Five Ways of Overcoming a Creative Slump
As an artist, your most important resource is creativity. The great paradox of creativity is it can be drawn from an infinite number of places, but often feels like a finite reserve. In reality, your creative instincts need to be cultivated and protected, directed and influenced by wise, fellow creatives. Musta has compiled five pieces of advice that will bolster your creative impulses and draw you out of your slump.
1) Make connections within your field
Networking is the amorphous idea which haunts every freelancer – what is it exactly? How do you get good at it? An easy place to start is investing in local, creative spaces. According to a global survey carried out by Deskmag, 85 percent of those who work in shared spaces feel more motivated in their work. Shared workspaces are easy ways to connect with like minded creatives, but if they are not an option for you, there are countless workshops, roundtable discussions and conferences hosted in your chosen field. These may not lead to obvious career paths, but they can be chances to feel inspired by the people who share your passion and challenge your perspective.
2) Make time to enjoy the medium you are pursuing a career in
Artistic pursuits are draining, financially and emotionally, often the failure outweighs the success. It is crucial to remind yourself of what you are driven by, examining what spurred you on in the first place. If you are a filmmaker, take a trip to the cinema, if you are a musician, revisit your favourite album. Martin Scorsese doesn’t just love making film, in 1990 he created The Film Foundation, an organisation dedicated to preserving footage. “Movies are the memories of our lifetime,” he once argued, “we need to keep them alive.” Research your favourite artists and you will discover people who centre their craft, celebrate its existence and invest in the medium.
3) Set up a schedule
Organisation may seem at odds with creativity, but at its best organisation can direct creative impulses, making sense of the idea and giving it a shape. In Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way, she recommends taking a chunk of time every day to write with no particular goal in mind, a chance to unblock your mental paths. It is this kind of scheduled artistic expression that will structure your passion into something productive. As Julia argues, “creativity is in the doing not the done." - organisation will only work to facilitate that.
4) Invest in your work from home space
Creating a comfortable, dedicated workspace within your own home is an easy way to boost creativity. According to an OddsMonkey via Small Business survey from 2017, “working remotely increases productivity by 16 percent.” Establishing a setup that caters to your creative senses, that feels both peaceful and stimulating. There are countless Spotify playlists designed to manufacture calm working environments and expensive shopping lists designed to lend your work technical expertise, but really it is about making the space you work in feel like an extension of yourself.
5) Listen to the creatives around you
Surrounding yourself with people who understand the nature of your field and encourage your pursuits is crucial for any job but as a creative, it will form the basis of your career. Having a creative career can feel like encountering a series of locked doors, assembling a group of people to seek advice from, is a necessity and will embolden you to continue forward.