I am not gonna lie. I have not been feeling the knitting love lately.
Heck I have not been feeling the spinning or dyeing love either. Crazy since today is the first day of October. Here in Appalachia that means crisp cool mornings, gorgeous inspiring autumn colors just beginning to emerge. Sweater weather! But I am just not wanting to knit a single stitch. Even the siren song of my most precious hand spun that I have saved for myself will not persuade me to dive into my work.
In other words I am feeling stuck creatively.
Do you feel me? We have all been here right? Languishing projects, not even really wanting to cast on anything new either.
For me this has a layer of panic tied to it since knitting/spinning/dyeing is my business. I am about to head to Taos for a total fiber immersion week with some of my favorite fiber artists. I fully expect this creative log jam will totally be blown apart once I dive into my trip. But most of the time if I find myself creatively stuck, I do not have the luxury of exotic inspiring trips to beautiful locations being surrounded by some of the best fiber artists in the field to help me get my mojo back. I am left to my own devises to revive my fading inspirations.
Over the years I have come up with some tools that help bust through any creative dry spell which I share in my art journal challenge. Granted Art journaling in and of itself is one way to stay fresh. But here are a few of my favorite tips that you can take to get you knitting mojo back.
Get Some Sleep. I am a chronic insomniac. Here is how it usually goes down: midnight approaches and my monkey mind kicks into high gear and I get this brilliant idea that I will stay up and just ride that surge of creative energy all. night. long. I may get some great ideas rolling, but my next day (otherwise known as implementation time) is shot and I am in a fog all day. I can sort of function on 5 hrs of sleep, but I thrive on 8 hrs. You know what your sleep thresholds are. Don’t settle for functioning, aim for thriving…get some sleep.
Shut your brain down with movement. One of the best ways to get out of your head and back into your body is to move it. Go for a walk, swim, jog. Dance, dance, dance!! There is something about focusing on moving your body that shuts out the monkey mind. Once you are not all in your head it is usually way easier to give your right brain room to do it’s thing. Felling stuck? Grab the dog and go for a walk around the block.
Brain dump. Sometimes when I feel stuck creatively (or even stuck in general) I take time to empty all the things in my brain onto paper. In Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way she calls them morning pages and they are awesome for clearing all the stuff holding your thoughts hostage. Basically you write for 30 minutes— page after page stream of consciousness full of misspellings and run on sentences. It really is just an exercise to lighten your mental load.
Turning up the volume on little coincidences. I’d like to think everything happens for a reason. And sometimes that reason is to give you a little bit of inspiration. Pay attention. Don’t force it, just observe. Journal it. See what unfolds.
Embrace where you are creatively. You are at a different place creatively from day to day. It is never a straight path. It is a path with ups and downs. The only right place to be on any creative journey is exactly where you are. Start from where you are. Some days you will be full of creative inspiration, some days the mojo will run dry. It is okay. Go easy on yourself. I find my right brain really just wants acceptance for what it is in any given moment. Honor it, sometimes the best stuff bubbles up after a tiny dry spell.
Just know it is okay to not be creating all the time.
Inspiration comes from living your life. Your creative work is just your story.
I created the art journal challenge to help you navigate the ups and downs of your creative process.
Want to join me? The 30 day art journal challenge will start November 1.
I send out daily emails with encouragement and tips to get your journal practice going and help you overcome creative blocks.