10 Ways To Get Unstuck When You Don’t Know Where To Start


Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible. – St. Francis of Assisi

Get unstuck!

Have you ever been stuck? You know, you have plans to do something creative, but you just can’t figure out how to get started. It happens to us all. Even the best authors, artists, and musicians can get stuck at the start. But there are ways to get unstuck.

Today, I’d like to share 10 quick ways to get started when you don’t know where to start. If you practice these methods, you’re more likely to break through the mind clutter and be on your way to creating your best work ever. Let’s go…


How To Get Unstuck When You Don’t Know Where To Start

  1. Stop: Often we just try too hard to get started. This often leads to resistance. We get stuck. This means it’s a good time for a break. Just don’t put it off forever. Give yourself enough time to relax and renew and then try again.
  2. Go to the end: Think about the final product. What is it you want in the end? How will the story end? What will the painting look like? Imagine. Sometimes envisioning the end gets us back to the beginning.
  3. Find a parallel: Think of something similar to what you want to create. How does that song or story start? Compare and contrast your idea with existing works. You may be surprised at how this will stir your creativity.
  4. Pretend: You know what they say. If you pretend to be happy, you actually become happy. So pretend to write the perfect start to your novel. Pretend to paint a masterpiece. Before you know it, you’ll actually be creating something awesome.
  5. Breathe: When we try too hard we get stressed. Our breathing becomes shallow. Stress and hyperventilating do not promote creativity. They promote anxiety and fear. Stop. Take some time to do some deep breathing. Be intentional and present.
  6. Try alternatives: If you’re stuck at writing, try reading. If you’re stuck at painting, try photography. Do something different, but stay creative. This really gets your brain working. You start making unexpected connections and suddenly something clicks.
  7. Run: Exercise is a brain booster. I like to do a variety of exercise, but running is one of my favorite things to do when I need creative motivation. There’s something about the meditative qualities of running that start my wheels turning.
  8. Study the world: Great works of art are born out of reality. Listen to nature. Watch people. Explore the seashore. Hike a mountain trail. Walk through the city. Make a point to study the details in everything around you. I guarantee that you’ll find creative inspiration.
  9. Play with words: Try word association games. What’s the first word you think of when you hear the word rollercoaster? How about purple? Or tangerine? You can also play with rhyme. Think of every word that rhymes with door, moon, or time. Playing word games gets your brain working.
  10. Don’t give up: Sometimes our best ideas come when we think it’s a lost cause. It’s good to take breaks. Heck, it’s okay to sleep on it. Sleep has been proven to help promote creativity, too. But don’t give up. Keep trying. Sooner or later you’ll get started on your best work ever.

I hope these 10 ways to get unstuck when you don’t know where to start have helped you. Here’s a Ted Talk that might help. Dr. Terry Singh starts out by saying, “I have no ideas worth sharing.” He continues into the topic of being stuck. It’s more of a psychological view of being stuck, but it relates.

How to get unstuck | Terry Singh | TEDxYYC

I hope this post has helped to inspire you to find and develop your creativity. If you’d like more inspiration, subscribe to my free newsletter. When you subscribe, you’ll get two gifts.

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