How to Break Out of a Creative Rut

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Think you need to be some kind of genius to be exceptionally creative? Think again.

In fact, it’s a common misconception that only highly intelligent people are creative. Research shows that once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120, which is just a little above average, intelligence and creativity are not related.

The truth is, we’re all inherently creative, but to varying degrees we allow that natural gift to be blocked. You’re already capable of creative thinking at all times, but to get out of a rut, you have to strip away the imaginary mental boxes that you’ve picked up along the way to wherever you are today.

Here’s a handy resource with some of our favorite way to get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy!

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Brian Clark


Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and host of New Rainmaker. Get more from Brian on .

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Comments

  1. This post came up just in time.. I’ve been stuck for a few weeks now and I’m eager to get back into the flow of writing and publishing new articles, videos and podcast episodes. I’ll look this over again and again – thanks..

  2. Good Post! I am procrastinated since last few weeks. This will give me a much needed boost to be creative and try different things.

  3. This is why creativity is an approach and not a result.

    Everyone is creative. Sme just choose to stifle themselves.

  4. Awesome infographic. I’ve shared it with my followers, and will likely do a post highlighting it on my own site, especially since you were awesome enough to give the embed code!

    I think the points that it highlights are spot on. Thanks for the reminders to help me start my day off right!

    To a successful, creative day!

  5. Getting out of a rut, is going to happen soon enough! This infograph will definitely help me and many more out there.

    In order to succeed, we all need to be creative and provide real content through that. Nice share!

  6. Thanks for this!
    “Being overwhelmed with too much information”
    Yet another reminder that I read to many blogs!!!

  7. Too much information can indeed be a bad thing. It makes it hard to pinpoint where the right place to start is and sometimes you have so much you feel compelled to say/explain that you end up talking in circles.

  8. I’m gonna put this on my blog primarily as a reminder to myself.

  9. I did spot a typo (“overreat”), but I loved this infographic all the same. Kudos to Copyblogger and to BlueGlass for the colorful, approachable design!

  10. What a gorgeous infographic! I really like how you touched on the fact that everyone can be creative. A lot of people lack the confidence because they’ve been believing that they lack the capacity for creativity. Really, I think once you overcome the confidence problem, it doesn’t matter how big or small the idea, great things begin to happen at that point.

    It is also important as you’ve mentioned, to start putting things into action. That is the hardest part, because for creative thinkers, it’s usually the “thinking” part that offers the most fun – once it’s time to do the work, it can feel like a drag. But if you can just push through and implement a few small pieces of the plan at a time, the fun and the magic returns. When the finished product is tangible, the thrill is even greater!

  11. very nicely done graphic presentation

  12. Archan Mehta :

    Simply brilliant. I really enjoyed reading it.

    The individual is naturally creative–and then he starts to attend school and other institutions that thwart creativity.

    Truly creative individuals learn by trial and error: they persist and do not give up.

    After all, success is failure in disguise and failure is success in disguise. There is something to be said about such experiential learning. Learning is a process–there is no black or white, no start. You are not in a race to reach the finishing line and you never quite arrive. Enjoy the journey rather than being concerned about reaching your destination.

    And do not ask for directions, please. Take the load less travelled and see where you end up.

    If you don’t like it, the safe harbour is waiting for you. So, what have you got to lose anyway? Take a chance.

  13. As a self anointed creative genius mastermind commander, this infographic speaks volumes of truth. As previously stated, I’m an intellectual super star and professor of cognitive awesomeness, but with all of my superior neuron firings, I can’t even improve this infographic. Credibility has been established and I give it my stamp of approval.

  14. Diane Bianchi :

    Awesome infographic! Thanks!

  15. Problem is we try to do too much at the same time, which is impossible. There are moments that I feel like I’m way to overstimulated by everything going on around me. Thanks for a great post that’s worth sharing. I think it can benefit many of us. I challenge anyone to not find themselves relating to one or more of what you posted.

  16. Nicely done.
    To expand on your comment re: myth that only highly intelligent people are creative, I’d say it is also a myth that we have creative types. I strongly believe we’re all creative. If you ask a group of children “Are you creative?” almost all will put up their hands. If you ask a group of adults the same question. Hardly anyone will put their hands up.

    You’re right about bad habits. I think we all picked up a few bad habits, developed routines, pigeon-holed ourselves into certain life roles and jobs that extinguished our creativity.

  17. Good solid advice. I’ve heard it all before except the hook about the non-correlation between intelligence and creativity. I think perhaps 75 to 90 percent of creativity is hard work and little bets that more often fail than don’t. Like jokes, once a creative idea is out, it almost isn’t of much use anymore, because with acceptance, it becomes the new normal. That means that blocks aren’t really blocks. They’re just that the new best idea has yet arrived in your mind. Prayer helps!

  18. The point about letting your mind be at play to be creative resonates. Inevitably I am in a less creative state whenever I sit at the computer to write. There are 3 times I will always come up with some killer ideas for my business: In the shower, when I am running and in the middle of the night! The problem being I have to try and remember these thoughts at a later time as it is tricky to record them in any of these situations! But I strongly believe in the power of stepping away from the “work” to get the creative juices flowing. Thank you for the fine info graphic

  19. Great imaging. Thank you for this post.
    To generate brilliant ideas make it a habit to use a specific creative thinking techniques such as mind mapping, image streaming, or one of the many idea generation exercises that have evolved from brainstorming. Always carry a notebook to capture your ideas, thoughts and observations.

  20. “If you try to hard to avoid failure, you’ll also avoid success.” – Love it! I needed this post… or well-timed kick in the butt as I’ll forever call it.
    Very often, I get in my own way. I’ll come up with an epic idea for a post (well, epic according to my cats) but I’ll out-think myself, wondering if it would step on toes, rattle cages, that sort of thing.
    This would be me repenting. Thanks for the kick.

  21. Awesome! It came just in time for me – I was stuck and depressed for a few weeks. I am going to start all over again, combining work and play, and not caring about what others will say. Thank you for brilliant advice!

  22. I agree with being overwhelmed with information. I scaled back on the number of newsletters I receive because many of them arrived “too frequently” for me. And…Instead of creating my own products, I was too busy reading other peoples’ newsletters, listening to their teleseminars/webinar (sometimes just a big sales pitch), etc. Now I know why I’ve been procrastinating creating my own products. I don’t want my target audience to ‘feel’ that I’m pestering them every single day to ‘buy’ my products and services. I know how I feel when I constantly receive email blasts from people. There has to be some type of balance. I don’t know.

  23. That is a beautiful infographic! How did you make it?

    On topic:
    I created a blog and write on it religiously everyday. I have little to zero expectations of quality. My first goal is to have fun with it. My second goal is to practice my writing and make it less scary for myself to write.

    Being an engineering PhD student, I have to write complex documents and get them published to graduate. This is scary, very scary. Writing in a non-academic setting helps me feel at ease when I write difficult research papers. Highly recommended.

  24. I try to use this quote as my motto when I’m creating: “If nobody thinks you’re crazy, you haven’t done anything worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

    And this gets me going when I have no idea where to start: “Inspiration exists but if has to find you working.” – Picasso

    Thanks for the (so far) best infographic you’ve shared :)

  25. Thanks for sharing a very informative post and Its comes certainly on the time where I need little motivation like this into my work.

    Thanks for sharing very informative article :-)

  26. this is a very amazing post ..it deals with the problem most internet entrepreneur face and i bet it with you, i am part of the people who have such a problem :)!

  27. Ran across this today. Great visual representation of the challenges to creativity!

  28. I can’t see the infographic on iPad