If you’re a creator, you know that creativity has its ups and downs. Recently, I had a long run of creativity in music production. I wrote, recorded, and published more than 30 compositions in a 10-week period. Then things slowed down, a creative lull of sorts.

I’ve been composing music for years. I also write essays, books, and poetry. Plus, I do a little photography. There’s good reason I practice a variety of arts. It gives me options.

1. A Creative Lull Is Temporary

If you’ve been an artist for more than a few years, you know what I’m referring to. Creativity ebbs and flows. I’ve had weeks, months, even a year when it’s been dry. However, in time, the creative spirit always returns. Be patient. A creative lull isn’t permanent.

2. Practice the Craft

When I’m not creating new work, it doesn’t mean I can’t practice my art. As a musician, when I’m not composing music, I simply practice. I might work on some of my old songs, or I can practice scales or drum rudiments. I keep playing music. This same strategy applies to writing. If no fictional ideas are brewing, I’ll write poetry or essays.

3. Find Alternatives

Earlier, I said that there is good reason I practice a variety of creative arts. It’s simple. When I’m in a lull musically, I can work more on poetry or photography. But alternatives don’t have to be creative. Exercise, travel, reading, and many other activities can help you through a lull.

4. Don’t Worry

I used to freak out when I went through dry spells. I’d become anxious, thinking I’d never write another song or poem. I’d try to force myself to be creative, but forced creativity is not always a good option. It can lead to a lack of originality.

Don’t stress out. Keep calm, stay engaged in a variety of activities, and keep practicing the basics of your craft. In time, it’s not only likely that the creative drive will return, but it will probably be stronger and improved. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.