It’s a difficult time for people around the world as we deal with the pandemic. If you’re feeling pressure to produce creative work, whether for your new online business or as a means of self-care, you might find that it’s hard to motivate yourself. First of all, that’s totally okay: Experiencing the pandemic and its fallout is distressing. But if you really feel a need to be creative — and it is good for you — follow these tips to help lift yourself out of your quarantine funk.
Consume other people’s creative work.
If you’re struggling to get started on a project or are having a case of creative block, spend some time looking at others’ work. Read some stories on Medium or Vocal, check out designs on DeviantArt or Instagram, or watch some people’s indie films and comedy shorts on Vimeo and YouTube. Look for creators with similar styles and topics to your own — and be sure to engage with their work and leave a comment. You never know: You might just find a new collaborator! Plus, you’ll likely feel inspired in your own work.
If you’ve been staring at your sketchpad for an hour with no progress, try switching to a digital mode. Play with a graphic design app or just work on your website a bit. Similarly, if you can’t bring yourself to type another word, switch to the physical realm and try doing some sketching, knitting, collage, or something else physical. Just the act of switching work modes can kick-start your creative brain.
Identify a reward for yourself.
While it’s true that creativity is its own reward (and the money doesn’t hurt, either), sometimes you need to psychologically trick yourself into being productive. Try naming a particular reward that you will give yourself if you meet a creative goal. It’s important to not punish yourself. Don’t deprive yourself of necessary care, and don’t link your goal to a reward that depends on the task or puts undue pressure on yourself. That is, the reward for meeting the goal shouldn’t be “I’ll feel better about myself” but rather something unrelated and good for self-care. For example, if you meet your goal of 2,000 words for the day, you can reward yourself with a bubble bath.
Above all else, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t bring yourself to be creative or if you don’t meet your creative goals. This is a difficult, emotionally draining time, and it’s okay to take a rest! In fact, taking a rest might just be the best thing you can do to recharge your creative juices.
Need someone to help you meet your creative goals? Check out our coaching program. You can get started with a free 15-minute coaching session to help you identify your goals and boost your motivation. Head on over to the Coaching page to try it out.