How to Get out of a Creative Rut

There are many reasons or theories why we find ourselves blocked creatively. Sometimes you will need to take action, while other times, you will need to heal the underlying root cause first. In this blog, I will discuss a few reasons why the inspirational flow seems to dry up and then you will learn how to get back into the flow again.

Why are you experiencing a creative block?

Fearful thoughts

Many creative blocks are born within your own mind. Faulty or distorted thinking can throw a wrench into any kind of artistic work.

Your thoughts are powerful. If you believe, you aren’t good enough, have a fear of success or even a fear of visibility, you will struggle with these areas. Cognitive therapy works well to restructure insecure thoughts and create a new reality.

Is trauma at play?

For some, the block may not be in their thoughts but rather a trauma reaction. Trauma re-wires your brain away from the creative process into a protective process of fight, flight or freeze syndrome. In this instance; heal the trauma, heal the creative block.

Are you absorbing other’s energy?

When you spent time with a person who is jealous or insecure of your success, you will be on the receiving end of unsupportive comments or actions. If you are dealing with a person who has a personality disorder, these behaviors can be downright abusive.

The problem occurs when you accept their negative thoughts as true or take their behavior personally. In these instances, your creative energy is vulnerable to becoming blocked. Proper energetic boundaries are needed to deflect other’s negativity and lower energies. As an empath or empathic person, you need to ask; Is this me or someone else’s energy I am absorbing and living out?

What can a creative do?

Don’t think, just do.

For some people, it isn’t important to know why their creativity is blocked but rather to take some form of action. If you are amongst this group, exploring thoughts and feelings aren’t as important as moving forward. You know and trust, you are creative. It will return again through taking the proper steps.

Schedule dates in your calendar to be creative. Creativity just doesn’t happen for some of us, it comes through commitment and work. Make a plan each day to write, sing or paint.

Let it all go!

The more you try to make the writing or art happen, the worse it gets. Do anything else but the creative work. Release any resistance and fear.

Try something brand new or something you haven’t done in a really long time.

When you feel bored or stagnant, creativity suffers. Many people have been feeling as if they have been living in a Groundhog Day movie because of the pandemic. You know, the same routine day in and day out. Even though the restrictions are lifted, it does not mean the energy magically shifts. Try a new creative activity or pull out something you haven’t done in a long time.

Go within.

Listen to the wisdom of your soul. What would make you happy right now? Go and do that. Sit and breathe, allow any and all feelings to surface. Feel them and release them.

Don’t give up.

National bestselling author, Julia Cameron, who wrote, The Artist Way said, “It is through quantity that you find quality.” Write down all your ideas and suspend judgment. You need one really good idea for a concept or for your creativity to take off. Believe, hold hope close to your heart and have faith.

Practice being open.

We have all been through a lot this past year. It is challenging to be open and feel when you have experienced heartache. It is through the state of “being”, ideas flow into your mind and heart. Remember, the best creative works come from our darkest hours. You can help others through the struggles you face.

Get support.

Every successful, happy, and healthy creative seeks out support from others. Psychotherapy sessions, with a licensed professional, work with you to help you heal and uncover hidden motivations, faulty thoughts and trauma. Together, we release patterns that block your growth and creativity.

What causes your creative ruts and how do you get out of them?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

10 thoughts on “How to Get out of a Creative Rut

  1. Great suggestions, Lisa! I carve out time early each morning to write and blog. If I’m working on something and become frustrated, I walk away for a few days. Then when I return, I’m reading with fresh eyes. 🙂
    Thanks for this great post and have a wonderful weekend. xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A wonderful post, Lisa, with gems I can incorporate into my day, my life. The word and concept of “energy” has been showing up all year for me. Friends and I have been discussing the difference between “time” and “energy.” I appreciate your phrase “…proper energetic boundaries…” You also bring up the concept of “fearful thoughts.” I often find myself guarded with my creativity. I agree with Lauren and you, Lisa, about stepping away from a creative project if we feel stuck. This is an excellent and thought-provoking post. I have bookmarked it. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Erica/Erika!
      I am happy to hear this post has been helpful for you. I often operate according to energy rather than time. I find the more energy I have, the more I accomplish and the better I feel. Thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion.
      Many Blessings,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa, I love that you affirm a number of different approaches, acknowledging that all things don’t work for all people. Especially because, for me I think my blockages in different areas [and on different DAYS even!] require different styles of intervention!!

    Thank you for illuminating so many possibilities!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another great post with worthy advice Lisa. As you know, my creative block right now is trauma. But having said that, I have no focus on revisions for publishing my book that has been collecting moss since last fall, but I am writing my experiences and observations about myself and the grieving cycle, almost daily, just a paragraph or two, in a Word doc, and I’ve written half a book already. My journey is definitely going to be a book when I’m ready. So even when the creative mojo isn’t flowing, I’m always writing other things. For me it’s cathartic. Hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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