Standing your ground (or sitting your seat) and persevering to create when you’re feeling uninspired do have their merit. I know a lot of the stuff I make only happen because I did just that. If you only create when you’re feeling ‘in the zone’ you won’t produce much. But there are times when however hard you try (and try again), you don’t like what you see. In such cases, there are some questions you might need to ask yourself.
- How is your digestion?
I got this one from the book ‘Eat Pray Love’. For me, being creative is very much like meditation: we try to tune in to the universe and channel whatever it’s trying to manifest through us. Our digestion, being our physical centre and core, needs to be well if we are to attempt any sort of creative enlightenment. So check if you really need to be sitting somewhere else and take care of business (and clear your, um, channel) before giving your work another shot.
- How are you looking?
I confirmed this one when I read the book ‘Big Magic’, also by Elizabeth Gilbert. Sometimes we just need to freshen up a little bit. No one can deny that you can get work done in your pyjamas, hair unwashed and teeth unbrushed – but if inspiration does not come, maybe it’s time for a shower. Aside from cooling your head, pimping yourself up sends the right message for inspiration to flutter by. Aside from that, you should also consider how your work space is looking. It never hurts to tidy up your desk – organising your space is sure to do the same to your mind. If nothing else, it takes you out of your head to your body, which brings us to the next question.
- Is it time to workout?
Being creative is about being in the now. You know how in the movies people would perform some kind of physical activity to cure heartaches or stress? That’s because it’s a good way to release tension and take yourself out of your head, and it works. Physical exercise, whether cleaning your workspace or hitting the gym, helps to create space between you and your work. You’ll be amazed at how often a new perspective comes during your workout.
If you have taken care of your tummy, spruced up your looks and run the mile but still hit a creative block, consider a creative holiday. You don’t have to actually go to a vacation spot, but just rest, take a break from your work. Don’t touch it, don’t think about it. Even do something else that you like, would like to try, or don’t usually do: cooking, writing, singing, whatever. When you are refreshed, I think you’ll find that inspiration is already waiting for you to get to work. I hope you’ll do so gladly.