I think March is probably the worst month of winter for me. Growing up in the south, March generally meant Spring – here, March means the month with more snowfall than any other month. Deep in my bones, I know it is supposed to be warm, and even the birds think so too, because they’ve come back and I hear them singing; but when I look out the window and expect to see blue skies and horizons lined with wildflowers, all I see is an endless expanse of white.
My inspiration is waning.
This winter is bad for my health and my craft, and lately I’ve been experiencing a lack of motivation. However, I have a few methods for getting out of a creative funk when I’m stuck in the house, and I would like to share them with you.
It is my opinion that the most important thing to do if you are in a creative funk is to put down whatever you’re working on. Just walk away, forget about it for a little while. I don’t care about your deadlines or personal goals – in the end, taking a break will be worth it. So with that in mind, here are some techniques I use for getting out of a funk.
1. Do some spring cleaning. This is my favorite thing to do when I’ve lost my verve; I’ll put on some loud music, grab a sponge, and let my mind wander as I scrub the stains out of our stupid porcelain sink. I went through the whole house earlier this week and cleaned cleaned cleaned. Winter lets the dust settle over a sleeping house, and it seems like cleaning it away banishes the dust of my mind as well.
2. Organize your craft room/work space. If you don’t feel like tackling the whole house, aim for just the area where you spend most of your time. When I reorganize/clean my craft room, I notice the difference immediately. It can be as simple as vacuuming up all the flyaway thread pieces and a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders.
3. Revisit a favorite book. I do this often. If I’m feeling uninspired, it really helps to thumb through some of my most-loved novels, trying to find favorite passages. Sometimes I will stumble across a quote I’d forgotten about that inspires to me make something new.
4. Organize a bookshelf. Sometimes thumbing through my favorite books leads to me taking all of them off their shelves and completely reorganizing them. I LOVE organizing books, and it really knocks stuff loose in my creative attic.
5. Bake something. Baking is a huge stress reliever for me, and we all know the aroma of fresh baked bread wafting through the house is intoxicating. The smell alone is enough to inspire.
6. Plant something and watch it grow. There’s nothing quite like watching the progression from a seed to a tiny sprout to a full grown plant. Obviously, this takes a little bit longer than baking a loaf of bread or doing a DIY, but it is still a fun activity for when you’re feeling unmotivated. If you don’t want to mess with soil and pots, try sprouting lentils.
7. Redecorate a wall in your house. Sometimes you just need to change things up a bit. Rearrange your gallery wall or move the wall hangings in the bedroom to the living room. Simple changes like this can help freshen up your house and your attitude.
8. Make something you don’t normally make. Get on Pinterest and find a fun, springish DIY – maybe something to decorate your walls with – and try it out. Even if the funk you are in is a creative one, sometimes doing a project in a different line of creativity will help you get out of it.
9. Go to your local Goodwill or thrift store and find something unique. Old stuff always seems to inspire me, so if I’m deep in the mires of creative paralysis, I love to go thrifting. Last weekend my husband and I went to a huge antique mall where I found some truly beautiful old books and a plethora of other awesome goods.
10. Exercise. If all else fails, go to the gym. Physical activity is known to promote improved brain function, and for me burning calories and sweating a little bit really helps me get motivated in other areas of my life.
Creative funks are stupid, I know, but don’t let yourself be discouraged! Just keep moving, creating, and seeking inspiration. If you have any methods for shaking a creative funk, share them in the comments!