Advice

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What do you do when you're not feeling creative?

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It’s been a heck of a few weeks. Actually, make that a heck of a few months. Why? Because I’ve been revamping my home and it’s taking up every waking hour of my time. It all started off more Kevin McCloud – a la Grand Designs. We were going to knock through this and double-height that; but it quickly became more Sarah Beeny – a la “I can only hope they’re making the right decision”, which she seems to say most weeks.

Let me tell you, there are few things more time consuming than project managing your own build. Well, ok, having a baby is probably more time consuming, but you might be lucky and get a bit of downtime when the little darling is asleep.

My creative juices have dried up into a brick of uninspiring nothingness. And for a creative, that’s not a good place to be.

Why am I mentioning this? Because if there’s one thing that saps creativity, it’s having to make endless decisions about which tiles or ceiling lights you want. Or, heaven forbid, what colour grout. It’s one massive yawn, to be honest. You would think, perhaps, that I would therefore be just DYING to do something creative as a result. Well, I am; but devoting all my attention and energy to these practical matters means that my creative juices have dried up into a brick of uninspiring nothingness.

And for a creative, that’s not a good place to be.

Let’s take this morning, for example. I woke up bright and early, knowing I wanted to write a blog first thing. I was all set to do some creative surfing for inspiration, but no sooner had I sat down than the doorbell went…and the hammering started. Oh, the dog needs a walk. Good – that’ll give me some time to get out and meditate. Wrong: because Boris (the dog) is having one of his hyper moments and needs 100% of my attention throughout the sweet-wrapper-devouring walk.

Back home. Need a coffee to perk me up a bit and focus. You can imagine the idyllic scene, I’m sure. Hands wrapped around the mug and staring out through the window while creativity just washes over me – the only difficulty being that I need to decide which idea is the most interesting out of this plethora of ideas.

Sorry, not happening. I’m too worried about the overspend on the steel beams we’ve had to install. And it looks like Boris is developing conjunctivitis, so that means a trip to the vet. So with all that taking up what would have been my creative head space, I have discovered over the past weeks that – much like a novelist with writers’ block – there are few things more intimidating than a blank page and a blinking cursor when you know you have to be creative.

Bottom line: thinking is tiring; and being creative and original requires an amount of energy that I apparently don’t have at the moment.

We often offer words of wisdom and advice in these Creativepool posts, but this time I’m going to turn the tables. I’m going to ask you, Creativepoolers, what you do when creativity doesn’t strike; when your time is not your own; when every waking moment is given over to thinking about all things practical and mundane. Including grout.

Answers in the comment box, please! In the meantime, I have a wealth of Groupon emails that I simply MUST read…

by Ashley Morrison

Ashley is a copywriter, blogger and editor

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