As entrepreneurs, we are constantly coming up with new ideas. For many of us, it’s pretty natural. Not only that, but the more we do it the easier it becomes. That is, until you wake up one day and you are in a creativity slump. Gone. Poof. The muse took a vacation and forgot to give you notice.
Your business doesn’t run itself though, so you try your best to to keep things going, even though there’s no creative spirit left in your body.
Then, of course, comes the worst part of a creative slump. That moment when the creative starts doubting their ability to do something that always came naturally.
Recently during my own creative slump, I found myself asking, “How many more ways can I possibly talk about getting out of debt? What else is there to say about student loans? Or starting an online business? Haven’t I covered everything already?”
I was over it. I doubted my work, I doubted my talents, and, worst of all, I started doubting myself.
Fortunately, I was able to get out of my creative slump, and you can do the same by trying the following steps:
I made it a point to get out of my bubble
Sometimes the best way to overcome a creative slump is to get out of your own bubble.
Here’s what I mean. I eat, sleep and breathe finance. A ton of my friends also work in finance and are just as nerdy about money as I am. Most of the people I interact with regularly run their own businesses and we talk money all the time.
This causes me to forget what other people go through in their financial lives because, at this point, I just assume people finally get it. The reality is its people in my circle who get it.
So what did I do? I got out of my circle. And I didn’t do it with the intention of looking for story ideas. I did it just to have some fun.
I went to art shows and food pop-ups. I made new friends who worked in completely different industries and helped give me a new perspective on things. The truth is I was a busy bee in December and almost none of it had to do with my work in finance.
Go have some fun
To piggy back off of the last point, sometimes we get into creative slumps because we’ve been working way too hard and desperately need a break.
I’m no stranger to working myself to the bone, and while it worked for a while, it’s no longer doing it for me. Not only am I cranky when I do that, but I notice my creativity slipping when the burnout starts setting in.
Rather than fighting the fact that I was in a creative slump most of December, I took advantage of it and took a well deserved break.
I was out socializing most of the month at holiday parties and took the last couple of weeks of the year off to regroup. I succumbed to my wanderlust and took the time to finally book some trips I’ve been meaning to take. I even had a couple of days where I did nothing other than watch Netflix in bed.
I never would have done this a couple of years ago, but now I realize it’s a necessity if I’m to keep being creative for a living. In fact, I’m now adding days like this to my calendar on a regular basis in an effort to avoid getting into another creative slump.
Find a journal STAT
When I was going through my last creative slump in my business, I realized it was because I was very distracted by a couple of things going on in my personal life.
Since I’m creative by nature, I tend to deal with stuff by writing. That’s actually how blogging turned into my career – by writing about my financial triumphs, misadventures and feelings.
However, I don’t really publicly write about what goes on in my personal life outside of business and money. Nor would I. However, I still need an outlet, so I bought a journal and started writing. This helped me get grounded so I could go back to focusing on my work.
Creative slumps in your business happen. It’s a natural part of the process. The good news is eventually they go away, and you can always help it along by incorporating some of these ideas the next time you find yourself in a creative slump.