How To Get Unstuck

10 steps to get unstuck creatively and let your ideas out into the world.

Wendy Ruyle 11.05.2013

The creative process is fickle. Some days the ideas flow like a waterfall. Other times the well is dry. Here are 10 ways to get yourself out of a rut.

1. Dig in

Take the first step. A new project can be intimidating but put something, anything down on paper. Get through the bad ideas and the good ones will show up…eventually.

2. Step away

Exercise, clean your office, take a nap. Allow your brain to wander after you’ve put a little work in. It can do some amazing things while you’re not looking.

3. Focus on the details

If the project is overwhelming you, focus on one detail. Maybe it is the color palette or a button style for a website. While you are getting that one part of the project done the big ideas will have a framework.

4. Focus on the big picture

Think about the big problem you’re trying to solve. Go for volume here and come up with as many solutions as possible. Don’t worry about what is realistic or how the details work yet.

5. Blare the music

And sing along. Throw in a dance move or two for good measure.

6. Write a list of words

List out all the words you can think of that have to do with your project. Make your list freeform on the page, not linear so you can make connections that you hadn’t thought of before.

7. Draw a set of images

What are all the types of images you can think of that have to do with your project? Real or imaginary. Draw them. See how they connect.

8. Check Facebook

You’ve been working hard. You deserve it.

9. Look at stuff

Leaf through a magazine or watch a bunch of YouTube videos. Get inspired by beauty, or comedy, or passion.

10. Start over

If you haven’t come up with anything brilliant yet, start at the top and go through these steps again (or go in reverse order). That great flow of ideas is out there, you may just need to unclog the pipes.

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