Opinions - What if a creative doesn't feel creative?


by Ashley Morrison


*I've been working very hard every single day for the past couple of weeks. Till silly o'clock. Being freelance, when the work comes along, I don't really feel able to say no. After all, in the current economic climate, to trot out a well-worn phrase, one never knows when things will go belly up and the work will disappear.

So I really have to say yes to pretty much everything and work my now office-chair-shaped posterior off to get it all done.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining in the least. It's good to be in demand, I must be doing something right to get repeat work and I'd much rather be busy than not. I feel a good sort of tired, rather than sick and tired, if you know what I mean. Or, worse still, bored and tired.

Part of the reason I'm tired is because all of my current clients are completely different in every single way; so as I'm being hired to add a bit of wordy wizardry, I therefore have to get in the zone pretty instantly for each client. So that takes a lot of left/right/mid-brain thinking. And all that thinking is tiring.

I've been blogging for Creativepool for a long time. This is my 105th post, in fact. And never before have I struggled as much as I have today to find a topic to write about.

I turned on my computer this morning to warm up while I went and made coffee. Came back, sipped some coffee and mentally did that interlocking finger-stretchy-clicky thing that people do in films when they're about to type something really quickly.

The cursor blinked at me expectantly.

Ping! An email to distract me.

Tsk, bloody Groupon again, asking me if I want laser hair removal or a Brazilian tasting menu at some swish restaurant at 50% off. Not at the same time, obviously. Still, that's a few more seconds wasted. Oh, wait, let me read the rest of the email (and the one that's also just pinged up from to see if I can find some inspiration. Some gadget I can write about, maybe?

Nope. Nothing.

This is looking bad. I write creatively for a living, and now I have absolutely no inspiration whatsoever.

I do a bit of half-hearted internet surfing. I can't bring myself to write anything about the Olympics again and the news is so taken up by that that there's precious little else of relevant interest to set my mind whirring.

So I'm stuck. Blog number 105 is a test of my creativity, and it looks like the innocently flashing cursor is winning.

That set me wondering what other creatives do when, try as they might, they just aren't feeling creative and there's a deadline. I know many authors say that they treat writing their novels like a job. Some keep office hours and lock themselves away for that period of time and force themselves to write. Others give themselves a minimum word count. And my favourite children's author, Roald Dahl, had a writing hut at the end of the garden which his children were forbidden to enter, telling them that there were wolves in there!

So, back to my question. Designer, illustrator, artist, writer: what do you do when creative block strikes?

Oh, look, I've just written a blog after all!

Ashley Morrison is a copywriter,blogger and editor.

Twitter: @Ashley_Morrison


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