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I’m in a Creative Rut

I’m the one you all are supposed to be coming to for creative inspiration, ideas, and alllll the colors! But here’s the reality…I’m in a creative rut…

This is a weird post to write because I’m the one you all are supposed to be coming to for creative inspiration, ideas, and alllll the colors! But here’s the reality…we all fall in and out of ruts (writer’s block, a relationship funk, creative ruts, whatever it might be). Whether creative or emotional, I sometimes feel completely void of new ideas or inspiration. It’s a feeling I’ve gone through multiple times over the course of my life as a creative person and also as a business person. But it’s frustrating when your work is creative, you get paid to be creative, and you just feel stuck.

This year was a weird one for me. On top of the transition out of/still in Covid that many of us are experiencing, I had some personal things happen that were very emotional for me earlier this year that really put me in a funk. And, my creativity hasn’t been the same since.

On top of all that, the world seems to be on fire. The huge storms this year causing massive damage and devastation all over the world. The continued conflicts and wars raging right now. The human rights and bodily autonomy abuses in Iran and right here at home. And on and on. Everything feels heavy. I want to bring happiness and light and just a small break of joy to people, but I’m not feeling as inspired as usual. I’m just stuck!

But then I remember, that it’s okay to feel multiple things. We can feel upset for what others are going through while also accepting that our own ruts are valid, too. Our problems don’t have to be worse than someone else’s for them to matter. They can all matter and all feel real.

So…what am I doing about this creative rut?

I’m trying to get out and do things. I recently spent a day visiting a museum hanging with a friend. It gave me connection and conversation and new things to look at that day. And while one day at a museum isn’t going to transform my life, it’s a work in progress in discovering what’s in the back of my brain that hasn’t emerged yet. Continuing to surround myself with new or different creative experiences when possible is always good.

I’m moving my body…a lot. I play tennis 3-5 times a week, and it really is an escape for me. It prevents me from thinking about too many other things while trying to stay focused on the game, and it’s been something that I always look forward to. Sometimes doing things that are much different than your job offers inspiration in a different kind of way.

I’m going to see musicals and going to concerts. Musicians and actors are a completely different type of artist than I am. It’s so inspiring to me to see them perform and share their art in such a grand way. It always makes me so emotional in the most joyful way.

I’m back in therapy! I haven’t been in traditional (talk) therapy for over 10 years. I had an amazing life coach for a bit who helped me with some peaks and valleys of my business. Recently, I felt it was time to reconnect with some of the emotional parts of me that needed a little help and found a new therapist I love.

To me, creativity is kind of like a reptile shedding a new layer of skin. You know it’s going to happen, and you know it’s part of the process. But it also doesn’t happen overnight.

I’m trying to sit in the discomfort of a rut because, most of the time, I don’t feel this feeling. Ideas are usually flowing out of me…more ideas that I don’t have time to execute. So it feels weird when they don’t.

Finally, I’m trying to use this current moment as a learning experience…what parts of my work do inspire me? What parts don’t? Are there things I could be doing in my free time that will help ignite something new?

I don’t know! Come along with me, and let’s see where this goes…

Photo by the super talented Max Wanger


  1. Hi Joy!
    Thanks for sharing this with us. I can relate in so many ways. Being social and getting out more has been helping me navigate this phase. Wish we could grab a coffee like old times and chat it up.

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Miss hanging with you, too! Thanks so much for sharing…I know this season will pass. It’s always frustrating when you’re in it :/.

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us!! As a creative business owner, it’s scary to feel “blocked” sometimes. It feels like I am a fraud and I worry what if this is it, what if I can never be creative again. I agree with everything that you said, it’s nice to change scenery, do other things, get your mind and body out of the situation instead of staring at the computer and hoping your creative mojo will suddenly come back. It’s also nice to go to therapy, as soon as you say things out loud, the stress lifted from your shoulders straight away. I hope your creative power is coming back soon!!

  3. I love your vulnerability. I honestly believe when we go through these times, it’s a way to learn to find the simple little things that make us happy or be present… maybe just find ourself again. You’re a lovely person who has accomplished so much! Wishing you love and warmth.💗

  4. Thank you for always being willing to be vulnerable. There have been so many deeply felt emotions over the past few years, I think it’s time for me to talk to someone too! Good for you to find outlets and support!

  5. Quit watching the news. Seriously, take a break. I try and concentrate on my family and friends and their needs. Gardening centers me. Do I need to hear tired news about Trump vs Clinton vs Biden? Do I need to hear about Elon Musk and his latest bizarre events? Do we really need to rehash every celebrity meltdown/10th child/divorce? And what power do we have in all of that anyway? The only power we have is the off switch and I have liberally used it. Much happier!

  6. Thanks for your vulnerability. I feel like COVID really knocked the wind out of a lot of us, creatively. Getting back into daily exercise and healthy eating habits has helped my mental health (and therefore my creativity!) SO MUCH.

  7. I’m so pleased you put voice to these feelings, I’ve been feeling exactly the same. Just so discouraged, worried and void of any creative spark at all. Every time this happens it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking something is categorically wrong with us, it must be US right? Because on social every one else seems to have it all together. In truth, I think we’re all struggling in the current climate and everything we’ve been through and are still going through. That said, I’m here for you. And I LOVE the strategic practical things you’ve put in place to move your body, get the blood pumping. We’re not meant to be chained to a desk spewing out ideas left, right and centre. Yet it’s a trap a lot of creatives, especially when people are so expectant to receive at a certain time. And yet musicians don’t work like that, some go into a kind of hole for months on end while they write and write, sleep, dream, walk, sing, and somehow at the other end there’s an album. Sometimes I wish bloggers and online creatives would take this approach more. Because weren’t robots xx lots of love Joy! You ARE JOY, that’s who you are, not what you do xx


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