Artist Block and How to Break Through Creative Slumps | Creators & Creativity

Artist Block and How to Break Through Creative Slumps

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Got writer’s block? Artist block? In a creative slump?

Recently, an iCreateDaily community member mentioned struggling with a creative block. Whether that’s you now, or at any time, there are tried and true ways to help us get unstuck from any stuck place.

Like the characters of the books you write and the strokes of the art you create, you can craft the change you want in your own life for real. Change in state is only a decision away and it begins with a willingness to break through the inertia that’s blocking your progress.

Progress is just one move away.

Table of Contents

“You are a creator. You can create your way out of any artist block. Seriously.”
~LeAura Alderson,®

Audio Article – Overcoming Artists Block:

The Blank Page Syndrome

“The blank page staring at me.” 

If you’ve ever experienced artist block, then you’ll know why some people are intimidated by a blank page. For most creatives a blank page beckons the fingers to construct worlds through words, images, art and imagination.

However, even the most prolific artist can get stuck in a creative slump. If you’re in a creative block that blank page can taunt.

But what causes artist block?

10 Common Causes of Creative Blocks

  1. Stress/worry/anxiety
  2. Consumption over creation
  3. Not keeping promises to oneself
  4. Immersion in the wrong kind of thoughts, feelings, things and people
  5. Poor health
  6. Poor sleep
  7. Unhealthy diet
  8. Drugs, alcohol, sugar, etc.
  9. Disconnected from sense of purpose
  10. Negativity, (which is exacerbated by the first 4 things above)

What if there were just three simple things you could do to get out of any creative slump or artist block? If you knew these simple things would boost your energy, your spirits, your mood, your optimism AND overcome any creative block would you do it?

If you knew there were just 3 simple things you could do to get out of a slump, would you do it?

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” 
~Buckminster Fuller, architect, theorist, author, inventor, futurist, 1895-1983

A Way Around the Artist’s Block

You’d be surprised at how many people won’t take the initiative to help themselves. Having coached many people over the years, and in coaching organizations, with fellow coaches and therapists, it’s a common theme.

The percentages of people who will take action are a small fraction of those who will not.

Most people would rather complain and repeat their same old story than write a new one they create by the actions they take. It’s not that they’re consciously choosing to be stuck, rather, it’s that the old habits have them trapped.

Don’t be that person.

If you find yourself staring at the blank page uninspired, a shift is actually super simple. Not always easy, granted, but surprisingly, almost always simple. Whether it’s about a blank page or feeling stuck in any way, this strategy works!

Be the one percent of action takers.

“All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.” 
~Martha Graham, international multidisciplinary dancer, choreographer, 1894-1991

Walk the Block for Artist Block

Whatever you do, please do not underestimate the power of these simple steps to turn things around for you. These are proven to work if applied with the intent to improve.

To change your state, you just need to change your…

  1. Physiology: engage in movement – body
  2. Thoughts: create a new story – mind
  3. Focus: on what you want – emotions

When you change these you elevate and change your state of mind. An energized body, elevates your emotions, and your mind. We elaborate on these below.

Change begins in the body because that is our first point of contact with life on planet earth. To move is to send intention and energy in motion.

“Exercise is as effective as certain medications for treating anxiety and depression.”
~John J. Ratey, neuropsychiatry, author-Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

Got writer's block? Artist's block? In a creative slump? Like the characters of the books you write and the strokes of the art you create, you can craft the change you want in your own life for real. You are a creator. You can create your way out of any artist block. Seriously.

Artist Block ~

7 Tips for Sacking the Slumps

Psychologically, these first three are the most potently simple—and simply potent—things you can do to change your state of being. So let’s expand on the three basics of movement, feeling and mentality listed above.


Exercise. Getting the body moving vigorously, preferably in fresh air exercise, walking, biking, hiking, etc, makes a world of difference. This is how our bodies are wired and they do respond, so long as we also change our story.


What is the voice in your head telling you? If it’s negative, doubtful, fearful… change that story to an alternate positive. The most powerful way to climb out of any negative or stuck place is to focus on what’s right, what’s good, and on gratitude. Especially gratitude.


A quick and easy shift for us that incorporates all three of these is to take a brisk walk while listening to inspiring podcasts and audiobooks by energetic and awesome creatives. Change your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right. Imbue your attitude with gratitude and that little shift will make a world of difference.


Keep practicing these things daily. Even one of these per day will make a positive difference over time. The day is the way to achieve your dreams, one step at a time… one day at a time.


Persistence wears down resistance. Those who don’t make it didn’t keep going. What if it takes twice as long as you’re hoping…? You’re still going to arrive in that future anyway, and if you keep on going, testing and tweaking in the journey, you will arrive further along than if you gave up.


Watch or read something inspiring or funny. We’re inspired regularly by amazing creators and entrepreneurs. It’s also very beneficial to engage in something completely different than you normally do… even a different topical genre.

(Think Steve Jobs and calligraphy, which inspired the creation and design of Apple technology). Here are some great ones to stoke your creative aspirations through inspiration.


Reach out to fellow creators and ask them for a chat for inspiration. Or, reach out to someone who is struggling and see what you can do to help them and lift their spirits. Contribution… contributing to others has a mysterious and magical way of dissolving our own.[1]

For more on getting unstuck, you may enjoy this article.

Hope this helps. Please send us an email to let us know if these helped you, or to share your best tips for getting unstuck on our Facebook page.

“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection.”
~Plato, Ancient Greek philosopher, founder-Platonist school of thought, (429?-347 B.C.E.)

“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection. ~Plato”

The Happiest People

Research shows that the happiest people:

  • Are more grateful
  • Have good relationships
  • Practice optimism
  • More likely to live in the present
  • Savor pleasures in life
  • Make physical activity a habit
  • Are often spiritual or religious
  • They’re deeply committed to goals

“Choosing ambitious but realistic goals gives our lives direction and brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when we achieve them.

And… as Seth Godin says:

There’s no such thing as writer’s block… what’s necessary is to develop a habit.
~Seth Godin, What to do When it’s Your Turn

Heed the Signs

You may also enjoy this TEDx talk on how to change your state and get unstuck by tuning into ‘Signs from the Universe’. It starts off a little slow, so if you don’t have much time, you can always speed it up.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
~Max Planck, theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics for his quantum theory, 1858-1947

Keep Routines from Becoming Rote

Positive habits are good routines that serve your creative efficiency and cultivate a reliability that breaks the spell of creative blocks. However, even the best routines need an infusion of newness to keep the energy circling in an upwardly evolving spiral.

Routines can be lightened, brightened and elevated by an infusion of different. Even a trip to a nearby landmark, hiking trail or unique eatery can shake up the doldrums.

The best approach is to prevent artist block by noting the signals and clues your body and psyche, feelings and intuition are sending you. Prevention is always best. But if you find yourself stuck, any or all of these things will help you push through to the other side, stronger and more capable.

Soon, through practice, and discipline, you won’t get stuck. Creative flow will be at the command of your positive habits, that summon your muse at will.

Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement.” 
~Aldous Huxley, English writer, philosopher, author-The Art of Seeing

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