Whether you are an artist full time or love to get creative with hobbies, we can all get “dry spells”.

You know that feeling, where you simply stare at a blank page, or work station and nothing is coming to mind.  You just managed to carve out enough time to spend on your hobby/business, and nothing is happening, which causes frustration and makes things worse.

With our busy lives it can be hard to carve out the time for creativity, and yet when we do manage to pencil some time in between work and chores, your creative muscle goes on strike.

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Did Your Creative Muscle Go on Strike?

I personally have found the busier and more stressed you are the more you need this time to yourself, but at the same time the stress and hectic day put up road blocks.  It can be a vicious cycle.

Below are 5 Ways to get That Creativity Back Again.  Even if you don’t physically do arts and crafts or hobbies, creativity helps with everyday life, including work and play and builds resilience, so don’t let it go on strike.

1. How Walking Helps Creativity

Do not discount this as a tool.  Take a walk, even out your front door.  You don’t need to get in the car and drive miles.  Simply take your time you carved out today, and put down the paints, pencils, tools or whatever you normally love to do, and today, take this time you carved out for yourself to simply go for a walk.  Even in the winter, simply bundle up and get out there.

It is amazing what a change of scenery can do for you.  Staring at the same four walls is not going to spur any kind of excitement.  While on this walk, don’t be thinking about work or you’re to do list, simply walk and really be “present”.  Take a good look around at nature or people or anything; don’t just stare at the ground as you go.

Keep an open mind and really look.  Forget about everything else for this time.  If you are worried about the length of time, then consider putting an alarm on your cell phone for 20 - 40 minutes for example, so that you can put that away and simply drift.  Go back to being 10 years old and look at that dandelion popping up in the sidewalk, or that hawk hovering over the park or field or the leaves on the trees, or even what people are wearing or those tall buildings, simply look around and don’t even think about your business or your craft, give your brain a break.

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Do One Thing Every Day That Inspires You: A Creativity Journal
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2. Break Projects or Hobbies into Smaller Bites

Instead of saying, well I need to create a painting by the end of today, simple take some ideas and draw them in a small book, or journal.  Staring at a blank canvas can be very intimidating, and causes extreme pressure on you, which is like poison to your creative side.

There are some people who only can work under pressure.  This is not me!  So on those days where everything is going sideways, and you are feeling stressed, and don’t have much time to focus, then take a quick walk, and take your journal, and break your project down.  Maybe today you will do some doodles on the pages, and come up with ideas.  Then tomorrow you will clean up your desk and start to map out some of your ideas, and then you will get excited about it, and go to the next step.  Rome was not built in a day!  Split it up into bite sized pieces.

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3. Organize Your Area and Get Rid of Chaos

No matter what you like to do, being disorganized can create chaos in your mind, which for me personally stops me from being able to focus.  I don’t mean you have to be a clean nut, but get rid of other projects that you do not want to focus on this minute.

Move them aside, get a tub with a lid and label it “projects on the go” and then give your work surface a good clean, and find your supplies, and make sure they are not empty, dried out, or useless.  Throw out anything that doesn’t belong.  Sweep the floor or vacuum; even if being creative is your bread and butter that support you, living in chaos for most people keeps their brain far too busy looking at all the projects not done.  Out of sight right now is the best thing to clear that clutter in your head.

Nothing worse than getting a wave of inspiration and then you can’t find any supplies, you spend all your energy looking for everything and getting more and more frustrated, and then that wave flattens to a puddle.

So, invest part of your “creative time” cleaning and organizing.  This made a huge difference for me.  It made it so that the next day, I was totally switched on when I entered my tiny studio (part of my bedroom) ready to get at it.

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4. Watch You Tube - Visual Aids can Help with Inspiration

I know you are probably thinking, why would I waste what little time I have surfing the net?  I don’t mean hang out on your face book page, or tweet people, I mean this is research.

Type in the subject of your liking (to do with your business, hobby or whatever) and find others who love the same things you do, and watch them.  I love pen and wash watercolor painting.  Right now I work on 9 x 12 watercolor papers, because I love to complete a project in one sitting.  I know myself enough to know I may lose the direction I was going on a particular painting if I leave it until the next day.  Other artists I know are quite happy taking weeks to complete a painting.  Getting to know yourself is a good first step and also finding like minded artists on YouTube working on one of their projects for you to see.

Visual aids can help to spur that inspiration.  It doesn’t mean you have to copy them, simply get inspired watching them work.

I love an old British painter called Alan Owen, and I find his painting sessions informative and soothing and I am inspired after watching a few of his videos.

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Art Doodle Love: A Journal of Self-Discovery
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5. Try Something New - Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere!

Maybe it is time to try something new.  If you have always done the same craft, you can get into a rut.  It doesn’t mean you have to give up your specific craft, just use another part of your brain to learn and try something new.  Take a class, or check out YouTube.

Try the above 5 steps.  You may find a few of your breaks dedicated to walking, and organizing and then taking a coffee break in a local café will inspire you with some brilliant ideas.  Take your body, mind and soul into a different environment, and something is bound to happen!

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Strathmore Art Journal Kit, Turquoise (ST27-901)
Amazon Price: $6.45 Buy Now
(price as of May 13, 2016)