How To Make Stuff

Creativity Tips For Bloggerscreativity tips for bloggerscreativity tips for bloggers

Sometimes life is not at all inspiring. Sometimes, life is really shit. There are days when I spend an embarrassingly long time deciding whether I should wash my greasy hair or spray on more dry shampoo, or whether there's much point in getting dressed. We all hope that if we find the key to creativity, or learn enough tips from those who have - if we learn the secret that all those other bloggers have (who are they, these competitors? Are they real? Or, to paraphrase Nine Inch Nails, have we just made them up to hurt ourselves?) - that we’ll start magically spewing artistic gold all over the place like so much creative vomit. But that really is a misconception. Some people’s ‘creativity’ is really discipline. Mine is probably nothing more sophisticated or glamorous than my hormonal cycle. I certainly have an artistic temperament, even when I am making nothing of any significance. I find it hard to focus on menial tasks, and my mind wanders a lot. I get ideas at strange times of the night, or in strange places. I feel I have no choice but to drop whatever I’m doing and follow my instincts. Everybody works in different ways, but some things about creativity are universally true. The more you use, the more you have. You cannot run out. It is a force that can be harnessed, once we learn how our individual creativity works.

There are a lot of tips around for bloggers, on how to maintain your creativity, how to “stay inspired”. None of them have ever worked for me, and I’m sure many of you reading would say the same. But there are some very common hurdles to creativity we all have to get past before we allow ourselves to be artists, and so I thought I’d share some of mine. These obstacles are very difficult to jump over, but coming up against them is a natural and often essential part of getting what is inside you out into the world.

Lack of Energy/Impetus: We all have those days when we get out of bed and just go, ‘nah’, and get straight back in. This is especially true for people like me, who freelance and work at home, and have no office to go to. I find it helpful to leave my phone out of reach of my bed, or even my room, so that I’m not tempted to stay under the covers and browse Twitter until noon. Hours can go by in bed, staring at a phone. Get the fuck up and make some breakfast. It is easy to allow yourself to become distracted before you have even begun, but you must push through, or examine where your lack of creative libido comes from. Is it a natural dip in your creative cycle? Or are you hiding away from possible failure, disappointment, or what it would mean to be successful with your project?

Procrastination: This is my biggest obstacle to being creative. It can appear very similar to my first point. The hardest part is figuring out where your real procrastination time is spent. Everyone knows that the time we spend on YouTube watching beauty-haul videos isn’t the most productive. But it’s a little harder to admit that your relationship drama is draining you, or your toxic friends are using you for emotional labour and giving nothing back. Look for the real sources of procrastination in your life. What do you do, to avoid focusing on your art?

Comparison: Do. Not. Compare. Yourself. To. Anyone. Ever. Seriously, why would you do that? Focus on your own shit. Don’t look at what other people are doing. Stop looking at the other girl. She’s busy focusing on herself. What is meant for her will find her, no matter what you do, and what is meant for you can never be snatched by another. Stay in your lane and keep moving forward. I have found it helps to ask myself if I am spending more time creating or consuming, and if the answer is the latter, I work on redressing the balance. You were not made to stare longingly at someone else's Instagram pictures.

Self-Doubt: I have literally no tips for this that won't sound patronizing and "easier said than done". Self-doubt is a bitch, but it's most often linked to other issues in this list, and can be helped with their solutions. You just have to push through and battle your demons. Literally everyone I know struggles with this, so in a sense, I guess my only tip is…get used to it. We are all in the same boat. Make things anyway. 

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