So, I actually wrote part of this article before the whole Bay Area Shelter-In-Place thing happened. A lot of my advice from before included tips like experiencing nature and observing people and visiting museums. Sometimes, when your mind really boggled and burnout, a breath of fresh air is the way to go. Well, obviously, most of us are now house-bound, so I scrapped all of that. Without further ado: how to combat creative burnout during the Coronavirus Shelter-In-Place.
Creative burnout has many names. Some people call it “inspiration burnout” or “writer’s block” or “artist’s block” or “creative rut.” But essentially it’s one sort of concept, a medium-length-term of lack of creativity or inspiration. I also like to split creative burnout into two categories: having lots of ideas in the backburner but mentally not being able to draw or write or express them, and having no ideas but wanting to be able to create art. And it feels terrible. Being in that sort of state feels like you are desperately reaching for something, only to come up empty handed. It feels like the blank piece of paper in front of you is mocking you. It feels like overwhelming, and nothing comes to mind or everything comes to mind, but that paper stays blank. It feels like you can’t create at all.
Sometimes it feels like it is going to last forever. That you’ll never create ever again. But it’s not. You will eventually get out of that state. And here are some tips on how to deal with the frustration of creative burnout and perhaps might help you rise out of the burnout. Just create something. It doesn’t have to be good. If you can, scribble on a piece of paper or just write something without deleting it. This will help your creativity start flowing. Another tip is to use prompts. Can’t come up with an idea? Google a random prompt generator. Or look at the works of people you admire. Maybe they will spark a tiny idea inside you. But definitely, don’t copy too closely. Or just simply step away from your work for a bit to see it with new eyes later. Go to your backyard, do something relaxing, take a break.
Eventually it will fade. Burnout doesn’t last forever. And when it’s over, you’ll find yourself with a fresh perspective.