Monday, March 19, 2012

How To Get Out Of A Creative Rut

I’m in a slump. I feel it in my bones, my teeth, my guts. The saying, “get busy living or get busy dying” spins around my head day and night. What do you do when you are faced with the Wall of Life? The question is rhetorical. There are methods, systems, rules, and formulas to break out of a rut but the challenge is ceaseless. I am not an “artist” so the manifestations of my ruts are different then those that produce things visually or in another medium that operates in a certain determined way, but nonetheless, I am a doer and a shaker, (of what, who knows, that’s another crybaby sandwich), and I feel the leakage of creative will and want just as acutely as others do. Faced with that, there must be actions taken, a personalized regime to get it together, because if it is not resolved, it will produce mental and emotional entropy.


Below are a few tips on how to shake the creative blues. I will be employing a few myself in between my ranting of just wanting to be done with this whole thing. The “thing” being the art world, the hustle, the boring conversations, the feelings of superiority, inadequacy, jealousy, the awareness that it all is a farce, an inside job, of the money, greed, power, of colonialism, imperialism, neo-liberalism, of all the sour grapes, bad artists, angry artists, boring artists, of all the sex in exchange for access, of the authority, of validation, of wanting to be something other then a speck, of naming things in the quest to be remembered, of the sub-genres trying to impeach others, of rich girls and boys, of using art as social capital, of money being funny, of nugget sized politics, this that and more are the ingredients to make a very bitter person in the world. But alas, breath, relax and close your eyes and remember that art, Art, is a thing that is beyond the tackiness and control of human beings. Maybe it is silly, novel, or melodramatic but I don’t care. Art is the thing that makes ideas, life, and other human beings utterly fascinating.


So when you feel like you just can’t stand one more minute of the bull shit that is life and you want to get yourself out of the hole or the dirty pajamas that is your creative slump, try doing a few of the below suggestions.



Wash comfy, cotton clothes in a hot dryer for a long time and then put on all clothes immediately.


Write a poem. With a pencil or pen.


Walk towards a body of water. Stare at water for at least 10 minuets, walk back home.


Ride a bike to a neighborhood that does not have mass transit close by.


Draw a picture of Garfield from memory.


Paint a picture of Bart Simpson from memory.


Take a shower, but very slowly.


Eat something with a blindfold on.


Make a video of yourself singing, incorporate pet(s) if possible.


Sew something, anything. If no ideas, sew an elephant.


Write a letter to a grandparent. If all dead, write a letter to your dead grandparent.


Doodle, a lot.


Make a mix CD, tape, whatever, give to someone, ask them make one for you.


Eat something very spicy.


Make something from clay or clay-like substance, if not sure what to make, make a bowl.


Paint flowers with watercolors.


Go through jewelry and repair.


Clean out closets.


Don’t watch TV.


Don’t go online.


Don’t eat food heated in a microwave.


Delete all of your online presence besides your email.


Don’t talk to anyone for 48 hours.


Make a dessert from scratch.


Invite 3 friends over for dinner, play charades.


Build something, if not sure, build a box.


Do something with dirt.


Go through past writing, art, music, whatever you produced before.


Spend a lot of time alone.


Make something for a friend.


Try to make a color with paint, pastel, or whatever to match the sky that day.


Don’t stay in apartment/house/room between 11am to 7pm.


Read a biography of an artist or someone else you admire.


Stay up for 48 hours and record thoughts, dreams the next day.