You take the time to create something. Something from your creative mind. But unfortunately, you sit there, in front of this yawning emptiness and your head is completely empty. You have no idea what to do. You still know how to do it. You want to, but you just can’t. Sometimes there are no ideas, other times there is an invisible resistance that you can’t overcome. Your mind is in a creative void. And you need to get out of there.
What many creative people don’t know is that we make mistakes that can create this situation. In this article, I’ll show you four mistakes you may be making and give solutions on how to prevent these errors.
1. You haven’t started yet
Nothing comes from nothing. Often we stand in front of our work and don’t know what to do because we don’t dare to start. But what stops us from just starting something? It doesn’t have to be the finished idea we are working on. A little warm-up exercise can help us get in the mood for creative work. Start with anything! It doesn’t matter what. When you draw, draw something you see in front of you. If you don’t know what to photograph, photograph the first thing you see. Get into the flow of things, get dirty, start! Only then can the creativity come and the ideas that you need for your project.
2. You put too much pressure on yourself
Let’s face it: you haven’t started yet and you’re already worried what you’re doing won’t turn out well. Push those thoughts aside and try to see the journey of your work as the goal, not the end result itself. You are doing it because you enjoy the process, not just to see the finished product. Think of what you are doing as a thing you can learn from and improve upon.
3. You don’t experiment
Sometimes it helps to just let go and experiment. Do something you’ve never done before. May it be a new technique or a different material. Use this to find something that can enhance your normal work. This way you can start with something without putting pressure on yourself and get into the flow of working on something creative.
I once tried to draw only with brushes. In the end, I worked for over a year with a brush and learned important things that I still use in my work today.
4. You have no plan
This creative void often has something to do with the fact that we don’t know what we are doing. What exactly do we want to do and why? Create a plan for it. Are you doing this just to have fun? Then write down what exactly you enjoy doing and apply it to your work. Is it the motivation to learn something new? Then think about what exactly you need to learn and how to do it. You can also plan a whole project that can last weeks or months. That way you always have an idea of what you can do.
I’m working on a comic book in my spare time where I have almost everything planned out. I just have to execute the whole thing, so to speak. That’s why I don’t have any problems with this creative void – most of the time at least – because I know exactly what my goal is and what I have to do for it.
Try to avoid one mistake after another so that the creative void doesn’t stand a chance! Never overextend yourself and don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work out. Changes and improvements need time. Therefore take it!
If you want to read more, I can recommend the short article by Alex Mathers. He writes about a similar void and how he deals with it.