As creatives, we know that inspiration sometimes strikes when we need it and sometimes it stays away. There are days when we can’t write down our ideas as fast as they come to us and days when we sit staring at the screen, the sketchbook, the canvas, wondering if we will ever have another original thought.

Whether it is getting out into nature, listening to music, exercising, or practicing a hobby for a while, most of us have techniques we use to refresh our well of creativity. But today’s topic is being inspiring, not being inspired. So let’s turn it around a bit. When a co-worker or a collaborator is in need of some inspiration, try some of these techniques to help them out of a rut:

  • Ask questions–Explaining what the challenge is may help your colleague find a way around it. Take the opportunity to brainstorm about it together.
  • Use positive language–Friends need someone to listen when they need to vent, but the language we use about a creative block can help it to break up or build it into a seemingly impregnable wall. Help your friend make a list of what’s good about the project so far and stop judging herself for not having solved everything yet.
  • Be enthusiastic–Genuine delight is contagious. Be generous with it.
  • Try your strategies on them–Take your struggling friend for a walk outside. Share an inspiring playlist or inspirational quote. Send them a link to an amazing photo or painting. 

Help a friend experiencing a creative block and you can be the difference between a good day and a bad one. Pablo Picasso said: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” Be the inspiration; don’t just wait for it to hit.

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative