As someone who aspires to become a creator of all sorts, my head is constantly buzzing with imagination and new ideas. I could write about a unicorn trying to join a rock band and fighting the stigmas of the status quo or even write about a dog lover and a cat lover who fall in love and try to get their pets to love each other. I could even write a scene based on a song I heard if it left a lasting image in my head.
However, what if when you sat down trying to create something, the page was blank for hours, days, months, or maybe even years? What if that buzzing imagination of yours was wiped away and all that was there was a cloud of gray? How does someone with a colorful imagination hit a brick wall and expect to bounce back?
Unfortunately, the brick wall is inevitable when it comes to creating. As much as I wish it did not happen, walls will be walls. If you try to push yourself knowing your final draft is not the best you can do, it will only make it worse. If that is the case, then the question is how do creatives get out of the gray where the source of no inspiration comes from?
There are many gray clouds, all with various names, but the most common type of gray cloud is burnout. A burnout means feeling physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally exhausted. Similar to depression, when you are burnt out, even getting out of bed requires more strength and courage than usual. You go to pick up a notebook or your laptop and the thought of writing one line seems impossible.
Being burned out can make you feel like you are taking too long to reach your end goal. It can make you feel like while life continues moving at an unbelievably fast rate, you are paused and stuck, unable to think or move to do mundane tasks. All that is calling your name is your bed.
Then, while in the burnout period, you feel as if you are a failure, and nothing will ever get done. It blurs the vibrant vision you had in your head, enhancing that feeling of failure and feeling fraudulent. Trust me, it is not for the faint of heart.
I can speak from personal experience because there was a weird lag for weeks, almost months, where the thought of doing what I love made me want to go back to sleep and scroll on social media. As previously stated, this brick wall is inevitable, and walls will be walls. Nonetheless, I never said the brick wall was sturdy.
According to PsychologyToday, “There is a long-standing belief in the unconscious wellspring of creativity. Invoked more frequently in connection with creativity than with almost any other human action or experience, the unconscious is considered responsible for mysterious bolts from the blue, flashes of insight, waking from sleep with ideas already formed, and energy-releasing altered states of consciousness.”
Whether we try to avoid and suppress our colorful, creative minds, once we have it, it cannot wither away. While we cannot write out our ideas, we still have dreams when we are awake and sleeping. I feel as if our subconsciousness stores all of our untapped potential, and that is where we can get inspiration from. After all, our subconsciousness is a part of who we are and what we do in our subconsciousness is a reflection of who we are awake.
Inspiration is all around us, and all it takes is for us to look around. Of course we will have dark clouds above our heads in life, but like any storm, hurricane, or things of that nature, it will pass. There are multiple ways to get out of a creative rut such as taking a nature walk, creating in a place you have not been before, meditating, and much more.
So, if you feel as if nothing is clicking and you are close to giving up, just know you have indeed encountered a brick wall, but the wall is not forever. Our minds are beautiful fragments of us, and the fact that we can create so many amazing things makes that brick wall crumble on sight.