes all I need is a walk around the city at dusk to get the juices flowing, other times I'll indulge my soul in an interesting podcast and often I'll just have to write an article about feeling creatively blocked. Writing this article was my first step in the right direction. I'm writing this for my benefit, not for your enjoyment, but hey, you're still reading, so I must be doing something right...or maybe you're on the toilet?
Perhaps you haven’t yet figured out how to best fill your insides up with ideas. Here are a few friendly suggestions if that’s the case:
Put one sock on and wait until it warms up your foot so you can appreciate the cosiness that one of your feet is experiencing, then put the second sock on
Take a hot, steamy bath
Make yourself some popcorn
Put on a fresh pair of underwear
Listen to your favourite song on repeat while you take a stroll around the block
Write a list of all the places that you’d like to have sex
Scroll through your own Instagram feed
Buy a fun magazine
Watch this video
Read a chapter from your favourite book
Write a clever poem on a bathroom wall
Clean your work space
Masturbate for a while
These are just a few suggestions that might help you to charge your battery a little and get your groove back. At the very least, you have to want to do the thing that you’re trying to do. There’s no point in trying to be a successful painter, writer or musician if you’re not in love with your chosen platform. You don’t have to be the best, you don’t always have to get it right, but you have to want it to do it, at least 85% of the time, anyway.
Kate Neilson is a list-maker and a booty-shaker. She is the creator of Twenty Something Humans and can be lurked @katiepotatierose.