3 Ways I Get Inspired When I’m Feeling in a Rut


We all know the feeling. We sit down at our desks and open our laptops, or we get comfortable at our work bench and pick up our tools, ready to let our creativity flow, and then… nothing. The ideas that usually flow freely from our fingertips are nowhere to be found.

If your career relies on you to be creative, this can be a terrifying moment. What if you can’t create anything all day? What if the slump you’re in lasts even longer? How will you make enough money to support yourself, your family, or your business?

This is the mental meltdown that we’ve all experienced at one point or another. The truth is, you’re probably just in a rut, a period of time where you’re not in the right mindset to create. That’s totally fine! It won’t last long, but if you really need to get things done right now, there are a few tricks to get yourself out of that unforgiving headspace.

3 Ways to Get Inspired When You’re in a Rut

Go for a walk

Nature is a cure-all for nearly any negative emotion - that uninspired feeling included. If you’re struggling to string sentences together, or to design a new product for your business, walk away from your workspace and take a walk around your neighborhood.

Fresh air clears your mind like nothing else. As you’re walking around, make sure that you’re spending your time intentionally. Put down your phone, turn off that podcast you were listening to, and just experience the outdoors. Whether you live in the city, in a small town like Stoughton, or even in an area that’s more corn fields than condos, there will be something to see, something to smell, and something to hear. Soak in these intricate pieces of life. You’re sure to return to your desk with a new idea, or at least the motivation to push through the


Look outside your industry

Scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest at other creators in your industry, ironically, does nothing to help your own inspiration. If anything, you’ll fall into a terrible case of comparisonitis, or even worse, end up subconsciously becoming “inspired” by their work and create something unoriginal.

So, if you are a candle maker, consider heading to a museum for inspiration for your next scent. If you’re an artist, instead of checking out other artists’ portfolios, think about reading a new novel, or spending some time in your garden to spark inspiration. Great ideas never came from looking at what others have done before you. Seek out new, interesting experiences in order to make that little lightbulb above your head flicker to life.


Take time to reflect

If the weather is crummy, or you don’t have enough time to take on a new experience for inspiration, spend some time reflecting on your own creativity. Get out a journal, or a blank sheet of paper where you can doodle, and consider why you do what you do. What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning? Why do you love creating what you do? What was the impetus for your entry into the world of creative small business owners?

Reflecting on these reasons behind your work, or even on favorite personal memories and experiences, can spark inspiration that you didn’t know was sitting untouched in your mind.

When you’re in a creative rut, it can be easy to give up and put your work away until the next day, hoping that you’ll be in a better mood later on. If you’re feeling like that right now, if you found this post because you Googled, “what to do when I’m in a rut”, try out some of our tips above for reigniting your creativity. We can’t wait to see what you create once you’re back on your game.

LifestyleEmma Leuman