I’ve been keeping notes on what has helped me break through a creative rut post baby and I truly have never felt more energized. I’m sharing the 10 ways that are working for me. I hope they will work for you too!
Make something. Getting to the good stuff, the stuff that excites us, means we have to begin.
The creative spark doesn’t always come right away, it takes time. Keep at it!
Sitting around complaining about what a rut you’re in is not helping anything. Ask me how I know this!
I’m reading a book called ‘Originals’ by Adam Grant and he talks about where our best, original, work comes from. There’s a quote by Ira Glass that says ‘the most important possible thing you could do is do a lot of work’.
2. Stay on top of things.
Nothing kills creativity like a bunch of looming chores hanging over your head. Yes, you would much rather make than do laundry but it really does help if you do something you ‘have’ to before something you ‘want’ to.
I’ve been using Clean Mama’s prompts. She assigns a task per day and then you do the basics (picking up, dishwasher, 1 load of laundry) each day. (If you follow on Instagram, she posts reminders. ) It’s a futile effort to try and have a spotless house with kids, but following her system has helped me stay on top of things and allows me to not feel like I’m behind on everything. (Overwhelm = creativity killer).
If you are super behind and can swing it, consider hiring a housekeeper to come and do a deep clean to help you get caught up.
3. Schedule a day and time just for creating.
If possible, pencil in a time just for you. If you have kids, maybe someone can take them out to dinner or you can order takeout. When I intentionally plan a time just for me, I get excited about it! I start brainstorming what I might want to work on and the anticipation is energizing.
4. Make your space a happy place.
I know not everyone has a dedicated space for sewing, but there are still ways to make the spot you work in a happy one.
Create an inspiration board with pictures of things that make you smile and that inspire you. Color ideas, an inspirational message, pics of your family/pets or a place that makes you feel relaxed. Anything that you smile when you see.
An inspiration board can be moved around and doesn’t need a permanent location. You also can’t go wrong with making and hanging up a pretty bunting in your favorite fabrics.
5. Less is More.
I know this is probably going to be unpopular, but don’t keep a huge stash of stuff! Clutter is such a creative killer for me.
I’m not saying that everyone feels this way, but I feel guilty when I have too much. You buy more to ‘build’ your stash or you aren’t inspired by what you have, and you buy more. Endless cycle. Be intentional with your purchases.
Make with it or let it go!
6. Make a List.
Write down what you want or need to make and get it out of your head.
Are you in a sewing bee or a swap? Is there a handmade gift you need to make by a certain time? Even just a list of things you want to make. This gives you an excuse to buy a pretty notepad which helps with #4!
7. Set goals and meet them.
I know this seems like part of #6, but I have found that it’s important to take the things from your list and slowly set goals for them in a separate place.
I tend to get overwhelmed easily. If I look at my list which may have a lot on it, I’m going to start doubting that I’ll ever get any of it done. Doubt is bad and pretty much puts you down the path to, for real,never getting it done. (Hello, wallet pattern that took 3 years to write and triangle quilt tutorial that took 4).
Making small goals and accomplishing them feels good. SO good. Even the smallest accomplishment can get you going in the right direction and the more goals you meet and check off, the more energized and excited you will feel!
8. Ignore self doubt.
The more creative people I meet and connect with, the more I realize that the problem of self doubt is universal. You have to make a conscious effort, sometimes repeatedly, to keep moving forward despite the doubt.
Creative work is so personal. I think it’s important to be vulnerable and take chances that make you nervous, but also remind yourself that what you are doing is good enough in this moment and at this time! It may be messy, it may not be perfect. You may not even like it, but it’s progress. And progress is going to get you to where you want to be.
9. Be Authentically You.
This seems like a no brainer, but I really struggle with this! Don’t try to be like someone else or make projects that don’t inspire you just because they are the ‘it’ thing.
Finding your own creative voice sometimes means doing things that aren’t popular, but are what you love. When you do things that you aren’t really feeling just because everyone else is doing them, you stifle your own creativity.
The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself. -Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy
10. Don’t Give Up.
I know. Total cliche. But also, so true. Your best, most creative, work is sometimes just behind a creative block. If you don’t try to get through it and back to why you do what you do in the first place, you might miss out on your best stuff!
If you’ve got another one to add, leave it in the comments. I’d love to hear it. Here’s to being our best creative selves!
Thanks for reading,