At some point in every creative person’s life, they deal with a creative block. But why do creative blocks happen?

To answer the question, there is some specific neuroscience behind what drives human creativity and what creates that block. A few of the causes of blocks include burnout, not taking enough time to find inspiration and stress.

So, when you do find yourself stuck, here are six things that can help get your artistic juices flowing again:

1. Change Your Patterns

Because the brain gets used to patterns, developing habits may kill creativity. The best way to get past this is to break those patterns. When you feel blocked, go out and take a walk or go to a local coffee shop to work for a bit.

Simply changing what you typically do can help the brain to let go and allow the creative parts of the brain to take over again.

2. Type or Draw Anything

If you’ve ever spent time in a brainstorming session, then you know the key is to throw ideas out quickly and see what sticks. Sometimes the unexpected happens. Creative pursuits work the same way.

In “The Artist’s Way,” Julia Cameron asks creative types to spend a few minutes every day in free-thought journaling. Sit and just write anything. If you can’t think of anything to write, and then write that you can’t think of anything to write. Over time, your brain will kick in, and you’ll begin to write or create things more noteworthy.

3. Travel

Visiting other locations around the world can inspire your creativity in ways you might not have imagined. A nature walk can help you tap into your inner poet, and a bus commute to the city could stimulate new ideas for a painting.

Even traveling to other areas for art can motivate your next piece. Not only can their architecture inspire you, but they may also have surprising museums or art-themed events taking place. For example, did you know that along with Beverly Hills’ rich history, they hold a huge artSHOW every year?

This goes to show that no matter where you travel, your journeys can take your creativity to a whole new level!

4. Start Over

Some artists recommend simply trashing a project you’re blocked on and starting from scratch. Set aside the first project and start fresh. Do this as many times you need to. You can always compare the different version and even piece them together into something more cohesive. At least you’ll be doing something rather than staring at a blank canvas.

5. Visit a Therapist

There are severe cases of creative block, to the point that the person feels completely unproductive and perhaps even depressed. Creative types tend to struggle with deep emotion at times. If you feel that your block has gone on for far too long or it is impacting your ability to work or have a happy life, then there is no shame in getting a good therapist and talking through the issue.

6. Stop Reading Reviews

If you stop throughout your day and read reviews of your work or see what people are posting online about you, you’re very likely to find discouragement. The online world is harsh at times, and what random people you’ve never met say shouldn’t impact who you know you are or your ability to continue producing work. Step away from social media and focus on creating and making your immediate customers happy.

Little Things Help the Creative Juices Flow

These are just a few things you can do to get your artistic juices flowing again. There are many other small things, such as listening to your favorite music, talking to a mentor or taking up a new hobby. At the end of the day, you have to find what helps shake your creative block out of position and pursue those things until you’re once again producing work at a steady pace.

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is the owner and editor of Productivity Theory, a blog about lifehacking and self-fulfillment. To read more posts by Kayla, you can subscribe to her blog or follow her on Twitter.

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