What Hinders Your Creativity?

Hello SE Readers! Or should I say hello creatives? That’s right; whether you’re an artist, a musician, or a writer, you are creative. You create pictures, music, words. And really, a writer paints pictures with his or her words.

But there are a number of things that can hinder our creativity. Time. Distractions. Technology problems. Some are valid reasons, while others are excuses to procrastinate. Believe me, when I say I’m the queen of procrastination. I’ve listed a few of my past and present hindrances. Some I have overcome, others I’m still working on.

 

  • The need for perfection. Many of us feel we should get our work right the first time. We want that first draft to be perfect. Guess what? They’re not. The key to good writing is rewriting.
  • Fear. “What if no one likes my writing? What if no one reads it? What if…” We can add a number of things to this list but remember most “what ifs” never transpire.
  • Self-doubt. This used to be a big one for me. “I’m not good enough.” “I can’t do this.” “I’ll never…”
  • Social media. Whether self-published or traditionally published, an author must have a social media presence. But spending too much time on social media sites can lead to decreased productivity.
  • Technology. It’s great when it works. When it doesn’t… Well, let’s just say that I’ve spent more than my fair share of time dealing with slow computers, software and apps that don’t always work, and internet issues.
  • Stress. This is a big one. We all have lives outside of writing. Some of us also hold full-time jobs. Others might have family members who are going through a rough time. We may have health issues. The list is endless.

What can we do to combat these situations?

  • Realize we aren’t perfect. First, second, and third drafts aren’t without error. And no matter how many rewrites and edits a story has been through, we can always find room for improvement. Strive to put forth the best work you can and realize that there comes a time to let it go.
  • Not everyone will like your writing. But don’t let that stop you. Publish that novel. Submit that short story to a magazine. It may take a while to find your target audience, but once you do, you’ll start to build a loyal fanbase.
  • My mother used to say, “Can’t never did anything.” She was right. One of my favorite quotes is by Vincent van Gogh. “If you hear a voice inside you that says, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” When you feel self-doubt, just write. Soon those voices will become silent.
  • Determine to spend less time on social media. If it’s too much of a distraction, invest in an internet blocking software.
  • Realize your limitations with technology. If it’s something you can’t fix, get professional help. Sometimes all we need to do is walk away for a while. We can always rely on pen and paper to get a few words written.
  • In today’s world, stress is inevitable. There are many things in life for which we have no control. Take a few minutes each day to meditate, listen to music, take a nature walk, do some yoga, or whatever method helps you to relax.

Realizing our greatest hindrances is the first key to overcoming them. What hinders your creativity and intrudes on your writing time? What steps have you done to overcome those things?

51 thoughts on “What Hinders Your Creativity?

    • I do better away from home. I used to take my laptop to the coffee shop to write. And music always inspires me but if I’m writing, I sometimes find the words distracting.

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  1. Pingback: What Hinders Your Creativity? | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  2. Hands-down the biggest hindrance for me is social media. I am anal about keeping my inbox down to at least forty or less, but with all the blogs I follow, that is a daily consuming chore. I struggle with this all the time. Then add on the Tweeting and Facebooking – well it gets out of hand. I’d love to find a solution.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A woman after my own heart! I’m OCD about my inbox (and I have three email addresses – one personal, one for my website/blog, and one for my day job). It’s a never-ending battle and I’ve yet to come up with an answer to the problem. I can remember the early days of the internet when receiving an email was a big treat! I’ve come a long way since then!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links | Staci Troilo

  4. Thanks for the information. I am oh, so new to all of this. I thought my first set of stories would get things going, but it seem that hardly anyone goes to the beginning of my blog. I guess, I shall have to learn how to “reblog”!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Am I allowed to say “real life”?

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to write MORE MORE MORE, but sometimes the pressures of being a full-time student and part-time worker are too much to overcome. For example, I’m heading into the last week of semester now, then exams, and there’s a bit of a crisis going on at work, so I just know I won’t have the time to write.

    But that’s okay. I’ve learned over the years that sometimes you just need to say “Right, this can’t come first at the moment”, get your life sorted out, take a break, and then jump back into it with renewed vigour.

    For now, I’m just holding out for the mid-year break 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely you can say real life! And I relate in that I hold a full-time job. It’s often stressful in that it requires me to use a lot of brain power. There are days when I come home mentally exhausted and don’t feel like writing.

      And you’re right, it’s okay to take a break now and then.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There are so many distractions these days. I try to prioritize things like date night, and family events. Sometimes new words on paper takes a back seat to other writing activities, like promotions. Somehow, time for it comes around. I used to stress out over it, but I’m getting better at accepting that I can’t do everything at once.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good for you, Craig. The past couple of months, I’ve decided to take Sundays off and spend time doing fun things with the husband. Sometimes we might just sit around and watch a movie but it’s something we enjoy doing. Life is too short not to spend time with those we love.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m guilty of the first one with a capital P. It’s really hard for me to turn off my inner editor when I write. I’m always going over and over something rather than moving ahead. It makes for slow writing. Occasionally (like when a deadline is looming), I can shut the editor off and plow ahead. Then I go back and clean up the mess of words I left in my wake. It’s actually very difficult for me to do. I need to practice the nano-writing style more 🙂

    Great post, Joan!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ooh, now, that list is endless and ever changing! lols. Tiredness. Stress. Feeling unconfident. Too busy, etc., etc. And it’s so easy to get out of the habit. That’s why it is so important to try and write something every day, even if it’s just gibberish and will never see daylight. It helps to keep that writing muscle flexed. Thanks for a great post, Joan! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • So true, Harmony. Seems like the more determined I am to develop a regular writing schedule, the more life interferes. I like the idea of writing daily – even if it’s only a hundred words of gibberish.

      Liked by 2 people

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