5 Ways to Beat a Creative Block
One of my favorite parts of being in the marketing industry is the creativity involved in the work. Thinking up social media campaigns, crisp copy, and innovative ways to share the client’s work in the market is the name of the game, but it’s not always as simple as it sounds.
There have been many days where I can’t summon the words that I know are at the tips of my fingers, which lay resting idly and frustrated on my keyboard. I stare at the screen and urge some idea to miraculously pop into my mind so I can finally put whatever project I’m working on to bed, but the more I think about it, the more stubborn the creative block seems to be.
After having dealt with this experience far too many times, I’ve adopted a few coping mechanisms for getting through the mental rut. Below are my five tips to beat the brain freeze in order to think up your next great blog post or creative marketing campaign:
1. Jot down whatever pops in your mind and roll with it
The first thing I always have to remember when getting started on a project is to not judge anything until the first draft or initial ideas are already on the page. Editing is a must to ensure that everything’s clear, correct, and concise, but editing before expressing a complete thought will just keep you going in circles and will delay the process even longer than need be.
To get the ideas rolling, I’ll have a little brain dump session where I write down anything that pops into my head without thinking too much about whether it’s right or wrong. After I get it all out, I’ll look back to see what works and what doesn’t, and can refine and polish from there.
2. Take a walk
For me, staring at my computer screen when I know I have a deadline approaching makes me more focused on the time crunch than anything else. Whenever I’m particularly lacking motivation, I’ve found that it’s best to put my project on the backburner for 20 minutes and take a walk outside. Being able to stretch my legs, take in the scenery, and think about something else for a bit gets me feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever’s waiting for me back at my desk.
3. Explore your professional social media feeds
There’s no shortage of creative ideas out there, and the beauty of social media is that you have access to all of them. I’m not saying that it’s productive to scroll through Facebook for hours, but doing a scan of LinkedIn and Twitter for what people are talking about and reacting to can be useful in forming ideas as you’re developing your own content.
4. Brainstorm with coworkers
At BackBay Communications, my coworkers and I have weekly brainstorming sessions where we talk through issues we had during the week to figure out how to tackle them. These discussions have proved to be incredibly helpful for me, because as you’re bouncing ideas off of each other, you see new angles to a problem you had or new approaches to a project. There’s always something new to learn from the people around you, whether they have more or less experience in the field; the key is to keep an open mind and be ready to listen.
5. Change up your environment
If you can’t figure out what you should be writing about in your usual spot, why stay? Sometimes packing up your things and moving to another area can loosen up your thoughts and allow you to think more freely. Whether it be heading to a local coffee shop or moving to a different part of the office, seeing new sights can put you in a whole new headspace and bring fresh new ideas to the forefront.
Do you have any tricks for dealing with a creative block? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!