space theme bullet journal spread

5 Steps to Get Through a Creative Crisis

I’m having a creative crisis. By this I mean that I was hit out of nowhere with panic over what I’m doing creatively with my life. More specifically, I’m lost in my blogging journey. It’s not writer’s block as such, I have plenty of ideas for posts; I have all the wood I could ever want to build a bonfire. What I seem to have misplaced is the matches. What I need to light the spark of desire to create content has temporarily slipped out of sight. It scares me; it upsets me. Most of all it makes me question everything I’ve created before and if any of it was ‘meaningful’ at all.

And so I’ve taken a step back. It might seem like I’ve only had a few days away from blogging to an outside viewer, as I had regular content going up on my blog until last Wednesday, but in reality I’ve taken a couple of weeks off and relied on scheduled content to get me through. In this time, I’ve become a little distant from the blogging community and haven’t been interacting as much as normal. There are excuses for this – being on holiday, getting ready to move to uni – but my gut instinct tells me these excuses aren’t the reason I’ve removed myself from the online world for a bit.

I’ve blogged through busy times before, in fact, that’s when I’m usually most active on social media. I use blogging and interacting with others online as a way to relax, and having a sense of purpose in this way helps me to get through other stresses in life. However, this time has been different. I think the real reason I’ve spent time away from blogging is because I’m going through a ‘creative crisis’ of sorts.

And so I thought I’d write a self-help checklist for myself and anyone else also struggling to find the box of matches for their creative endeavours. Perhaps by working through this, I’ll find myself in a better place with content creation. I do want to write, it’s not that I’ve lost that desire, I just seem to be struggling to get all the different parts of me to align in a way that allows me to type without feeling like I’m fighting a panic of some sort.

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Rediscover your purpose

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

I think one of the main causes for people to enter a creative crisis is because somewhere along the line they lose sight of their purpose. They’re suddenly unsure about why they’re putting time into this seemingly pointless activity and things they’ve worked so hard on can come crashing down in one bitter moment.

I think this has happened to me with blogging. I became super excited about all the possibilities that could potentially open up because of writing online and amidst all of that I forgot what gave me the drive to create content in the first place. I set up my blog for many reasons: as an emotional outlet, to develop my writing skills, to help and connect with other people experiencing similar things to me, and because I find it fun. Hopefully, by reconnecting with these values, I’ll be able to find my blogging direction again.

Rediscover your passion

What about it do you love?

It’s all well and good deciding your creativity holds purpose, and using that to get you back on track, but if you have no burning desire to fulfil this purpose then things are going to stagnate. So spend a bit of time contemplating what gave you the drive in the first place, and identify the specific part of your creativity that gives you joy. When it comes to blogging, I think generating ideas and having the platform to share those ideas with others are the bits that make my heart race a little with excitement.

Ground yourself

What can realistically be achieved?

Even though I’ve always had a lot going on whilst writing this blog, I generally had more flexibility with my time up until now. When I was doing a full-time degree and part-time work I was still able to give myself whole days to focus on writing: my course was distance learning and could be done whenever I wanted, and my job consisted of two twelve-and-a-half-hour shifts a week which got them out of the way in a couple of big chunks. So I had a lot on, but I still had blocks of time to dedicate to blogging.

Fast forward to now and everything is about to change. I’m going to university this weekend where I’m going to have to adapt to a timetable set by other people. I will have lectures and seminars taking up odd hours throughout the week meaning that large chunks of time will be harder to find. I think this calls for a change in how I manage things. My reality has changed, and therefore what is realistically achievable has also shifted.

It is important to regularly ‘check in’ with reality: ask yourself what is the same and what is different, and how your expectations of yourself need to slide accordingly. For me, this might mean scaling back the number of times I post a week in order to not lose the time I spend interacting with the community. But I haven’t quite figured it all out yet.

Introduce originality

What is something new you can try?

People tend to stick to what they know when they enter a state of uncertainty; they cling to stability and comfort to try to feel better. I think this is potentially counter-productive when it comes to having a creative crisis. If things aren’t working out as they are, and you’re getting more and more miserable or anxious, then something needs to change. It can be something incredibly small, anything really, but the idea is that the change will jolt you into action. For me, my change is sharing this creative struggle online. I talk on my blog a lot about mental health struggles, but don’t really touch on the issues I have with creativity. I thought this could be a good way to shift things slightly.

Allow yourself to dream

Where would you like your creativity to lead you?

Thinking forward, without overthinking in an anxiety-stricken way, is a skill I’m not too great at. I do have dreams in terms of blogging and writing in general – I’d love to publish a book one day, for example – but I’m not brilliant at thinking of more short-term goals without catastrophising. Dreaming is certainly a good thing to do though. It can keep your desire to create alive, and direct your creativity with a little more focus. That’s why I’ve added this as the last point – allow yourself to dream big, and be mindful that your dreaming is a positive addition to your creative process rather than a pressurising deadline, or stress-inducing deadweight.

space theme bullet journal spread about creativity

I’ve added these five points to a page in my bullet journal too, so every time I open the pages I’m reminding myself to keep thinking about creativity in a constructive way that will hopefully lead me to that box of matches. Or perhaps I need to go right back, and find some flint. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.


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29 thoughts on “5 Steps to Get Through a Creative Crisis

  1. Hannah says:

    I have felt this way over the past month where I have been uninspired recently about what to write and since my stats haven’t been improving, I felt like my blog was going nowhere. But I had to remind myself that the only person I blog for is myself, because I genuinely enjoy it, and escaping the internet for a bit really helped that. Good luck finding your creative spark again! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Liz Brannan says:

    I’ve felt the exact same over the last month! Part of me is contemplating quitting blogging as I’m not happy but then on the other hand, I love blogging and writing! These 5 points are great – I’m gonna use them tomorrow morning to help structure what I actually want in my life/from my blog. Hope you get out of this situation soon – I love your blog xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Johnzelle says:

    To start off, don’t allow the negative thinking to let you think everything you’ve done up until this point to be a “lost cause.” You’ve grown, inspired others, and have shared information and insights in a way that only you can do. Your life is changing as you enter this next chapter (and that’s a good thing.) I think we bloggers set very high expectations for ourselves. That’s good in some regards because it keeps us going and working towards the big picture; however, it can turn on us and disable us. I felt this way about blogging about a month ago. I was on the verge of giving up or reducing my posting. Then I thought back to my original purpose for creating this space. I tried some new things (book reviews, videos) and became inspired to change my expectations and posting frequency. Just know, most readers don’t notice when you change your frequency of posting (unless you over post). I read every Alys Journals post I see in the reader feed because I know it will be quality content. I’ll speak for everyone else when I say that we are fine with you taking any amount of time you need before sharing your creativity in this space again. Good luck at school and take care 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Petal Hugs says:

    Definitely gonna give these questions some time. For the past few months I’ve been mia here and O thought Im having a block and getting back to blogging seems intimidating now but I guess I need some time. You are such a great writer Alys! And you will become greater. Thank you for this and God bless on your future journey. So proud of u!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bexa says:

    Perfectly written Alys! I think as bloggers there is so much pressure to be forever creative and it’s not always possible or realistic. I know I struggle with inspiration at times and social media overwhelms me that I often just need to distance myself from it all for a bit. Thank you for being so open and honest with your creative crisis, it’s always good to know we are not alone in these feelings ❤ xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jennasworldview says:

    Firstly, I love your writing style and I truly felt like we were having an in depth convo. I think every person who has a passion for writing ✍🏾 will mostly definitely experience this, so do not feel alone.

    I guess trying not to lose your passion or lose sense of why you do what you do, will always be the things that keep your fire burning. What I will say though is do everything for you and only you. Do not worry because your loyal readers will always be ready and waiting for you whenever you take a little break. Continue to dream big because one day you will be that author that you long to be.
    Keep creating at your own pace.

    Jenna |xo – https://jennasworldview.com/2018/09/17/jennas-autumn-skincare-essentials/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. eviebraithwaite says:

    I’ve been feeling quite uninspired recently and haven’t sat down and wrote a blog post for nearly a week. Taking time away to remember why I started blogging in the first place is so important – my blog is a way for me to offload my thoughts and improve my writing! It’s easy for originality to get lost amidst blogging trends and by trying to boost engagement. Loved this! ✨

    Evie x | https://eviejayne.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

  8. IamAruru says:

    Ive had this for a month now and i know exactly what you’re going through. Im new to blogging and i just stepped onto this new stage in my life. I didnt think id find something to help me back to my creative self, but thanks to you, I’ve got the hints to find my matches.
    Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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