6 Reasons Why You May Be Experiencing a Creative Block

A person's head wrapped in aluminium foil which indicates a creative block
Photo by Vinicius Amano on Unsplash

We are all creative humans, and we are each talented in a unique way. Whether it’s painting, writing, or baking, there is a craft for every one of us. But sometimes our creative voice can get shushed until we can hardly hear it anymore. If you’re experiencing a creative block, it might be because of one (or more) of the following reasons:


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1. Your Internal Dialogue Is too Loud

When I first started this blog, I was afraid nobody would read what I write. There was a voice in my head that kept saying “Who are you to write about this?” Or “This isn’t good enough.” Since English wasn’t my first language, I was afraid my posts wouldn’t sound native speaker enough. But I started my blog anyway, and I’m SO glad I did. The more I worked on my writing, the more confident I became.

In order to unleash your creative self, you have to be willing to quiet your internal dialogue. Sometimes our thoughts can be our worst enemy, and we need to learn how to control them rather than letting them control us.

2. You Don’t Listen to The Signs

Have you ever come up with a creative idea, only to soon afterwards hear something related to that topic on the TV? Well, this could very well mean you’re aligned with your creative side and need to take action! The signs could come in the form of an article or a podcast, or even through someone bringing it to a conversation.

Whenever I have a blog post idea, I write it down in my notebook. And often, it will keep presenting itself to me to the point in which I have no choice other than to bring that idea to life.

In her book Life Without Envy, Camille DeAngelis talks about how Plato stated that ideas are basically free agents hanging out in the ether and that sometimes they tap us on the shoulder, and it’s up to us to see them through.

So pay attention to the signs, and listen to the voice that is telling you to start that project you’ve been wanting to start. Whatever it is that your creative side is craving, give yourself permission to do it!

3. You Are a Perfectionist

Another way we block our creativity is by striving for perfection. Many great ideas never come to life because we think they’re not good enough.

Whenever I feel I’m in my perfectionist shell, I read this quote by Natalie Goldberg, and it instantly sets me free.

Natalie Golberg quote on writing

So I encourage you to feel the same way when it comes to your art. Give yourself permission to create the worst junk in the world, and to create for the sake of creating. When we lower our standards a little bit, we’re able to see the beauty that already exists in what we do.

When we lower our standards a little bit, we’re able to see the beauty that already exists in what we do. Click To Tweet

4. You’re Waiting for The Right Time

Another thing that keeps us from creating is the idea that we need to wait for the right time. “When I have my own office”, “once I quit my day job”, or “when I buy a new camera” are only excuses.

It will never be the right time, and conditions will never be perfect. The future isn’t promised to anyone, so you might want to start creating now because now is all we have. Make it count today, and stop delaying your dreams and creative ideas!

5. You’re Distracted

If you’re going through a creative block, it could also be because of distraction. Maybe you’re distracted by what others are doing. Maybe you’re distracted by social media or the clutter around you. This is perhaps the most difficult obstacle to tackle, but if you start identifying your distractions, you can minimize them, and eventually eliminate them.

Whenever I want to create something, I first set the intention for it. I work at a desk that is clear of distractions, put my mobile phone on airplane mode, and start making art. Creativity is at its best when you’re in the flow. And in order to get those creative juices flowing, you have to honor the creative process by shutting down all distractions.

6. You Think Someone Else Is Already Doing It

Out of all the reasons mentioned in this post, please don’t let this be a reason for not creating. Imagine if your favorite singer would stop making songs just because he thinks others are already making music. Or if your favorite author would stop writing books just because he thinks there are other authors writing better books. It would be silly, and sad! Each of us has a unique way to deliver, a unique style. And there’s plenty to go around for everyone!

Like Elizabeth Gilbert said in Big Magic:

“It might have been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you!”

 

So are you up for creating something new? Let me know in the comments how are you unblocking your creativity.

 

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Author: Jessica Araus

Jessica Araus is a mixed media artist and illustrator living in the Netherlands.

8 Replies to “6 Reasons Why You May Be Experiencing a Creative Block

  1. Great post! I have definitely blocked myself in all of these ways at one time or another. Love the quote. If we just give ourselves permission to just start. Take a baby step and create for the sake of creating, we’d make it easier on ourselves and the world more beautiful as a result. ❤️

    1. I’m glad you liked the post Yvon! Yes, I agree with you. If we’d give permission to start creating the world would be just more beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. <3

  2. Great post! Sometimes I think roadblocks can be overcomplicated, when in reality its about taking the plunge and being confident in yourself! Way to call out us sabotaging ourselves!

  3. I fully believe that everyone is creative in some way, the only defining difference is whether you’ve found what speaks to you and if you’re allowing yourself to run with it!

    1. I love this Britt! I too believe that everyone is creative. Creativity is part of our character strengths. Some just haven’t allowed that part of them to shine, or haven’t discovered it yet. But we all get to experience it. Thanks for reading!

  4. I love these tips! I have the problem of not thinking I’m good enough to do what I currently do for a living. Mostly because I have a bad boss. I’m ready to move forward on upwork and these tips have really inspired me.

    1. Good for you Holly! Changes always bring a sense of freshness into our lives. I love Upwork! I use it for both hiring and offering my freelance services. You’ll do great! I am happy this blog post has inspired you. 🙂 Thank you for reading.

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