I’ve been blogging for just over three & a half years. I used to post my outfits daily, which is so nuts to me because it’s never been my full time gig yet I somehow managed to do it. In that time I’ve published over 400 blog posts, shared over 3,800 Instagram pictures, sent roughly 2,000 snapchats, & have tweeted nearly 13.5k times. That’s a lot of posts, pictures, words, ideas, & thoughts created & thrown out onto the open waters of the internet. Everything I have produced has been made by my own hands. I have grown a lot as a writer, photographer, & influencer since I first started out. Wanting to live life as a creative can be so fun because you get to express who you are & you instantly have somewhere to share it. But it can be overwhelming at times too. Sometimes I draw a blank or feel like I’m running on sinking quicksand. There’s new life trying to bloom, but I’m stuck in a desert.
So what happens when I get into a creative rut, or dry spell, & simply have no idea what to capture, write about, or post? Keep reading as I let you in on a few things I do in order to get creatively rejuvinated & inspired again!
1. Take a nap.
Yep. I’m not kidding. Sometimes I feel like the ideas in my head simply aren’t good enough either because I rush the process of making them happen, or I feel pressured by time. Sometimes I just need to give myself a small break. So take a nap, rest up, & come back to give your idea a second go. That extra bit of energy could be what you needed to feel like your idea really was right all along, because it most likely was!
2. Pick up a Kinfolk or some other hardcopy magazine.
We are all so used to using technology to find what is “in”, but when was the last time you picked up something in your hands to feel inspired? Flipping through pages with your phone put away while sitting in silence & sipping on some coffee will surely do the trick. Read the articles given to you instead of taking that Buzzfeed quiz about chicken nuggets. These few minutes away from the online world will do you some good. It always leaves me feeling inspired & encouraged.
3. Rearrange a room or display.
Whenever I feel super uncreative, I like to rearrage the decorations in my room. I pull things off the wall, put every bit of decor on my bed, & basically start from scratch. This really helps to creative an environement that is 100% up to date with who I am at the moment. Yeah, it’s all the same stuff, & I hang it all up back on the nails placed in the exact same spots, but it helps so much. I’ve noticed that each time I do this I create a “new” favorite corner that makes me feel most inspired. And everytime it’s like learning or rather teaching myself what my latest vibes are…right now it’s my southwestern corner filled with succulents, empty cacti s&p shakers, a soy candle, a white vintage trunk, & some glass jars. I could stare at this corner all day! So let your creative interior juices flow, you got this.
4. Creep on your fave girl’s profile.
We all have those few gals we follow on Instagram who we have never met, but so secretly wish we could be bff’s with IRL. I try to keep my entire feed filled with profiles that inspire me, but sometimes that’s hard when we start following the local brewery waiting for the good beer deal to pop up, or your sister-in-law who posts pics of her cat. But you know the feeds you love, so go to their profiles, & scroll. Become inspired by what they post. Is it the bright colors that catch your eye? Their outfits? Their coffee pics? Is it the angle that they take each shot? Soak in their creativity, but never copy it. You have your own uniqueness to display so don’t take theirs, just become inspired by it.
5. Take a quick day trip somewhere.
I’m lucky enough to live just outside of California. So when I’m feeling a little low on creativeness, I like to pick a day & just drive west because sometimes you just need to get away. Sometimes a simple change of scenery is all that is takes to make you feel like yourself again. Another city with different sights & sounds can help spark a whole new set of fireworks. Day trips are my jam & they give me so much joy while being inspired on an adventure. Plan a quick trip & go!
6. Hang out with another creative friend.
I personally don’t have too many creative friends with my same aesthetic, but I live in a very creative city. Sometimes a simple conversation with somebody about creativity, or social media, or photography lighting can be the bit of inspiration I need to keep creating. If you do have a creative friend who shares the same vision as you, don’t ever let that friend go! Hang out & hang out often, because they may just be your biggest creative tool yet.
7. Go to your favorite local quiet spot & just be.
This might be a hard thing to do for some people, but yes, I am telling you to go somewhere alone & just be. Pick a park, a river, a coffee shop, or bookstore. Soak in your surroudings. Take a look around. Why did you pick this place? Why do you love this place? Is it the aesthetic? Is it the environment? Is it their cool social media presence that drew you here? Whenever I need some quiet inspiration time I just go to one of my favorite local coffee shops & sit there to people watch. You never know what can expose little bits of creativity when you’re not distracted by anyone or anything, & you’re open to seeing it.
8. Find what Pinterest’s you.
I mean, how did ideas even begin before Pinterest? I have no idea. But it really can be a great tool to get a fresh twist of inspiration. It’s designed to find what you like in hopes that you’ll pin it & it honestly serves as a daily dose of my creativity routine. Just scrolling through my boards of things I’ve pinned give such a quick kick of inspo. I’m constantly creating new boards to be able to pin my latest obessions, like all things color & all things coffee.
9. Make a list of what currently inspires you.
Every so often I like to make a list of what is currrently inspiring to me. I like to come back to the basics of what I create & why I want to create it. This helps me to flush out all the noise of what people say I have to do or who I have to be, & it helps me to just focus on my journey. If you’re being creative for someone else it can be so draining. Knowing for yourself the reasons why you create make it way more filling. Make a list of what’s filling you & be inspired by what that entails. It’s okay to try new things, but never stray too far away from who you are.
10. Take pictures. So many pictures.
Photography is one of the most creative & inspiring forms of art we have. Do you know how many pictures I have to take of a layout just to get the one perfect shot that I actually end up using? So many. Like, so many guys. So take pictures: of humans, of places, of things. Just take them & let yourself be shown through them. I swear it’s a form of therapy when you take a few seconds to see a moment worth capturing. When you’ve taken a few. Take a few more. The last one is always the one you’re looking for anyhow.
Now that you’re slowly coming out of your creative rut, I have one last things to tell you. Write shit down. Write down colors, words, patterns, shops, places, artists, anything that you see or hear or love…write it down, & keep writing things down eveytime something inspiring comes your way. These little notes are bits of who you are & in the end they may create a bigger picture that you just can’t see yet. So carry a little notebook with you & write down every creative thing that pops into your head. Remember how I said your ideas really are good enough? They are, but sometimes we just need to remind our future selves of that truth. So write shit down & read over your creative thoughts often. Your own words just might be the best thing you need to hear to get yourself out of this silly little rut.
Hope these ideas help you just as much as they’ve helped me! Keep creating & never stop!
— abbey kay
*brought to you by a girl who is currently stuck in that very rut herself