No Creative Mojo? Shake it up.

by Aug 28, 20213 comments

Creating when you don’t feel creative

There are times when creative inspiration comes easily and motivates you to start and keep going.  But other days it takes a bit of a kickstart to get moving.  Usually, I can find that kickstart in my inspiration file or my notebook of project sketches, or by getting out in the garden, or putting on some music and dancing around for  5 minutes – anything to shake out the cobwebs.

Sometimes it just isn’t working

All creatives have experienced.  You head to the studio ready to work – and the ideas just aren’t coming.  Or they are coming but they are just not turning out the way you thought.

Or maybe, you are not feeling it at all and don’t even have the energy to get making.

Most of us have a go-to-strategy to get back at it.  It might fall into one of these categories:

Just start SOMETHING

Go into your workspace and just begin with something, typically small or unrelated.  Doodle, stitch, cut – even cleanup or reorganize.  Anything to just get your hands working and your mind to stop overthinking.

Take a break

Get out for a walk or run or swim.  Read a book.  Have a copy.  Be careful that you are not just avoiding what you need to do and try to make sure your break is something energizing and positive, not just anything-but-what-I-should-be-making.

Dig into your project

 Similar to just starting something but specifically related to the work that is challenging you.  It can help to begin with an element that takes less creative energy,  routine elements or prep work can be good choices.

Admit defeat (for now)

Sometimes, the best thing is to set this project aside and pick up another piece in progress. Something that will be more engaging or inspiring.  This can feel counterintuitive if you are working to a deadline but, even then, it can make sense to build your creative energy on something else.  Fighting to finish when you are struggling can result in poor quality results that do not satisfy you or meet your quality standard.  But, again, be honest with yourself about your reasons.

Find inspiration from others

Here are some ideas for restoring your creative energy.

5 Ways To Deal With a Creative Block (That You’ve Probably Never Heard!)

Whether it’s a break-up, an illness or a freaking pandemic, chances are you’re going to experience a bit of a creative block as a blogger every now and again. The best among us will have a creative blog. You and I will too. Our creative juices can’t be flowing every damn second of the day.

20 ways to overcome creative block

Struggling for ideas? It happens to the best of us. Here are 20 tips to help you get inspired.

It’s great working in a creative industry, but can be tricky to stay enthusiastic and inspired all the time. We asked leading designers how they beat creative block. Follow these 20 quick-fire to get your creative juices flowing again.

The 5 Types of Creative Block (and 25 Ideas to Break Through)

Have you ever sat down to draw, but no ideas came? How many days have you tried to be creative, but for some reason, each day goes by, and you just can’t? Welcome, my friend, to Creative Block.

We think we can just try harder and overcome it, but it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes we need more than just a kick in the butt. Sometimes the creative block has just gotten too big, too daunting, and too discouraging for willpower alone to be able to beat it. What we need is a new strategy…

Dealing With Creative Block – 10 Strategies to Get Back on Track

Have you ever looked at a creative block as an opportunity to start over?

… Either way, there are ways to overcome it and reach your goal.

So rather than looking at creative block as an obstacle, look at it as a second, third, or fourth chance to start over. Keep that in mind as we tackle 10 different strategies to start over when a creative block strikes.

How do you tackle creative block?

These are just a few of many pages with helpful tips.  Do you have others?
I’m always looking for new suggestions.

For now, I’m off to make something.  Although I might start with some organizing first.

Wishing you a creative day, whatever that means to you.


Banner photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

Maker photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller


  1. Kebba Buckley Button

    Mary Elizabeth, what a great post! I am rarely stuck, as I take inspiration from my 400+ articles online, my collection of column ideas (one big file), and at worst, my collection of quotations (also one big file). But maybe it’s my body in the doldrums, so I run in place for 2 minutes or hit the treadmill. Wonderful!

  2. Martha

    There have been many times when a subject doesn’t come to me. I have found that I can come up with a topic just by reading other blogs!

  3. Paul Taubman

    I have always found that if I get ‘stuck’ then just doing something is the way to go for me. Just taking that first small step usually is enough to get me going to take the next step. And then the next step. And the next. And so on.

    And if that doesn’t happen – it is a quick walk around the block. WHen I get outside (regardless of the weather) I come back with a clear mind.

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