3 ways to get out of a creative rut

If you’re an artist or creative person, you’re probably familiar with the phase of “UGH.”


“Ugh! I just can’t seem to focus.”


“Ugh! I’m stuck in this job/relationship/situation, and don’t have any time to work towards my real dreams and goals.”


“Ugh! I’m so overwhelmed and tired that I just want to curl up and go to sleep for 3 days.”


If you’ve been there or are there now, you are not alone.


No matter how rough the “UGH” phase can get, it’s nothing that can’t be worked through.

Today I want to give you some practical tools to get through it and get your creative energy back in action.


I’m also excited to share my client Mary Massie’s Showcase video (below). Her story of getting out of a very stuck place and back into her creative flow was the inspiration for today’s article. In fact, the 3 tools I’m going to share here are exactly the 3 pieces that Mary said were most helpful to her throughout our work together in the Thriving Artist’s Program.


Get the tips and watch Mary share even more inspiration in her Showcase video!


3 ways to get out of a creative rut


1. Make space.

One of the simplest things you can do when you’re stuck in a rut is to literally, physically, make space in your environment and inside of you. Start by getting rid of clutter in your physical environment. Then make space in your schedule for some personal quiet time. Especially if you’re someone who gets addicted to being busy, this is key. Even if it’s only 20 minutes once a week, do it! Then you can start making space in your mind and body. You don’t have to “do” anything or force anything to happen. Just be still. Try the next 2 steps.


2. Dance.

Whether or not you’re a “dancer,” you can find movement in your body that feels great AND do it on your own terms in your own time. (In other words, you don’t need a formal dance class to get your body moving.) A regular movement practice will help you find joy, relieve stress, and feel free. It will get you out of your head and into your body, which is HUGE for getting creativity flowing. Try dancing for 5 minutes before you have to do any kind of mental work, and notice what a difference it makes for you! More focus, more energy, more creativity = YES!


Note: If you need guidance here, check out this quick video movement prompt from me and my Find Your Rhythm 6-week program, which is full of dance and movement prompts. The current round is already in session, but there are still a couple of late-comer spots open!

Find out more here: http://jessgrippo.com/find-your-rhythm/


3. Write.

Writing can be done in many ways. What I’m suggesting here, for the purposes of getting out of a rut, is to use writing as a way to learn more about the inner workings of your Self. Personal inquiry, if you will. You can write to the part of you that is stressed out or stuck, and then respond to see what comes through. You can write to your future or past self, and then respond from that persona. If you don’t think about it too much and just let the words flow, you’ll be amazed and touched by the wisdom that can come through you.


Sometimes witnessing real-life stories and inspiration can be the best help for getting out of a rut.

So I’m really happy to share with you Mary Massie’s Showcase Video - check it out below!


Watch and read more about her story, and please comment below and let us know what you found most valuable about the experience.


To letting it flow,



In Mary's words....

mjmassiephotoSome of the fears I worked through involved using my voice more, both metaphorically and literally and finding cohesion for my varied interests. I felt stuck in so many areas of my life and now I really feel like I'm finally moving.


I think there are three specific things that I will take with me beyond our sessions. One is the importance of physical movement facilitating movement in other areas of my life. I'm not a dancer per se, but I found a real joy in dancing in my room and knowing that I have so many options for moving my body. I see the power of getting out of my head and into my body whether that's through a walk, a yoga class, or taking a dance break. And I love that I have so many wonderful options when I listen to my body. I used to get hung up on say, doing yoga. If I didn't go to class, then I didn't think about having other ways to move. And I also reconnected to the little girl in me who would joyfully dance and sing along with the radio. Priceless.


I also found the power of writing in a new way. I've journaled a lot over the years, but Jess helped me hone in on asking the right questions and listening for my intuitive response through writing. I learned that I have the answers inside when I'm willing to ask and listen to a response. The act of writing keeps me in motion too and gets me out of my head. The prompts Jess suggested really helped me find clarity through the act of writing.


I also found the importance and power of creating space in my life through my sessions. Realizing how I physically take up in space in this world was so insightful! I became more aware of my need for space in my life in order to allow rejuvenation and creativity in.

I thought when I started working with Jess, that I needed to get back to painting as that used to be my main art medium. What I found though is that I kept taking photos and found the reasons why that's what I'm really loving at this point in my life. Sharing my point of view and focus is another way of using my voice. I'm also feeling freed up by having camera and my digital images.

The world is my studio and I don't feel weighed down by canvases and paints right now. I showed a photograph in a show in May. It was the first time in five years I've had a piece of art in a show and the first time I've shown a photograph. I created a tumblr blog online for my photos as a space to share my work.

I also made a piece of jewelry on commission and sold it last month. I used to make jewelry and sell it on Etsy, but hadn't done it in over five years. I used to love making this jewelry that incorporated drawing and found it so gratifying to reconnect to that part of myself. Connecting back to the visual artist in me has been so gratifying.

I'm putting myself out in the world far more than I used to. I feel like I'm on the other side of a huge block.

I feel like I'm finally getting comfortable and more confidant with owning my varied interests. I used to feel like a bit of a flake and apologetic that I couldn't just focus on art or on music. I'm now seeing how each informs the other, making me uniquely me and being appreciative of what each of my passions bring to my life.

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Feeling stuck in your life and need a boost?

Applications are re-opened for the Thriving Artist's Program.

Read more and submit yours here.