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The Haven Herald

Article: So You’re Stuck In A (Creative) Rut

So you’re stuck in a creative rut, eh? Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. It goes by many names: writer’s block, artist’s block, creative block, to the more extreme I’m-Not-In-The-Mood-For-This-So-Leave-Me-Alone syndrome. What should you do if you experience a sudden absence of creativity and drive while writing some fan fiction, drawing some fan art, or even writing that history essay (due tomorrow!)?There is a way. There are several ways to beat the Big Bad Block. Of course, everybody’s different, but this does not mean that there aren’t any ways to help make things better.

Here are a few tried and tested ideas to get you started:

  1. Stare at a blank sheet of paper/blank Word document/blank canvas/blank Photoshop canvas. Oftentimes, all we need is time. Warning: This method is not advisable when you are doing an in-class writing assignment where you are given only around 30 minutes to complete your written composition. By the time that you would get your ideas flowing, class is over. 😛
  2. Seek inspiration from the source. Most of us complain of “not being in the mood” to write or draw, but don’t let that stop you from getting anything done. As an Artemis Fowl fan, a great way to get yourself inspired is to go back to the source of your inspiration–the books that inspired you to write fan fiction and draw fan art in the first place. What about reading your favorite AF book, or listening to an audiobook? You can always pick up some ideas that you have never thought of before, or notice those tiny details that you never paid attention to. Seeking inspiration from the source material is always a great way to get you started.
  3. Seek inspiration from your peers. Artists inspire other artists, writers inspire other writers, and friends give inspiration and advice to their friends as well. When your creativity powers are running low, it is always a good idea to be inspired by other people’s work. Look at what others have created and look at what they did wrong or right. Consider some ideas that could get expanded, concepts just waiting to be executed, or just random ideas that you know the people around you would absolutely love. Get into conversations–talk to people, exchange ideas, give advice or ask for help. However, there is a difference between (artistic) inspiration and plagiarism. 😉
  4. Inspire yourself. Yet again, Foaly has a point. In his short interview found in the Artemis Fowl Files, Foaly mentions that he often inspires himself by reading his own articles in scientific journals. Though this centaur could be practicing Self-Induced Inspiration (now called SII for short) for his routine ego maintenance check (not because he has some form of writer’s block), this is a good thing to do. If you have no idea on what to write or draw, you can always go take a look at your past work and think about the following questions: Which pieces are your favorites? Which ones got the most feedback, or highest ratings? What could you do to improve them? Why do you think these pieces succeeded? So don’t let Foaly fool you: SII is a good thing. 🙂
  5. Lower your standards (a bit). Sometimes, we’re just too pressured to whip out something fantastic that our inner self critics stop us from accomplishing anything. You’d type a phrase, and an automatic “What a lame intro,” or “You can do better than that,” creeps in from your subconscious. Art and literature are all about creating. When you have an idea that you would love to work on, go for it! Let go of your inner critic and editor–they would be useful later on, during the editing process.
  6. Freewriting/Doodling. Here’s a good exercise to try out. This is mainly designed for writers, but I believe that artists could try this out as well (i.e. instead of writing, you would be drawing). Get your writing materials (or drawing materials) and get ready to write continuously for 10 minutes. You are not allowed to erase anything–leave the typographical errors and/or bad spelling (or wrong strokes, for the artists) as is. Work nonstop for 10 minutes and write about anything under the sun. This is a good way to force yourself to churn out some ideas thanks to good ol’ time pressure.
  7. Give yourself a break There are good days and bad days. There are also those days when nothing would work. Perhaps your lack of creatvity is a way for your body to tell you that you’re tired or worn out. When this happens, the best thing to do is to give in. Mechatronic, sub-human routine sucks the life out of creativity, and the best way to get creative is to get rid of “cache”. Take a break. Get out of your room, go outdoors, or force your parents to take you to Bermuda. (Okay, not really.) Recharge yourself, relax, and get a change of scenery. Sometimes that’s all you need to do.

What about you? How do you beat the Big Bad (Creative) Block?

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Comments on This Post

29 responses to “The Haven Herald.” Join in!

