Seeking: Creativity and Motivation

I have been in a major funk lately when it comes to creativity and motivation. I seem to have neither right now. Every idea I think I come up with ends up fading into oblivion before it gets very far, or if it doesn’t fade, I end up like that person who doesn’t mop toward a door: I’m stuck in a corner trying to figure out how the hell to get out of this mess.

And motivation? My brain seems to have completely forgotten what that word even means. When I get stuck with an idea, I’m all too willing to give up on it right now.

I’m not even able to stick with a poem right now. I had three ideas for poems in the last week, and after several lines, I stop to think and that ends up being the end of it – yet it’s clear from looking at the poem that it’s not the end of the poem. Just the end of my creativity and motivation.

When your entire career rests on being creative and being able to self-motivate, this is a very, very bad thing. And thinking about it only makes it worse. I keep putting more and more pressure on myself, which creates this never-ending circle where I apply pressure, get stressed, apply more pressure, get more stressed, and so on.

But what I think might be the absolute worst part is that the creativity problem isn’t that there’s nothing at all. It’s that I know there’s stuff there, I just can’t get it to come out. It’s like being desperately thirsty and unable to get the faucet knob to turn so I can fill a glass with water. It’s right there, I know it’s there, but I can’t access it.

I need something to get out of this rut. But the usual things that work for me (stream of consciousness writing, walking away for a few days, letting my mind wander as I read) aren’t working. I’ve scrolled writing sites, reading their articles with tips on how to overcome something like this, but none of those are helping, either.

So before I go completely insane, I’m asking you: What do you do when you’re stuck in a rut, either creatively or for motivation? How do you get back on the wagon and find that inner motivation to keep working even when you’re frustrated, stuck, or tired? How do you unclog the fountain of creativity so that your ideas can flow and you can write without writing yourself into a corner with no idea how to get out of it?

Give me all your ideas, no matter how outrageous, weird or silly they might be. I’m desperate and I’ll try anything.

4 thoughts on “Seeking: Creativity and Motivation

  1. Sometimes I just wait it out. Does it count as walking away? Because, like you said, usual methods just don’t work. And sometimes if I panic and force myself to overcome the slump, it only gets bigger. So I force it out of my mind instead, pretend it doesn’t exist. Do anything but that.Sometimes this period extends, for those depending on it for a living it might not be an option. But after a while I feel this hunger, and an intense desire to create.

    1. I still feel the intense desire to create. That’s why I ended up deciding to work with my photography for a bit, see if that helps. I agree – panicking and forcing to try to overcome the slump only makes it worse. It’s still so frustrating to try to deal with it, though, especially when you’ve tried all the things that usually work to shake things loose and get back to writing.

      1. Photography is great! Especially if you are outdoors, there is something about taking pictures of nature is so refreshing to the mind. My sister, who’s an artist does a lot of macro photography, she says it’s super meditative.

        1. Meditative – yes, that’s exactly the word to describe it. Even as I’m focusing on finding the perfect shot, I feel like I’m getting centered and balanced with myself. I took my camera to the beach when my kids and I went with a friend and her son earlier this week, and came home feeling so unbelievably refreshed, from the photo ops as well as the time spent with friends and family.

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