Creative Process: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do
I’m sure you are familiar with this feeling of not knowing what to do next. The feeling of being stagnant, of having lost your creativity and the thought of not knowing how to get out of there and continue your creative process as you have been doing before.
As a creative, I have this feeling more often than I’d like to admit. Actually I spend a lot of time struggling and thinking the best ways to continue with my work. The times I have that feeling of not knowing how to continue, are the times in which I spend more time and energy in searching new ways, new methods and new strategies and
generally sometimes these are the times I advance the most in my personal and professional development.
It is a feeling very common around creatives and it is very important that you know that you are not alone! Austin Kleon wrote something really interesting about this feeling in his blog too. So don’t worry! You can go back to the good work in a thousand different ways, I promise!
It’s true that I don’t feel so optimistic always and I don’t see the light in days – even weeks. But also it’s true that I know that I should keep going to find a solution.
Some time ago I assumed that this was part of my job. This is a big part of the creative process and I want to enjoy it even if it’s hard. In fact, I am convinced that it has to be hard, but not painful. And it’s very easy that something really hard becomes painful.
It’s because of that I need to focus on my goals every day. If you can visualise your goal, it will be much easier to continue working to achive it.
I want to share with you how I manage this situation and how I figure what to do next in my darkest days. I already have said the first thing to discover what to do when you don’t know what to do, but there are other important things to have into account to find the way:
7 Tips for Creatives
1. Focus on your goals. As I said before, having a list with your goals is very helpful to continue working and knowing what you should be doing next.
2. Analyse your situation. Why are you stuck? What makes you stop? Answer those questions and try to find a solution. For instance, if you are stuck because you don’t like your latest creations, then you have to keep thinking: Why? And maybe it is because you don’t feel as motivated as always. If that’s the answer, then you should think new ways to feel motivated. Look for inspiration and share your experience with other creatives to find the ways.
3. Stop, breathe and keep working. Now that you have settled your goals, and that you know your situation, you can stop for a while, take a deep breathe, take a long walk and you will be ready to start working with this new perspective.
4. Take your time. Allow yourself time to think what is the best move and do it. It is ok to think. Actually you should do it! but also as a creative, it is very important to create things. And this is the next point:
5. Experiment. You know now your goals. You know what you can do for what you have done before. Now it’s time to focus on those goals, search for inspiration and experiment new things. If you want to know more abour where to find inspiration you can take a look to this post: Where do I find inspiration?
6. Learn from your experimenting process. Through the experimenting process you can learn what works and what doesn’t for you and your projects. The creative process is always based on experimenting but sometimes you have to experiment all the time to be able to know what to do next.
7. Breathe again. Yes, continue breathing. It is so important for your brain 🙂 Remember that we want it hard but not painful, so take your time.
When I feel really stressed or when I am in this situation, I usually take my time to think and also to meditate. Sometimes you need to forget about evertything for a while to be able to start again.
Meditation is very useful and there are lots of ways to do it. For me, I love painting meditation. I experiment this sensation many times while I am working in some of my paintings – usually landscapes or botanical pieces, but when I need to reset my brain I do it on purpose.
I just need a quiet space, soft light, music and my brushes to loose my senses and stop thinking for a few minutes.
You can see how I do it on my last video:
So yes, you can scape from that feeling of not knowing what to do next but you should keep going in order to achive it.
But remember that it is also important to be aware of the process and to enjoy it if you want to succeed.
These 7 tips to know what to do when you don’t know what to do might help you, but they are based on my own experience. I’m sure there are other ways to make it happen and I would love to hear them from you!
Let me know your tips and your proccess in the comments bellow!