Updated: Mar 21
As creatives, we often beat ourselves up to find that drive or inspiration to create our next big piece. I know I struggle with getting so wrapped up in staring at the blank page or a white canvas, hoping the universe would come down and make the art itself.
Having a creative block could negatively impact your artistic process in more than just creating for the day. It causes an opposing viewpoint of your creative process. You start doubting your creativity and creativity as an artist/writer. You look on social media and see creators pumping out new content every day. I was left with imposter syndrome, thinking I wasn't good enough to create. One thing that truly helped me is a little advice from Octavia E. Butler.
“First, forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories.”
Creating every day will help you discover your creative voice. This blog post will list ten prompts for writing/art practice. Let it spark your creative process. Set a timer and just create. It doesn't have to be perfect. You just have to start.
At the end of the alleyway is a door. Where does the door lead?
Its 3 am, and there is scratching within the walls
Bluebird, Early Morning, Funeral
Tennis racket, A Clift, a dream
Someone's final goodbye
Personify your current emotion
You got bit by a supernatural animal
You went to sleep 43 and woke up 13
A curse, water, red hair
Picnic, Sunrise, Tears
When you are using theWhenrompts, think about setting a timer. Giver yourself 15-30 minutes of writing sprints. Use this time to let loose your mind's boundaries. Don't get caught up in the blank white space of the paper. I know it feels like it's taunting you, but it's really there to remind you to start.
When I was younger, I found that my creative process was spontaneous. Anytime I felt the need to express myself and find out what I wanted to create. I spent hours sitting in front of this busted-down computer that wouldn't even connect to the internet. I didn't look for excuses; I powered up the computer and wrote down everything that came to mind.
As children, we never limit our creative process. We never question our vision. We do things because we like to do it or feel like it. As we grow older, society tears us apart. We are told to grow up. Get a job, get married, settle down, have a family, go to school, etc. We are forced to follow so many rules to be seen as functional adults, but during this process, we lose our imagination. We kill our inner child.
I have first-hand experience with losing connection to my inner child. When I'm not in a good mental space, I lose myself in the chaotic energy of life. This causes the anxiety and imposter syndrome to set in and take over my brain. I'm then left with no ideas because my self-doubt taints everything. Nothing is good enough. I then go online. I searched and watched creator after creator, sharing their types and tricks. I watch them through these perfectly edited videos, and I am now stuck in the thought process that if I were a good artist or a good writer, I would be able to come up with things on the spot.
Creativity and Imagination are like a muscle. You have to exercise that muscle constantly for it to grow and develop. How are we meant to improve if we never start our improvement journey? There is always a beginning to a story. You just need to start. You need to reconnect with yourself. You just need to start.
Try connecting with your inner child if you find yourself in a creative slump. At what point did the voice in your head stop being your own? At some point in your life, that cheerful voice that encourages you to explore your creativity and express yourselves became negative. It became other people's opinions and ideas. It kills and hides parts of ourselves. We could say a lot about our inner voice, but let's focus just on how it can destroy our creative process.
Imagination and inspiration go hand in hand. You have to expose yourself to the world, to what sparks your interest. You can't allow the ideas of others to limit your creative process or vision. Don't place yourself in a box. Allow your inner child to run free on that blank page or white canvas. Learn to honor yourself and the things that make you happy. The things that give you a spark.
You have to stay consistent, and you have to let yourself be free. You have to learn to trust your vision and trust your process. That would help eliminate those days you just can't seem to make progress on your creation.
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AF.FEM Press is an online writing platform for readers to access content from Black women and women of color whose voices and stories are often hidden or pushed to the back. We offer new and emerging writers services to enhance their craft, such as illustration/cover designs, beta reading, community, etc. We have visions of expanding our platform and creating a safe space for our readers to get the best content from our writers and to have a safe and sacred space to create. Check out our website to learn more about what AF.FEM Press has to offer you.
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