As an artist, you’ve probably had a lot of natural creativity for years. It’s what drives most musicians to write new songs, and melodies, and to come up with unique ideas that help them stand out.
However, no one is immune to creative blocks, especially when you’ve been working on your craft for a long time.
When you’re trying to consistently put out new music, it’s important to find ways to overcome those creative blocks and cope with stagnancy. Having strategies that will help you climb out of your creative rut will ensure you make deadlines and don’t disappoint the people you’re working with.
Of course, while there might be plenty of ways to cope, some are healthier than others. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to deal with creative stagnancy, and how you can tap into your imagination once more to keep creating the best music possible.
Making Time for Self-Care
When you’re a musician relying on self-promotion to keep your career going, it’s easy to fall into the “hustle” mindset. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you’re striking a healthy balance between hustling and prioritizing self-care.
No, self-care isn’t selfish. No, it doesn’t mean you’re lazy. It also doesn’t have to be anything lavish, luxurious, or expensive.
Instead, self-care is about doing something every day that benefits your physical and/or mental well-being. Some of the easiest ways to incorporate self-care into your daily routine include:
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing proper hygiene
- Maintaining positive relationships
- Practicing mindfulness
It’s also essential to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. That might not seem very “rockstar”, but you’re going to burn out quickly if you aren’t taking frequent breaks and giving your mind and body the rest they need. Studies have shown that taking a break can actually boost your productivity, so don’t be afraid to stop working on a project and get some rest. You might be surprised when you come back to it later how much easier it is to see things from a fresh perspective.
Different self-care habits can also give you a much-needed energy boost. When you’re feeling tired and sluggish, you’re going to be less productive and creative. Some of the healthiest ways to boost your energy include drinking enough water, cutting back on caffeine, and eating foods that can give you a boost, including bananas, oatmeal, yogurt, and eggs.
Spend Time with the Right People
Don’t try to be one of those musicians who lock themselves away for an intense writing session. The company you keep can make a big difference in your creativity levels, especially if you’re starting to feel like you’re in a slump.
Spending time with people you love is a natural way to improve your mood and help you relax. Research has shown that friends and family are good for your health for a variety of reasons, including coping with stress and improving your psychological well-being.
Plus, when you spend time with like-minded creative people, you can bounce ideas off of each other. They might say something that sparks a new idea for you, or they can help you more directly by giving you advice on a new song or lyrics.
You shouldn’t be focused on “work”. Take time to relax with the people you love and maintain a sense of positivity in those relationships without putting additional pressure on yourself.
Change Your Scene, Change Your Perspective
Sometimes, all it takes to get out of a creative slump is a change of scenery. That’s especially true if you’ve been “stuck” in a small studio, bus, van, or apartment for a while.
Changing your scene can help to change your perspective on things, so consider going to places that make you feel most alive and get your creative juices flowing. Head to a concert of a band you love, or a band you’ve never heard of. Go to a local park and “people watch” for a while as you enjoy the fresh air. Simply being in nature can reduce your stress and help you feel more creative, so the more you can do outdoors, the better.
Even if you don’t have a lot of free time to spare, consider going to a nearby coffee shop and taking in the atmosphere. You’ll see people from all walks of life, and experience a variety of sights, sounds, and smells. You never know what might trigger something in your brain that allows you to break out of your creative stagnancy.
While it’s not always easy for a musician to take a lot of breaks or prioritize anything other than writing and creating, you should view it as a necessity. Even when music is your life, it’s important to find other things to fill your time with so you don’t burn out or get into a creative slump. If you don’t prioritize self-care and your overall well-being, you could end up resenting your musical career. Instead, focus on striking the right balance. You’ll be happier, healthier, and you’ll find it easier to cope with creative stagnancy.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
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