by Brittni Barcase
Earlier this year, my professional role shifted. That change along with personal shifts and challenges meant my creative fire just kinda burned out one day. *Poof!* Since then, I’ve watched days, weeks, and months pass by wishing I felt inspired to be creative.
Until today. Today I decided to take back my creative energy by lighting that bad boy back up! *Insert whatever sound a flame igniting makes here!*
For me and my schedule, I’ve decided that means the following: Weekly or biweekly time set aside to be creative. Until further notice I will be blocking my calendar off so I can play! During that time, I can let my mind wander, look for inspiration, and, hopefully, create something I love.
I honestly thought reigniting my creative spark would be more difficult than just simply making time to play, but… it’s not. That’s it! I am excited to lean into this time and feel creative again.
If you are also suffering from a burned-out creative spark, I think you should start by asking yourself the following questions:
What do I need to be creative?
How can you support that need?
Once you identify your need and how you can support it, you can make a plan! I realize for some people igniting the creative spark is not as simple as I made it sound to be. Perhaps you already have time to play and are just having a creative block. If that’s the case, then I suggest you find inspiration. Go outside, look at other people creating something similar to your style, heck, maybe even replicate something they have produced!
And before you come at me for that, it happens ALL the time. As a retired (for now) dancer, I hit creative blocks all. the. time. Instead of spiraling down the “I’m not good enough” storytelling hole, I had games I’d play to develop new material, look at dance videos online and borrow a move or two from the sequence I liked, or even tapped into old repertoire that felt good in my body.
Doing this took the pressure off my mind and allowed me to land back into feeling like a creative genius again. Nowadays, if I am feeling slumped in the realm of content creation on Instagram, I will simply replicate something that resonated with me in a new way. Remember that video-meme of Nicholas Cage and Pedro Pascal that went viral earlier this year? Well, I definitely replicated it with my own caption (and it still makes me laugh so hard).
When was the last time you watched a plot twist in a movie and thought “wow, that was original”? Rarely, right? Because creativity lends to creativity. It’s so difficult in a world where we are constantly connected to have an original creative thought, and that’s okay! So, take the pressure off of yourself and just make something you love. *Note: This goes without saying, but you should always cite the original content creator in your work if you are able to. After all, Picasso is Picasso and Beyonce is Beyonce and I in no way want you to have a lawsuit on your hands.*
Lastly, and above all, be open to being vulnerable. I believe that successful creativity requires a sense of vulnerability. Any person who creates anything is open to being vulnerable, making mistakes, and being criticized. It’s honestly par for the course.
As Miss Frizzle puts it, “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”
Originally posted on The Mental Well, an initiative of JCS Prevention & Wellness.
Brittni Barcase is Manager of Prevention & Wellness at Jewish Community Services.
Jewish Community Services (JCS) provides programs and services for people of all ages and backgrounds, helping them achieve their goals, enhance their wellbeing, and maximize their independence. To learn more, visit jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.