Overcoming Creative Block

We all know that I love a lil mental health talk now and again on Ethical Unicorn. I believe our mental health, and ability to practice self care, is vital when it comes to trying to do this ethical living thing right without getting overwhelmed. So when I saw this post on one of my favourite lil blogs, Into The Fort, I just had to ask to share it. I’ve known the creative cuties behind Into The Fort (Yee Ting and Ben) for around five years now, and you can find them adventuring around Hong Kong and talking about a variety of creative and timely topics. I just love their eclectic corner of the internet!

Although this post talks about creative block, I think it can basically be applied to any kind of life block or time you feel close to burn out, hope it helps you.

Below are YT’s words…

Creative block is a real thing. My first knowledge of it was when Kiki’s artist friend Ursula pay her a surprise visit in the anime Kiki’s Delivery ( 魔女の宅急便 ).  Sometimes when under pressure or overworked, the creative muscle stiffens. Or, in an other case, that Imposter Syndrome (here is an article on it by 99U) kicks in, self-doubting everything we do. For the last two weeks I have experienced both, hence the inconsistency in posting on Instagram and many sluggish days in bed. Things started to turn around when I decided to do something about it by mainly, doing nothing (laugh cry). Here is what I mean by doing nothing but still making progress:

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Procrastinate – (do what you really wanted to do, that is not work)
First off, to clear procrastination’s name, it’s not as bad as you think it is. In moderation, it actually helps with creative thinking. Putting things you need to do off doesn’t mean you are not thinking about it. Giving your mind some space, occupying yourself with cleaning and organising, watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls or whatever you wanted to do but work, just do it. That spark, that trigger for creative ideas will come to you at the oddest time and place, usually when you are doing completely unrelated things. Research loosely based on this book: Smile in the Mind

Take a walk
In ancient times many philosophers and writers were known for taking long walks; in modern times many tycoons and investors conduct their meetings while walking through busy streets. There is something about the ever changing scenery, it keeps your brain from snoozing.

Hang out with friends
Walk and talk, West Wing style. Sometimes all you need to get unstuck is someone to give you a fresh viewpoint. The ‘let me talk you through’ part alone, may already land you somewhere further than slouching in your office chair. If you and your friend enjoy spending time in compatible silence, that’s cool, too.  Either way, it will help.

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Do something different
As much as I love routine, sometimes switching it up gives you the jump start in creativity. The key is to do something you’ve been thinking about doing, but never get around doing it. Something as radical as dyeing your hair, getting a new desk or going on a trip or as little as having green tea instead of coffee, cutting out sugar.. anything different that will give your brain a little stir!

Push through it
While doing everything I mentioned above, most importantly, don’t get out of the habit of creating. Even if you don’t like what you did, just keep at it. You don’t have to keep all the scrap, treat it as stretching, warming up for the masterpiece. Keep evaluating, don’t let anything blur your vision for the gem you are about to carve.

Thanks YT! Hope this helps some of you today.

Until next time, stay magic y’all.

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