5 Strategies to Get Past a Creative Block


Creative blocks often seem to strike when you have a due date approaching on an important paper. It’s frustrating if you have no idea how to begin and stressful if you’re worried you may be running out of time. When this happens, there are some effective strategies you can use.

1. Use Mind Mapping to Explore Ideas

Instead of forcing yourself to start writing sections of your paper, jot down ideas in the form of a mind map. This practice is helpful because it involves coming up with as many ideas as possible and thinking about points that lead from a central idea. Plus, even if you come up with ideas that you later dismiss as implausible, the exercise is useful because each idea will often lead to another.

There are several ways to use mind mapping. One effective method is to put individual ideas on sticky notes. You can then group together ideas that complement each other. You may find you can use several related ideas in the same section of a paper to round out your argument.

2. Find Solutions By Imposing Restrictions

It can sometimes be difficult to be creative because you have too many possibilities. By giving yourself restrictions, you may find it easier to arrive at solutions. For instance, you could decide to only take inspiration for a project from things in your room. Once you start generating ideas, you can remove the restrictions to complete your project.

3. Avoid Striving for Perfection

You may be dismissing ideas or deleting what you do manage to write because it feels too imperfect. It’s important to remember that the creative process is never about seeking perfection: it’s about experimenting with what works. Once you have a first draft, you can go back and edit it as much as necessary. The important thing is to make some kind of progress to ensure you’ll be able to submit a paper at all.

4. Stop Waiting for Inspiration

If the minutes are ticking by and you still have a blank page, try creating anything. Even if you start in a completely different direction to where you ultimately end, it won’t be wasted time because you’ll gain the momentum you need to begin. Inspiration often doesn’t just strike — it happens when you’re in the midst of working.

5. Become Bored

If you’re unable to force yourself to create something by sitting down at your desk, give yourself a break. However, it’s important to not allow yourself to do anything interesting until you come up with something. Spend time on your most monotonous chores until you’re desperate to do homework instead.

You’ll likely struggle less from creative blocks when the atmosphere is conducive to studying. This means moving out of your dorm room and into student rentals. Barrie has apartments at Arcadian Students. As well as studying at your desk in your fully-furnished bedroom, you can use the onsite study rooms whenever you need a change of scenery. Book a tour to check out the facilities for yourself.