F Creativity Standstill | tamdoll's workspace

Creativity Standstill

June 3, 2013
During the past two weeks I've come to a standstill on my projects. I have a test-knit on the needles that I'm going to have to rip-out and figure out where I left off. The picture below is my stalled Mermaid Journal - a black page, not really reflecting a black mood, but it seems poetic. (I'm stuck in Lesson 5, while Lesson 8 has come and gone). I started another online class, this one with Carla Sonheim, and love it - but didn't finish the last day's work for that either. This is definitely different than my last roadblock when I had a fear of trying something new.

Black Journal Page Creative Standstill by Tamdoll

It's not for lack of ideas that has held me back... I'm just typing here, trying to figure this out as I go along... Was going to skip blogging all together, but - what the heck, I'm not getting anything else done. Maybe I've taken on too much. Having two teenagers in the house is driving me crazy a little, but I can't really blame them for taking up my time - just my mental energy. My still-mysteriously swollen right hand remains an issue and a bazillion Dr. visits sucking up my free time is certainly annoying, but that's not it either.

I think I'm suffering from mental clutter. Full of unease and jittery. Can't focus.

Maybe some meditation is in order.

Has this ever happened to you? What do you do to get over it?


  1. I've certainly gone thru' many periods of being able to do nothing creatively. It's so scary. I find that the way back to sewing usually begins by learning something new, like a new craft or a new technique and that has worked for me so far. Having a undiagnosed condition is something I've experienced so I know the frustration. I hope you find a doctor who can figure it out.

  2. When I get this way, I find it helpful to write down all the things I need to accomplish. Or all the unfinished projects I have lying around. And then prioritize what I want to get done first. Then I feel a sense of accomplishment when I get to cross things off my list. It helps me see all my tasks and stay focused.

    I hope your rut ends soon...I'd love to see your completed journal :)

  3. Thanks Jane. Maybe after my next appointment on Friday my head will be clearer and I can get something done.

  4. I think you have something Edi. I have to not start anymore new projects and concentrate on finishing the ones I have. The first ones are going to be the classes I'm taking before the online classroom closes up - so that was easy to prioritize! A very firm deadline. And having a goal - I will video tape the finished journal and put it up here when it's done. Thanks for your input!

  5. I go through periods like this. I just let it ride because I know that eventually I will get back to creating. It's not on a time line for me, so when it comes, it comes and when it goes, it goes. I just read books, catch up on tv, do different things until I feel creative again.

  6. Thanks Judi. Now that you mention it - I realize I haven't watched ANY TV in weeks. I usually don't watch much, but maybe I should just "veg out" a little to something - getting completely out of my routine may do me some good.

  7. Oh Tammy, i am so sorry. These times can be upsetting and very unsettling. I think you hit the nail on the head with your diagnosis of metal clutter.

    One thing i have found to be extremely effective is something i call "unstructured time". Schedule some time off for yourself. At the very least a full day - two days is better. Make no plans. Do not use this time constructively. Or to think. Or to plan. Or even to craft. - Unless of course you really, really want to. And that is the point - do ONLY want you really want to do - what you feel like doing in the moment - and if that means you sit on the patio and eat cookies for 12 straight hours - do it. Don't do one single thing you "have" to do or thing you should do.

    Another thought - Diane and i both have begun to take one day a week vacation away from the computer and simply read or craft or garden or putter...very little structure..... It has helped immensely to stave off the "mental clutter".

  8. Pam, thanks for the advice! That's what I did one day this week & it was great. I relaxed, didn't accomplish much - but it was good to do nothing. We had a few rainy days, too, which I love- I didn't have to worry about watering my garden & it was too wet to go out and weed it - so I got a break from that responsibility for a bit.
    Also, I spoke to some other parents whose kids are graduating high school this year & they're feeling the same way - it's this chaos we don't have control over that is bombarding us at this time of year, it's making us all a little nuts.


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