How To Break Your Creative Blocks

Are you stuck in a creative block? Do all your efforts seem to be going absolutely nowhere right now? If so, here are some ways that you might be able to get through it and get your projects back on track!

Table of Contents

Make a bullet list of what needs to happen or be shown.

If you've got the basics of what you need to establish or have happen more or less figured out, make a bullet list that lays it all out in order. Don't worry if you have a few blank spots - if you end up with them, you can later look at your list and ask yourself, "all right, now what can I put in here that will progress the point before here to the one after it?"

Explain what it is you're trying to accomplish out loud.

If you have a general idea of where you're going but you're having a hard time figuring out how to get there, stop and explain what it is you're trying to do out loud, as if you were trying to explain the problem to someone else. (You can even use a toy or figurine for this, if you have one available.) Here are a few examples of what you might need to go over:

Do this, and you'll often find that the solutions to your problems will quickly present themselves.

Write down everything you can think of.

You might also stop and relax for a moment and let your imagination flow free. Write down everything that comes to you, as it comes, no matter how silly or ridiculous it seems. When you're done, look at what you've got. Maybe a few things are totally unworkable and can be discarded immediately, but maybe there's something that could have potential if it was tweaked and polished a little. Or maybe you'll get really lucky and find the perfect idea lying right there for you.

Muscle on through it.

Are you having a hard time trying to figure out how to make everything in your head coalesce into something nice, pretty, and coherent? Stop trying to do that and just start writing the best you can. You might find that what you get out isn't even all that bad - and if it is, well, that's what editing is for. If you're having trouble making something coherently convey what you need it to, try writing it out in as many ways as you can think of - even if they're all terrible. You'll often find that you can take these flawed attempts and refine them into something that actually does work.

Do something new and/or different.

Work on another project for awhile. Take a walk Go check out something in a genre you haven't really explored before. Find some new people to talk to, such as in a community on the Internet you've never been in. Spend a few days, maybe even a few weeks, studying a subject you don't know all that much about. Try taking up a new skill, if it's possible. Read or watch a few how-tos online. Go someplace you've never been before, even if it's just in your own area.

If one thing doesn't work out for you, do not give up - keep on trying and checking out new things until you find something that clicks.

Put unneeded stressors away for awhile.

This can potentially mean tuning out from news outlets or from social media where you're constantly barraged by scandal and outrage and sensationalist Chicken Little-esque headlines. Although you might feel like you need to keep abreast of every bad thing happening out there in the world or else you're failing somehow, the reality is that knowledge you have is only as good as what you can do about or with it, and for the vast majority of bad things out there, there's nothing you can do. And for the remainder you can do something about, you'll be more effective without unneeded stress bagging you down!

Putting away stressors can also mean letting go of certain hobbies or activities for awhile. Maybe there's a show you watch that frustrates you for a few reasons - stop watching it. Maybe your roleplaying game is contributing to your stress - take a break from it. Maybe you're too focused on what you can't do in your life right now - try focusing on what you can do instead. Look at what you have around you and what resources are available to you, and ask yourself what you could do with it.

Once you put the negativity away, you might find yourself feeling a little lost and disoriented - after all, these were probably things that you used to occupy your time with. For this problem, refer to the last tip - do something new and different. Another thing you might do is try and focus on something more positive. Maybe look at nice photos for awhile, or check out some sites that focus on positive news. Maybe start researching strategies for for dealing with stress, or watch some relaxation videos on YouTube. If one thing doesn't work out for you, try another.

Keep this up for at least several days - don't just do this for a single evening or weekend and call it done. It might even take a few weeks for this to work. And remember, even if you can't remove every single stressor in your life, getting rid of even a few can still make a huge difference.

In summary!

Also take a look at:

"Help! I Need Ideas For My Story/Setting/Character!" - How To Get Ideas For Yourself!
Reasons Your Story Might Be Stuck - And How To Fix It
"Is This A Good Idea For My Story/Setting/Character?" - How To Answer This For Yourself!
Universal Creative Tips For Everything & Everyone
Borrowing & Sharing Ideas In Fiction - When It's Okay, And When It Isn't
How To Recognize Bad Creative Mentors

What To Do When You Have A Character, But No Plot
Writing Better Prompts, Starters, & Beginnings: A Few Pointers
On Plot Structure & Plotting
Setting Rules & Limitations In Your World: Why & How You Need To Do This

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