Cindy Briggs

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Cindy painting oils in Provence

What to do when you’re in a creative rut

I’ve been in a creative rut a number of times in my life – it happens to many of us. The deepest
rut I found myself in was about 20 years ago and it coincided with a bout of depression so I had a
lot of healing and work to do. I found a few things that helped in my journey and thought I’d share
some tips with you.


1.
Infuse your mind and soul with inspiration.

I recommend “The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to
Higher Creativity” by Julia Cameron. My old copy of this book is full of notes in the margins
and taped together; it truly guided me out of a big creative rut. The spiritual aspect of
creativity is a big part of who I am, by slowing down and giving it focus you can find inner
healing.
 

2. Take an artist workshop.

Try something different, it may open you up to new directions. Just being
around other artists learning something new can give you an optimistic attitude.

 

3. Step out of your normal routine.

Get out of the house and visit a museum, a gallery, shops, nature,
see something new and different. I’ve found that trips near and far open up my point-of-view.

 

4. Simplify.

Is your life getting too complicated, too busy? Have you over-scheduled yourself? A
creative person needs quiet space to feel inspired. Meditation, prayer and even a walk
outside can help calm your spirit. Simplify your life, stop trying to be everything to everyone
and delete unnecessary items from your schedule.

 

5. Just create.

Sometimes we feel stuck and you just have to get in there, make mistakes and get
messy. I’ve recognized over the years, that some of my greatest advancements have come
after feeling stuck. Schedule time on your calendar for creativity, make it a priority instead of
just fitting it in.
 

6. Surround yourself with positivity.

Sometimes it helps to talk to a therapist and/or someone who
has been through it too. Avoid negativity and see out people who are optimistic and
encouraging. You can get to the other side of this and become even stronger and more
creative.
 

7. Celebrate.

Every time I create I celebrate that I made the effort. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.
Maybe my little sketch or painting is a step towards one of my best paintings.
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