Let’s Get Personal About Creative Ruts
This topic has been trending in my DMS a ton recently so I thought it was important I share my own experiences with creative ruts-it was burning inside me so much so that I scrapped my old blog post to write this one. While I spend a lot of time sharing things like this on IG, I feel this deserves a home on my website.
A few of my biggest creative ruts to date happened during pivotal moments in my life- One time was after my first podcast ended abruptly, which left me feeling used, lost and pretty confused. For a while after this I had a very sour taste in my mouth about how I was treated and it unknowingly bled into the work I was doing. Honestly, I was sad and discouraged and truly felt like shutting the door on my own business entirely. When there is a betrayal like that in life it can be hard to see straight hence the creative rut. Another time was while I was pregnant/after my Daughter was born. Now this one was a completely different situation because YAY! I was pregnant, felt great and was honestly just enjoying everything about the experience. So much so that I didn’t care about work—-enter creative rut #2.
Owning a business and being expected to be ON and creative and also the brains and mastermind, accountant, assistant etc etc is exhausting. Add in life changes, growth and development, family stuff and a million other things and it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll fall into a creative rut. I’m here to tell you it’s NORMAL and it’s OK for this to happen. I want to share what has helped me overcome these times and will spare you the “look at Pinterest” tip. I want you to dig a little deeper than that to get out of these creative ruts and even set yourself up for success for the next one because there will be a next one. It’s not about snapping out of it, it’s about accepting, acknowledging, changing and growing.
If you’ve been burned in business or betrayed by someone you work with. The only thing that helps is time and space. Remember why you were in business in the first place. Get back to you! I’d say don’t let it affect what you’re creating but you’re not a robot so feel all the feels. Blocking on social also helps;)
Creative rut since kids? I’ve been there and again—time and grace and restructuring your business for this new version of yourself post kids will help get you back to a creative space You can feel good in. Below are some other things that have really helped me, too.
1. Step outside yourself: We become so self involved as business owners that it can be hard to see anything or anyone else. We then fall into these dark and lonely traps and can’t get out. So, when I say step outside yourself I mean go focus on something and someone else. Focus on serving others (like your clients) or family and friends.
2. Lean into the creative ruts: by accepting that they come and allowing yourself to be in them you will snap out of them more quickly. The more I would obsess about my lack of creativity, the less creative I would be. Now I know myself better and I know that a few times a month I feel blah about what I’m creating.
3. Get to know yourself: I now know that at least a few times a month I feel like I’m creating trash and the rest of the time it takes me until Tuesday to go full speed ahead. I then go, go, go and then usually hit a wall 😂. This used to freak me out but as I’ve gotten older I know who I am and how my brain works. I go with the ebbs and flows more easily and have also learned to stabilize those ebbs and flows based on past experiences and patterns.
4. Make a list: write down exactly what is making you feel blah and write down what you want to do more of and what usually helps you get inspired and creative. Lists save me and you can hold onto it for the next time you’re in a slump.
5. Do something different and new: I love finding new places to explore, things to research, books to read and products to test. Doing things that have nothing to do with my own industry and finding things that spark creativity within me always help me out of a slump. I recently got so sick of my own office space that I went to a beautiful workspace in West Hollywood called The Wing and hung out there for the day. I needed to do something different, to meet new people and explore outside my typical routine.
6. Lean into the things that inspire you. Do more of the parts of your business you really love. I always tell my consulting clients (book a call with me and I can help you get out of this rut!) that this is your business and you can do with it what you want. You can change your logo, your services, your colors, the decor, what you post about at any time. You are in control of it all even the creative ruts! Let go, lean in and get back to what you love.
Lastly! Don’t compare your creativity to someone else’s. We all have different home lives, schedules, capabilities, incomes and resources to create so it’s not a one size fits all.
For more on this topic, check out the latest episode of the podcast here or on Apple, Spotify, or Anchor. If you feel like you might need additional help with your business and creative strategizing, book time with me here.