What is a “creative crisis”: signs, reasons, ways to overcome

Almost every representative of the creative profession has faced a creative crisis at least once in his life. A creative crisis proceeds differently for everyone – a lot depends on age, profession, as well as the characteristics of a particular life period. However, the main signs of a creative crisis are similar for everyone – lack of ideas, constant fatigue, unwillingness to take active action. In this article, we will understand what a creative crisis is, why it occurs and how to overcome it.

What is a Creative Crisis?

Creative crisis is a subjective feeling of impossibility to create, which from time to time spontaneously can arise in any creative person. The main feature of such a crisis is that a person may not be lacking ideas or intentions, on the contrary, he may have a sufficient number of plans and ideas . However, the creative crisis is characterized by a complete lack of their implementation. It is this feeling that even more negatively affects a person who begins to feel an urgent need to implement such grandiose plans.

At the heart of a creative crisis, like any other type of crisis, lies a contradiction. In the case of the creative crisis, the contradiction lies between the need to create , which is experienced by all people, and the inability to do what they love in practice. The main difficulty lies in the fact that a person does not see a way to solve this problem. This is due to the fact that such obstacles are formed not from the outside, but inside the person himself, that is, he himself becomes an obstacle to his own creativity. All such obstacles are psychological in nature, which makes them even more difficult to overcome.

There is a fairly popular point of view, according to which the creative crisis is explained by human laziness, but this is an incorrect approach. Of course, there are cases when an artist-student does not complete the work or the performer misses the deadline, explaining everything with a creative crisis, although in reality he is simply lazy. However, it is worth remembering that a real creative crisis is a really difficult psychological state , because of which a person simply loses inspiration and cannot cope with it. Moreover, he continues to “wind up” himself, creating even greater barriers to further creativity. As a result, the person manifests apathy and a complete decrease in activity. In more severe cases, this can develop into depression.

The main signs of a creative crisis

It should be understood that it is quite easy to distinguish between ordinary laziness and a creative crisis, since the last serious condition affects all areas of a person’s life, reflecting on his emotional and intellectual state. The following main features of the creative crisis are distinguished:

  • Depression that limits mental and physical performance
  • Most of the emotions are negative, which affects the interaction of a person with people around him;
  • A person is not able to manage his crisis situation, he finds himself in it against his own will;
  • The feeling that the crisis will last forever, a person sees neither the possibility nor the likelihood that it will ever end;
  • Loss of faith in one’s own strengths and capabilities;
  • Public worries about the loss of the opportunity to create and express oneself. Everyone around them always knows about a person’s creative crisis, as he demonstrates and tells everyone about it.

Of course, any creative crisis comes to an end sooner or later, but you cannot be frivolous about a person who suffers from a similar problem. Remember that if you do not provide proper support, then a person can become depressed , and all attempts to solve problems will be reduced to the use of alcohol and drugs.

The reasons for the creative crisis

There is a category of psychologists who calls the crisis of creativity ordinary laziness. However, it would be foolish to believe that at a certain moment a person will decide to completely abandon the existing successes in his field of activity, if this refusal has a negative impact on the person himself. Creativity is limitless, it cannot be viewed through the prism of a certain framework. Thus, the identification of the specific causes of the creative crisis is the most important stage for overcoming this negative factor.

Some of the most common causes of a creative crisis include:

  • Fatigue. A person can overdo his work, devote too much energy, because of which he will simply “fizzle out.”
  • Successful completion of an important project. Such situations are often characterized by a significant release of positive emotions, which relaxes the nervous system, which makes a smaller-scale work less interesting.
  • Excessive workload. Sometimes work involves a large number of stages, because of which the results of the work will have to wait for a very long time, which significantly reduces motivation and can eventually lead to a creative crisis.
  • Monotony in life. If a person is in the comfort zone for too long without changing conditions, then his desire to reach new heights is somewhat dulled.
  • Personal problems. Personal problems that affect each person individually cannot be ruled out.
  • Lack of sane reward and encouragement.

Ways to Overcome the Creative Crisis

It may seem surprising, but the most effective means of dealing with a creative crisis is creativity itself. It is clear that forcing yourself will not work, but you need to prepare certain conditions that will help “resurrect” the desire to create:

  1. Relax consciously. It is imperative to give your whole body and spirit enough rest to prevent any manifestations and signs of psychosomatic illness. An important component is the diet, which should be as healthy and nutritious as possible. You need to try to go outside more often to breathe fresh air, communicate with family and friends. Such entertainment will allow you to get a charge of new emotions that will become the engine for further work.
  2. Change the environment. Being in your own home for too long deprives a person of motivation, as life becomes overly monotonous. In this regard, it will be useful to change the environment from time to time in order to be charged with new emotions.
  3. Sport. Most creative professions mean that a person spends an enormous amount of time sitting. Because of this, the muscles of the body get very tired, creative activity decreases, since the body is in dire need of movement. Thus, active recreation, a gym or a swimming pool is a great way not only to get the body in shape, but also to unwind psychologically. The main thing is to adhere to such activities systematically.
  4. Pause. Sometimes, if a person does not have inspiration, you just need to take a short break. Creative professions almost always involve flexible work schedules, so you can take a break at the right time to return to the task soon with renewed vigor. You should think about how to organize your own free time in order to spend it as productively as possible in terms of relaxation.
  5. Competition. Competition and rivalry are a great way to recharge your batteries. Pay attention to other popular creators, understand why they are popular, and what alternatives you can offer, what can be done better. Very often, such comparisons lead to the emergence of a desire to compete, which will be a great help to continue your creative activity.
  6. Education. If you are unable to engage in your direct activities – engage in training. So you can discover completely new facets of activity, master new skills that will be useful in the future. Plus, you’ll be able to spend all your time usefully, which will allow you to get rid of the feeling that you are doing nothing, although you have a lot of things to do.
  7. Brainstorm. The brainstorming methodology implies that if a person cannot cope with solving a certain problem on his own, he must involve like-minded people in its implementation. Thus, the likelihood of finding the right answer and solving the problem is significantly increased.


It should be understood that a creative crisis is a completely natural phenomenon, which is periodically faced by everyone on their way. You must remember that you cannot always be on the wave, at times they subside. Remember that a creative crisis is a harbinger of another strong inspiration that will allow you to achieve even greater heights than you have now.