1. I love to read your blog – it’s one of the most useful and inspirational ones around for freelancers.
    This article is an exception. I’ve found that the things you listed here usually serve as procrastination fodder – at least for me.

    There seems to be a misconception that one has to be “inspired” or “motivated” in order to do creative work, but actually you don’t need to be! Just start working while keeping in mind that motivation is NOT a guarantee for spectacular results. Similarly it’s possible pull off stellar work even when unmotivated.

    You only have to be not afraid to fail, not afraid of bad results! I think that’s the hard part. Often I do work whose results makes me feel incompetent, not meeting my expectations, but I learn important lessons with each and every piece of work.
    (I’m an illustrator, by the way, painting pictures for a living)

    • Thank you for throwing this into the mix, Kristina! I totally agree with you, that just starting is really the best ‘cure’ for creative block. I do think that the main reason for feeling blocked is essentially a ‘messy head’ or too many thoughts.

      Everything I’ve listed here addresses this overthinking issue, which can still prove restrictive to people who simply start, or try to anyway. My hope is that these suggestions get you back on track before, the most important thing, just starting!

  2. I’m definitely going to write down these snippets of advice and dot them above my desk! Motivational reading definitely helps me whenever I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps.

    I also thought it was interesting what Kristina stated about you don’t necessarily have to be inspired to create – I completely agree! I graduated from a Fine Art course last year and it stripped my creativity for some time. I remember speaking to my tutor about one of my pieces of work and I mentioned there was no particular ‘theory’ behind the piece, I just created it because I had the urge to. He got pretty miffed at that saying all artists ‘must’ be inspired to start creating. When I spoke to others on the course it was more about making work to please the lecturers rather than pleasing themselves, it was quite sad in a way. You could screw up a piece of paper and if you could talk the talk you would be praised and some folks did take advantage of that. I’ve always been someone who has struggled with public speaking/presentations so lacking in that and not enjoying the work I was creating made me feel pretty helpless. I’m glad I’m out of there but I go through times of feeling resent, wishing I would have researched more into the courses when I was still at Sixth Form. For instance Illustration and Graphic Design are routes I wished I looked more into as they better fit my creative outlook. But through reading and learning the ace advice you share it’s made me pick myself up and has motivated me to actually do something about my worries rather than just tell myself it’ll never happen.

    I’ve babbled on for too long now – sorry about that! but cheers Alex for all the advice and keep it coming!

    • Thank you Katie. It’s excellent to hear that any of the advice shared here is having an impact. Ultimately, getting on and doing what you enjoy doing lies at the heart of doing motivated work.

  3. “Reading something interesting” really does help. My weapon of choice—”The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm”—never fails to inspire.

    Side Note:

    Dear Alex, like Kristina, I too love your blog. Your articles are inspirational, well liked—so much so that, of all the creative article links I share via Twitter and LinkedIn, yours is always the most clicked [see image]…

    Keep up the good work.


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