Overcoming Creative Block

What do you do when you face a creativity block - When you can’t come up with anything creative and you’re frustrated with yourself?
— @pigen_stalker (Instagram)

There are a few things.

1) I go back to my moodboard or re-read the research I’d done in the beginning to see if this sparks anything. For me being able to scan through what I collected before embarking on the project.

I often spot new observations or new information that I had overlooked or missed first time around that are now for more relevant. 

2) Walk Away - If that doesn’t spark anything, I’ll do something else. Being able to accept that you’ll have good days and bad days was huge breakthrough for me. Putting pressure on yourself to come up with a solution often contributes to the block.

If it’s not going well, I’ll accept it and do something else. I usually have other projects (personal or professional) that I can work on and the break from one that I’m struggling on is always good. The irony is that by jumping onto something else not only means that I am still getting stuff done, but often a breakthrough thought comes whilst doing one of my other projects.

3) Talk it out. I often find that being able to chat with someone who isn’t as deeply involved really helps. By having to reiterate what I’m trying to achieve, it clarifies the objective in my own mind.

Quote often it’s usually a question they ask or something they say will spark something in me. A fresh opinion or alternate point of view also raises debate and more questions. This exploration through discussion is vital as I am so engrossed in the subject, I can be thinking about it whilst they are talking. I’m having an inner and outer dialogue at the same time.

4) Release my subconscious. After overthinking and being too involved with a project I try and do physical activities that occupy my conscious mind and free up my subconscious.

These typically include walking, doing the washing up, going on a journey (driving or catching a train, bus etc) hoovering or showering. The key is to not listen to a podcast or music as they block / distract your thinking. Instead just do whatever activity you wish and ponder about the project.

Don’t force it, let your mind wander as you daydream and keep a sketchbook handy to take notes!


There are many articles that go into more depth, but I wanted to keep it light and practical. These are techniques that have worked for me, but the most significant thing to remember is not to pressure yourself.

These above are all techniques that can be used to try and fire up the brain. But if they don’t work, it’s Ok. Don’t worry about it, take a break and try again later.

With creativity it can strike at anytime - 10 days or 10 mins. That’s what makes creativity such a beautiful and highly regarded quality.

If you have any questions or would like my help with anything, please leave a comment below.

Further Reading:

Thad CoxComment