  1. I love this! Great job on this issue! Hard to believe it’s only your second! 🙂

  2. Mentos_not_mental September 9th, 2007 at 4:07 am 2

    Wow! That was an amazing issue. Yay! I got member of the month. Thank you soooo much. Congrats to everyone. And good job with this issue. I love it.

  3. hEllO ouT tHerE! September 9th, 2007 at 4:30 am 3

    great job everyone, cant wait till next issue. Congrats mentos_not_mental.

  4. hey wonderful job
    congrats mentos_not_mental

  5. congrats mnm

  6. hey! i read the haven herald all the way through! thanks for making a new letter! and congrats mentos.

  7. Congrats mentos! It would be cool….nah never mind. I think It would sound stupid to ask, so yeah. I’m in a creative block, but anybody could try to read through my terrible attempt at a story, deserted. I loved the news letter!

    (Don’t go falling into any coke bottles mnm! :P)
    Holly Short, signing out.

  8. Oh well, I might as well ask…how can a willing member help with the newsletter? I would be willing to submit just about..well anything. *braces self for refusal and a telling off*

  9. I love to work and I would be eternally grateful if I could help, so……*Blushes and looks at feet* yeah…*embarassed*

  10. We are always looking for help. 🙂 Sign up on the forums and post in this thread: http://forum.fangathering.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2031

  11. This was an awesome newsletter! I’m really happy right now! I got an honorable mention, woohoo!! sorry really happy right now.

  12. Wow! I am so happy i won FANART OF THE MONTH! I mean i never won anything here! It feels good! Thanks to everyone! I hope i can post more art, but we have school.. T_T

    THANKS AGAIN! I appreciate it! 😀

  13. My congratulations to you on yet another brilliant newsletter, And my thanks for mentioning my quiz.

    REDAER DNIM EHT

  14. I’m really glad you liked it guys!!!It’s so nice to hear that.Congrats to all winners!!!!!!!!
    And Holly,it would be awesome to have you in our site team.It’s very nice you want to help:D

  15. Woop! Go me! I was always attached to that avatar 😛
    Congrats to all the other winners and to everyone involved with The Haven Herald for a thoroughly enjoyable and creative second issue! Keep those amazing ideas coming!

  16. Well, I just joined forums, and It’ll take me forever to get 35 posts. I have an idea, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so i’ll just post it under the topic.

  17. I am so happy and surprised to win the Newbie of the Month! I am glad to have joined FG! All you guys are so good and this HH are very good too. Hope for the next issue.

  18. Congrats to all winners!
    LEP-We are glad you joined too!!!!

  19. i dont have any computer know-how whatsoever. but is there any way I can help? with the newsletter or anything else on the site?
    i just want you guys on the newletter that i love the haven herald and congrats to all the honorable mentions, fanfiction of the month, etc.

  20. @1hollyfan: As Moneyman said up there, we are always happy to get volunteers to help out with the FanGathering website. 🙂 Since you’re already a forum member, just check out this thread to learn more.

    Those who would like to help out are advised to check out that link. 😛 Thanks so much for volunteering. It means a lot. 😀

  21. 😯
    My really, really, REALLY bad picture won? 0.o
    Imagine if I actually tried.

  22. Thanks! I write these stories for my friends to read called Twisted Humor and I have had SEVERE SEVERE SEVERE writers block. Even though I just write a story and add weird jokes.

  23. Точно, как все говорят, полезное рядом! 🙂

  24. Круто. А информацию не с ЖЖ случайно взяли? 🙂

  25. +1 к предыдущему комменту 🙂

  26. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so
    much, However I am having issues with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else having similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  27. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs
    I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always helpful to read through articles from other writers and practice something from their sites.

  28. Boz gw mw tny nee,sykr alhmdll gw dh pny ninin,impian gw,dh krg lbh 1blnan,yg gw bngung ne mslh oli smping,mknik dler nyranin idmitsu,.tp gw mw pke oli smpg yg wngi pa g ngaruh dmh,ni.tsankz boz

  29. Thank you! I thought I had lost my Regia pamphlet halfway through my second heel. Your explanation got me through it (and then I found the pamphlet after all…) This is my first pair of socks, so I may never do a gusset heel. I like the way this turns out, and it isn’t that hard once you decipher the instructions.thanks again,molly

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