7 Ways to Overcome Creative Blocks

1. Accept that you have to be a beginner
When you are starting out and learning something new, one of the worst things you can do is compare yourself to others. Especially if you compare yourself to people who have perhaps been doing what you want to do for years and years! How can create and perform as well as someone who has been doing the very same activity, for perhaps double the amount of time?
Accept that, where you are right now is okay. We all have to start somewhere.
Allow yourself to be a beginner. The people who you compare yourself to, also had to be beginners at one time in their past. Everyone has to be a beginner. It is an unavoidable part of learning and mastering and new skill or creative pursuit.

Sit down and scribble and scrawl absolutely anything. Deface the page. It doesn’t matter what you write or draw or doodle, and it certainly doesn’t have to make any sense.
3. Free writing
Free-writing is where it’s at! For me, it has really helped jump start my own creativity. It’s helped me become more focused, and move through the angst and fear of not knowing how to start.
It removes the expectations we have about what we should write. There is no pressure to write brilliantly, you just need to write whatever comes into your head. If you start feeling anxious, or find yourself worrying about what to write, just write about that! If done properly, free-writing really does work, and is an essential trick to use to help unlock, or at least something the creative blocks that we all experience from time to time (or for years if you are like me!)
Time-limits for free-writing are essential.
I suggest anywhere from 10- 20minutes. I think this is enough to get your writing and thoughts flowing, yet it is not too long to end up feeling overwhelmed.
You will be surprised how much you can write in such a short space of time. Hopefully you will also be surprised by the actual quality of some of the writing you end up doing. When you get into your groove its amazing what ideas and thoughts can actually emerge. It can be a bit of a revelation! Ideas and thoughts spring out from nowhere! You find yourself making connections that you had not even considered before you began.
Then again, you actually may write a load of rubbish, & that is perfectly okay too. Accept it for what it is. Some days it will come together and others days you will struggle to write a coherent sentence.
Go with it.
If you are lucky you will glean one or two good ideas which you can then go back to, explore and begin to shape.
I use a highlighter pen and highlight any key words, sentences or phrases that stand out or seem relevant to you. You can then use these later as the back-bone for further writing.

Try this further exercise: chose three key words or phrase/ ideas see if you can link them in some way. You could choose the words randomly by flicking open a dictionary and picking out words at random. Or you could grab a book, turn to a page, close your eyes and allow your finger to move down the page until it rests on a word. I like the randomness of this exercise.
Can you create a paragraph using these three words? Perhaps you could use them as a starting point for a poem or a song? Maybe you could use them as a springboard for a piece of art, collage or journaling? What about taking each on one separately and doing a further free-writing for word separately?

4. Cluster exercises
This is a bit like brain-storming, in fact I guess it’s just another term for it before we went all PC!
Choose a topic or a word. Place that word in the middle of your page. Now allow yourself 10 minutes to write as many ideas, words or images around the outside of the middle word. Let your mind wander. Don’t worry if the connection that you make are very lose and perhaps don’t seem relevant. Do this fast. Don’t think too deeply. Keep going. The idea is to come up with as many ideas and thoughts as possible, you are just making links, connections, exploring and experimenting at this point.
Ways to trick your mind into creating- the key is to make it fun. Make it seem easy and effortless.
Do yourself a favour and get in touch with the things that you tell yourself to avoid work. What do you tend to do to avoid making a start? I tend to search the internet. I kind myself that it is actually for research and work purpose, but actually I’m just wasting time and putting off what my brain sees as the “hard” work. Another thing I’ve started to do is go on twitter and tweet quotes. Telling myself that this is actually work! Yeah right, course it is. I will decide I want need to make a cup of tea, tidy my desk or start reading some personal development book. Anything to avid getting down to the nitty gritty of whatever creative project is that I’m doing.
What do you do to avoid getting down to creating?
Actually once I get into it I tend to be fine.
You will be fine if you can crack the first 20 minutes. Tell yourself that you will just do 20 minutes. How difficult is 20 minutes? Surely that is doable.
Get over the notion that you are not in the mood. Let’s face it there is rarely the optimum time and moment when we feel 100% raring to go. Where we have an abundance of creative energy. Often we are too tired, we just don’t feel like it, or we are in a bit of a mood. Rarely will find ourselves in that mindset of brimming ideas and endless enthusiasm!
This means you have to play a few tricks on yourself. Trick yourself into a false sense of security. Lull and coax yourself. Make it seem like it isn’t work at all.
Once you have actually made a good start hopefully you will keep going. Keep rocking and rolling. By starting you will manage to quieten that inner voice. The fear and anxiety which often stops in our track before we’ve even passed Go.
Like today I feel tired, I’ve got a bit of a cold starting.
Do I feel creative and raring to go? Not really but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do my best to make a start.
I’ve made myself sit and do 20 minutes. Half an hours later here I am typing away. 20 minutes ago I could have easily have spent the evening sat in front of the fire reading my book, with a bit of goggle searching for good measure.

Make it as easy for yourself as you possibly can. Why would you want it to be a struggle?

6. Enlist a friend or join a group

Creating and being creative does not have to be a solitary activity. When we think of creative types we think of the artists or writers, suffering for their art, living a solitary existence, creating day in day out their own. This is not how creating and creativity has to be!
You do not have to create in isolation. This is some silly myth that has sprung up from years of people putting art and artist on pedestals.
I actually think that very few people are actually able to do create alone 24-7. If you are a people person, like me this would be your idea of hell. I know I can’t spend endless days stuck in the house, sat behind my computer screen with only my trusty dog for company (however gorgeous she is!)
Why should we create in isolation?
Aren’t two heads, or even more heads better than one? It is such a myth and falsity that all the great creators and inventor created alone. We are social creatures, we need people.
Find people who have similar creative interests to you. These days it is so much easier to get to meet like-mined people. The internet has made it so much easier. Use social media tool like Facebook and Meetup.
Talk to your friends. Would any of them be interested in getting together once a week with the pure purpose of creating? It doesn’t matter what you are creating. Even writing, we often think of writing as a solitary pastime but can easily be done in the company of others.
Bounce ideas
Get a different perspective
Join a group or take a class
There are groups of like-minded people all over the place, you just need to be prepared to do a little investigating and searching!
If you can’t find an established group of people, why not create your own group? That’s what I did. We meet once a month for creative night. We get to create as a group once a month. Maybe you could join forces with a friend and arrange to meet once a week and have a creative session together? Share ideas and bounce things off each other. Or simply create in the company of each other.

7. Creative Dream Circle
Mentor and coach each other. I have a coach who has really helped me. Talking through what you want to achieve really helps. Help each other to make your creative dreams a reality. Motivate each other. The other person can hold you accountable for the things you say you are going to do.

Author's Bio: 

Kay Holdsworth @ kayholdsworth.com
Creative Facilitator, artist and writer.
Dare to be Dream, Dare to be Different, Dare to be you.