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BOUNCING BACK FROM THE CREATIVITY PAUSE

Updated: Jan 18

Since the pandemic hit, knitting and crocheting have been my constant companions — bringing joy to my everyday life. They're a fantastic outlet for my creativity, allowing me to make unique items and even spurring me to start a successful small business.


Yet, since November, I've hit a creative block - lost the drive to complete the handmade projects I started. The familiar urge to add "just one more row" is missing.


Like any creative journey, these manual arts occasionally encounter a “creativity pause.” I've been on this pause for almost three months now. It's akin to writer’s block but in the handmade realm — disheartening, mainly when it is the core of what you do for a livelihood.



Why do these creative pauses happen?

In my case, after some months of discussing it in therapy, I concluded it was exhaustion from the constant changes in my life over the past few months. Life’s challenges or stressors can distract and slow down the creative process. However, research indicates that overcoming this creativity pause is possible, though it may require some effort.



How can we overcome these creative pauses?

Here are some strategies I'm currently trying:


First, I've accepted that I need a break. It might seem counterintuitive, especially if crafting is my favorite pastime. However, stepping back might give me a fresh perspective and recharge my creative batteries.



Next, I'm seeking inspiration from various sources — the beauty of nature, art, books, or even more exercise (I restarted swimming after almost twenty years). I'm doing things that make me happy and stimulate my creativity in new ways. A change of scenery or new experiences can spark a new idea.


Teaming up with fellow makers is another strategy I'm trying and loving. Collaborating with others can provide a fresh perspective, new ideas, and the boost I need to get back on track.


Lastly, I'm taking a moment to remember why I fell in love with knitting and crocheting. Was it a form of self-expression? A desire to create beauty? A way to spread happiness? Reflecting on my initial motivations might reignite my creative spark.


Navigating a pause in creativity can be challenging for creators. However, I've found that it's a natural part of the creative journey. Most importantly, we should normalize these periods of creative pause. They're an inherent part of the creative process, not something to be ashamed or anxious about.


Recognizing and embracing these pauses as chances for rest and rejuvenation can help us return to work with renewed energy and passion when appropriate. Our creativity will likely flow again with time, patience at our own pace, and a reconnection with our roots.

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