Do you ever feel like you have something in mind buy it is hard to express it creatively? Or you are stuck but want to create something? That constant feeling or loop of being unmotivated or uninspired is called a creative rut and we all get it at some point. A creative rut can demotivate you and make you doubt yourself, and it can sometimes cause anxiety about not being productive. In an article by Amy Shamblen, oftentimes when we become comfortable with our work, it starts to become dull to us and we find it difficult to come up with fresh, creative ideas. When this happens, we need to find ways to see things from different perspectives and challenge ourselves again, but knowing where to start can feel tricky when you’re unmotivated. Adding side projects to your life can actually fuel your creativity for main projects. Machrine Uwayezu, an author and motivational speaker, often gets stuck creatively but whenever it happens, she takes time to think and allows the phase to pass. “I don’t push myself when I get the feeling, I let myself be and tell myself that if today l can’t find inspiration, maybe tomorrow I will. And if tomorrow doesn’t work, the next day I will, but either way, it hurts me every time I find myself in that position,” she says. Viviane Muhorakeye, a writer and actress, says that her creative rut happens when she is distracted, when sad, or has a lot on her mind, but sometimes they happen for no reason. “I get stuck or unmotivated many times and when it happens I take time off from what I am doing, whether it is writing or creating a screenplay. I stop it and give my mind time to relax and calm down, and when it happens constantly I focus on other things and resume my writing when I’m back in the mood,” she shares. Breaking free Emmanuel Mugisha, a content creator, notes that one way to get past a creative rut is understanding that a creative rut does not mean lack of creativity. “It is important to recognise that a creative rut is a phase that will pass like any other, it doesn’t mean that you are lacking creativity, it is just simply at that time when your brain has a lot of ideas but can’t express them, and sometimes the brain is just empty which is not bad, because it is also part of being a creator. So understand that it is a temporary phase that will not stay on forever and that it will pass eventually,” he says. Creative ruts are challenging phases that everyone faces, here are some tips if you are stuck creatively: Get inspired Shamblen says that when we get used to seeing the same thing every day, things can get a little stale. Discover new artists and work that inspires you. Finding something new that sparks your interest is a great motivator. Clean your room or office space Become a Writer Today, a creative blog, states, “Before you start working, clear your office space and make it look nice. Feel free to put up some decorations. It doesn’t have to be sparkling. It just needs to make you feel good while working. Cleaning your room also clears your head and boosts creativity like no other activity.” Dress professionally Become a Writer Today also suggests that everyone who works in a corporate office would love to work from home because you get to work from your bed in your pyjamas. No need to get dressed, whip out your laptop and get to work. But this is the wrong mind-set. Even if you’re working from home, you must respect the work you’re doing. This means not sitting in your pyjamas working out of bed. You want to separate your work and home life because if you don’t, you’ll get distracted easily which can hinder your creativity. Work in a new environment Remember, nothing happened to your creativity. It didn’t disappear into thin air. Your ability to express those creative ideas has simply diminished and this is your cue to change locations. Get in your car, drive to a cool coffee shop, library, or even beach, and start working there.