Creative block: When to know its a problem

The COVID – 19 pandemic brought about crisis all around and one industry that was highly affected is the creative and entertainment industry. No concerts and shows, no events, weddings, or public gatherings for that matter. The travel restrictions were no help either.

A thing about the creative industry is that when the norm was interrupted, it created panic for most because every idea that most were used to were physical experiences. For some artists, they began to think outside of the box and were able to come up with new ways of doing their craft and earning from it. For others, it created a major creative block, and this is something not many were able to get out of.

Neema Walove, a Creative Coach says, “Creative block is when you are supposed to have a certain output in your creativity but you find that you don’t have anything according to your thinking that is creative enough. You may have tried many things and you just feel like it’s not enough. You get lost in the discovery of trying to figure out the right thing, but creative block comes from the feeling of not being enough.”

Creative block can be on and off but for some, it can easily spiral downward and become a risk for poor mental health. This ends up manifesting into conditions like anxiety and depression.

Walove continues to explain, “Differentiating mental health issues versus just a bad day varies for every person. Every person’s threshold is different. A personal example is when it’s a bad day for me is when I am able to get through the day even if I am feeling like it’s a bad day. When I know it’s a mental health issue, is when I am extremely tired and I can’t move. I either have to make a choice to move and by the move, I mean change my environment, even if it’s taking a walk.

You may notice like 3-to 4 hours in the day your thoughts are just negative, it’s important to get out of that space, and leave the room. Sleeping it out, move into someone else’s creative space, listen to a podcast or music, find something else that works for you.”

Taking time to analyze and accept how you are feeling is another point that Walove advises with regards to when a creative is facing mental health issues due to an extension of creative block.

Put what you are feeling into words and accept it. From here move into positive thinking; Walove continues to explain “In one of the exercises that I do with clients is painting/drawing shapes and expounding on it and release what you are feeling and see what you can come up with. You find that what you release in this space is enough, and that’s okay. Taking breaks is also key.”

Another thing that a lot of creatives have realized this season is the need to find other outlets for creativity. Walove shares, “What if you don’t paint on canvas but pain on the floor, or flowers? Find freedom in your creativity.”

A lot of the time when life is turbulent we can easily get stuck but this is where we must pump in all creative juices and not allow for our temporary circumstances to dictate the level of creativity we are capable of.

The creative industry has now grown in such dynamic ways, especially because of the digital space, where concerts are streamed live, online conferences are coordinated, weddings are placed on YouTube to attend, and online stores have increased in number. The style of creativity may have had to change but the creative person remains as creative as ever, probably even more!


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