You know that feeling – your crafty energy is taking a nosedive and you can’t even stand to look at a paintbrush or a crochet hook. What’s worse is when you have a deadline looming or a great opportunity that is beating down your door. You don’t know if this feeling will last an hour, a day, or a week. I know the feeling, and it sucks. But, being someone who feels this about 20 times a day, I’ve got some tips on climbing out of that creative rut and getting back to your badass self.
I get a major case of crocheter’s block right around the holiday season every year. I become like a factory – I’m constantly making the same things for online orders or craft markets. After the 50th Trenta Pom Beanie my maker brain politely grabs her purse and goes out on vacation. I have zero motivation and I get way down on myself.
But the show must go on! I love my craft and know that my periodic maker ruts can’t go on forever. I’ve found 6 foolproof ways to reignite my creative fire.
1// Accomplish a Little Win
You ever notice how little wins throughout the day can make you feel so accomplished? Honestly, if I’m out of my pajamas with my teeth brushed by 11am, I’m a certified rockstar. Try that with your craft – pick a small project that you can complete quickly to put the wind back in your sails. Or make some progress on a forever project that’s been sitting in your WIP pile for ages. Finding little ways to accomplish something can stimulate you to go for the bigger projects.
2// Search for Your Inspiration
Feel like you’re playing hide-and-seek with your inspiration? You gotta find it, honey! Think of some intentional ways you can find inspiration. If you’re stuck on the couch, browse sites like Pinterest and Ravelry. If you can make it out the house, drop by a museum or art installation. Visit a lecture or take a class. Engage your creative brain through seeing and doing.
3// Call Your Girlfriend
No really, call your friends. Make a maker date and do your craft together (all the better if there’s a little wine involved…).Use this opportunity to draw creative energy from the people in your life that motivate and inspire you. Tell them about your maker rut and solicit their advice. If your friends are anything like mine, they know you so well and have an idea of how to get you back to your old self.
4// Step Outside Your Medium
You know what really makes me want to crochet? Cross stitching. Call me crazy, but my brain starts buzzing with ideas while I work through those meditative little X’s. If your current craft isn’t inspiring you, try another one. Between YouTube and Pinterest, you can become a pro at anything in about 20 minutes. Pick something off your crafty bucket list and give it a go.
5// Challenge Yourself
If making decisions for yourself is too hard right now, let someone else do it. Joining a multiple-day online event can help get your creative juices flowing. I’m a huge fan of Instagram photo challenges and use them as a catalyst to help me develop my content. If IG isn’t your thing, try a crochet along or a knit along, where people from around the world gather online to make a project together. Share your progress and engage with others around the craft you love.
6// Take a Legit Break
Sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing at all. If you’re feeling exhausted or overwhelmed, your creative rut might be your brain asking for a timeout. You can’t pour from an empty cup (a hard-learned lesson from my IG maker bae, Melissa). Take some time away from creating in general and let yourself reset. Go on a vacation or just go on a walk. My personal escape is binge watching Homicide Hunter, but we all have our quirks, right?
When it’s all said and done, creative blocks are temporary. Even though you’re in a bit of a funk right now, you’re still a badass maker. You’ve got infinite potential, but sometimes you need to shake things up to see that. Be kind to yourself and your maker spirit will come back to you, I promise.
If you ever need 1000+ friends to remind you how good of a job you are doing, join my Facebook group, TLYC Makers. They’ll cheer you up in no time.
Quick projects for those little wins: