Getting paid to be creative is for the most part, brilliant. You get to run down the deepest rabbit holes of your imagination, retrieve the most far fetched and wildest ideas and then present them to the wider world. There are other perks such as not having to wear a suit, rarely having to start work before 10am and not being frowned upon when a force five hangover is taking hold (hedonism goes hand in hand with creativity). In this game your biggest enemy is not your boss or your co-workers, it's yourself, or to be more specific, that unpredictable little critter who pays you visits from time to time known as inspiration.
I am sure you are all familiar with the white blank page syndrome; be you a writer, musician, designer or artist. Sometimes your ideas just dry up and try as you might, you just can't seem to get your va va voom to vroooooom, so to speak. As a writer I sometimes suffer from writer's block, this is mostly brought on by having too many other thoughts in my head to be able to clear room for any creative ones, as a result I get distracted (the main downfall of working from home) and suddenly de-clogging the bathroom plughole becomes infinitely more interesting than tackling an impending deadline.
But dont panic, dear friends, dont pull your precious few remaining hairs out or head to the pub. Here are some top tips on how to summon your inspiration back and tie him securely to your desk
1. Get out.
Sitting and staring blankly at a computer screen for hours on end isn't going to do you any favours. Get out in the sunshine, look at some trees or buildings and breathe some fresh (ish) air. It will remind you that a world does exist beyond the task in hand and things will seem more manageable when you get back to your desk.
2. Fiddle about.
Sometimes you can free your confused brain by doodling, making a ball from elastic bands, doing a row or two of knitting, whatever! Revert back to the childlike state of just letting ideas come naturally instead of forcing them.
3. Look to others.
When I have a block I find something inspirational to read by somebody else, that usually gives me a kick up the bottom. Similarly you can go on a little hunt to find something in your field which you think is outstanding, head to the library or art gallery, or look at somebody's online portfolio and soak it all up.
4. Get yourself a muse.
Having someone trustworthy and honest at the end of the phone who you can discuss your ideas with is invaluable. It's a safe person to throw your thoughts at before they go out into the wider world, if they are older and wiser then this helps too as they will be well-accustomed to dealing with the artistic block problem.
5. Don't give up.
If you try all of the above and still no joy then admit defeat, go home and have a glass of wine in front of Come Dine With Me and the next day, try and try again. Sooner or later you will have a breakthrough.
Hopefully this has been helpful to anyone suffering in the absence of inspiration; if anyone else has any tips on relieving creative constipation then please do feel free to share them.
Jessica Hazel - writer, blogger and PR.