How To Escape A Creative Rut

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If you’re reading this, you already know what a creative rut feels like, so I won’t go into defining it. What none of you busy folk have got time for is that. But I thought it might be helpful to outline something that contributes to the debilitating block that us creatives are all too familiar with. While there are a number of factors that contribute to getting a little stuck creatively, I’ve found this one has for me, been a major drain on creative thinking.

Intellectual Stagnation.

It’s when you’ve stopped learning and fall into the motions of applying what you already know. It’s insidious and difficult to detect. In fact, sometimes you don’t even realize you have reached a point of stagnation in your craft until after you have conquered it. At least, that’s what happened to me recently.

When I first started editing videos, I would easily lose track of time sitting at my work desk. It was easy to forget mortal coils like food, water, and showers. Like, what are nutrition, hydration, and hygiene in the face of footage to cut? That’s how much I loved to edit. But lately, I started to find it extremely tedious. I had a backlog of videos to edit and I didn’t want to be anywhere near them. I simply did not want to edit. But unless I wished for a slew of angry, impatient clients breathing down your neck, not editing was not an option. I had to fight through it. And to help do that, I resorted to an old, trusted friend; YouTube.

What started out as a struggle to cut through my creative rut led to viewing video after video of creative editing techniques. I decided to try out the techniques I was learning and just like that, the excitement for video editing returned. Shout out to Peter McKinnon! – who runs one of the most helpful YouTube channels for filmmakers and photographers.

So I’ve learned that an effective way to escape a creative rut is to do something different. “Different” can manifest itself in a number of ways. Here are a few ideas that might help get you started.

  • Learn A New Technique: There are always new ways to execute old tasks.
  • Take a Road Trip: You can best take in the sights when you travel by road.
  • Collaborate With Another Creative: Let someone else’s creativity rub off on you.
  • Clear Your Workspace: Decluttering your physical surrounding helps declutter your mind.

If any of this works for you like they did for me, I’d like to hear from you. How do you deal with your creative blocks? Share your experiences in the comments.

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