This condition was probably more commonly known by most people in the past as “Writer’s Block”, in fact when I was younger I thought that only writers experienced “blocks”, but it can affect anyone in any walk of life or pursuit. Be it your artistic, business or personal life these temporary stages can be scary.
But what if you learn to use a creative lull as a tool to overcome this condition and influence your growth.
Many people are now recognising that what was once thought of as a permanent signal that their ideas or talents have run dry are understanding that this is only a temporary situation.
The biggest danger of creative lulls is that we feed it, we feel that we have hit a brick wall so therefore we cannot produce anything anymore. This feeling stays in our thoughts to the point that we really do start to think that we are no longer able to contribute anything. Rather than dwell on these types of thoughts and feeding the condition, try to recognise the message that the lull is relaying to you.
Sometimes a lull in our creativity might be your phycological need to stop and let your creative energy have time to replenish. Don’t think yourself a failure if you experience a lull in your creativity. It’s normal, especially in the arts field. If you have been pushing yourself on one project or area in your life it is not uncommon that sometimes you will need to recharge those creative juices. Don’t sweat it.
Other times a lull might be your creative side trying to tell you that the project you are working on is not going in the right direction. Take time to figure out where you wanted the project to end up at. Think to yourself the “project” is the boss, don’t try to force it. Sit back and reflect on your original ideas and thoughts before you started the project and by eliminating what you don’t really feel benefits it then you will be left with ideas on where it can go to from there.
Some people see a creative lull as a signal that spurs them on as if their subconscious is telling them to stop slacking off. This may scare them into being creative again and works effectively well for some. Others will take this time to reflect on where they are at and then procrastinate. If this is you then procrastination can lead you down paths that may spur on your creative juices again, be it on the internet, out socialising, or just curling up with a good book. Whatever the procrastination method that you may choose, you can use it to sow the seeds of creativity in your mind.
Be aware of your physical self when a lull strikes you, sometimes it can be your body warning you that you have been overdoing it and neglecting yourself. Your body may be telling you to take it easy and tend to your physical needs before your health suffers.
My mother grows roses and I think of the flowering cycle of a rose bush as an analogy to my creativity. The plant will put a lot of energy into creating blooms but will lie dormant the rest of the time building up the energy to create another beautiful array of blooms.
Recognise your creative lull for what it is and what it is trying to tell you.
Rejection can cause lulls in creativity, maybe you didn’t get that job or commission, you were outbid on the property you were trying to buy, it doesn’t matter what the rejection was about it can affect all areas of your life. Learn from the rejections, ask yourself what you could have done differently and then move on. Don’t feed your emotions by dwelling on these all too often events in life. Life is full of disappointments and rejections and if you don’t learn from them then you are hobbling yourself.
Outside influences can play a huge part in dulling our creative flow. There could be many things happening in your life at that time and it’s just your creative side shutting down until you have dealt with those other things first. Take a minute to look around yourself and if there is a lot going on in your life outside of your project then use the lull as a time to focus on those other things, whether it’s family matters, legal, health, or earning money to fund your creative outlet.
Remember that sometimes the projects that you are working on may have cycles, at the start the creative juices are flowing like a raging river. You are eager to get started and to tell everyone about your project. Once you have started things tend to calm down a little and may go into a kind of steady phase, like the waters at the edge of that raging river so getting inspiration to move forward is sometimes difficult. This may not always be the case with all projects but if it does occur don’t let it play on your mind.
So, no matter your walk of life or your pursuits, remember that we all hit a lull somewhere in life, usually more than once, and recognising it for what it is and how to make it work for you can be very beneficial to both your physical and mental self. It is natural to experience these lulls, challenges, periods of indecisiveness so when it happens you will have a better understanding why and be able to move forward through them.