Are you in a creative rut? Break out of it!

rutted pathEvery one with a creative bent finds themselves feeling blank sometimes. Your hands are poised above the keyboard as you stare at a empty white screen, you hold a pencil or paintbrush in your hand and glare at a fresh new canvas, you look at your sewing machine and a shelf full of fabric, you wander around the neighborhood with a camera in hand and nothing clicks or comes to mind.

If your creative life were a journey, you just stepped into a pothole. Instead of scrambling out of it, you have gotten yourself stuck into a rut, the kind where your shoes are hard to pull out of the tight fit. It’s like trail in the woods where so many dirt bikes have raced along it that their tires have cut a sharp groove into the path and you are now trying to walk in it. You are so focused on getting your feet loose from the rut and looking down at it that you can’t see anything else. No fresh ideas or new thoughts are coming to you. You don’t even see the scenery around you. You are STUCK in that creative rut.

Of course, you don’t have to stay stuck! Just stop for a second.

Take a breath.

Put your head up and get your bearings.

OK, now it’s time to start climbing out.

Here are some ideas on breaking out of a creative rut. If you can figure out what is currently keeping you in that rut, you can figure out how to get out!

My favorite is Think creatively first. Edit later. Thinking creatively and logically at the same time won’t get you the best results. In other words, use both sides of your brain but NOT AT THE SAME TIME.

How to Break Out of a Creative Rut
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Thanks to Brian Clark at Copyblogger for making this infographic available to share here on

2 Responses to Are you in a creative rut? Break out of it!

  1. Patricia June 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this Deb. The Infographic is great! I have to think that I get overwhelmed with information and it takes time to wade through before I crawl out of a rut. Seriously using lists has helped.

    • Right Brain June 19, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      Definitely, Patricia. If I didn’t have lists, I’d be going in circles! The trick for me is limiting the number of lists. The world has changed since I started working – you used to be able to gather all the available info on something. And were expected to do so. No way can we do that anymore. We are all drowning in info deluge! Lists are like lifesavers. 🙂