‘Patterns are the work of the evil’

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Creativity isn’t a faucet; you can’t just turn it on at a moment’s notice and expect genius to flow out.

So what should you do in a creative rut?

The comedian Aziz Ansari takes the lack of inspiration as a sign to do nothing at all.

“I’m not gonna make stuff just for the sake of making stuff. I want to make stuff ’cause I’m inspired. Right now I don’t really feel inspired.”

Creativity comes in waves; it ebbs and flows but finds its way back to people that are “open to detours.” Taking a walk or going on travel never fail to reignite the curious mind.

However, some artists like painter Chuck Close and writer Steven Pressfield encourage their colleagues to get to work daily. Said Close: “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Making stuff is a habit; whether you’re having a good or bad day, feeling inspired or out of gas, there’s no excuse not to sit your ass down and get to work.

Everything is practice. 

Whether you let creativity happen or you force it out, keep the faucet on so it can at least drip. All creative slumps are merely temporary.

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Published by wells baum aka bombtune

A daily blogger who connects the dots between beats, culture, and technology.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this! I get into my slump often, and I’ve learned it’s harder to write your way out of the slump than it is to write during the slump. Have to keep reminding myself to create more even when I think I have no inspiration. Great post!

  2. Precisely, as Seth Godin says: “Habits are more important than fears.”

  3. Right, balance is key per say. Too much of isolation, too much travel etc, the opposite gives us just as good as ideas…

  4. Same, I’m hooked to the publish button. But when it flows, it’s worth it.

  5. I like the advice on creating daily – even when not inspired. Creating regularly improves the skills over time. And then even on a bad day, you create something ok-ish (or so I hope).

  6. I’m a Steven Pressfield fan, too! I’ve experienced it both ways; I do leave the faucet on so it can drip. When it won’t, it won’t. When the urge to take down any notes at all strike, I don’t hesitate. Travel does, indeed, stir up inspiration. So does closing myself off and being a total hermit, living in darkness and silence. I usually don’t have to resort to that, though.

  7. While I totally agree that creativity naturally ebbs and flows, I do see a benefit to just getting down to work. It can be hard, and you might hate what you come up with, but practice makes perfect. Also, who knows… you might hate it, but somebody else might be truly inspired by what you come up with while you’re uninspired.

  8. Right!? But the more you make — even if it’s crap—the more you have to play with.

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