What to do when ideas and inspiration dry up.

What to do when ideas and inspiration dry up.

I just finished three large paintings and a rush order portrait. My creative flow seems to have dried up. Now what?

My usual remedies are to continue working, but more slowly, along with walks in nature, rest, and honoring my best times — early mornings.

Writer Ray Bradbury suggested a "program" for being more creative. Every night before bed, a person should read:

  • one short story
  • one poem
  • one essay 

"Do this for a thousand nights," Bradbury said, "and you'll be full of ideas."

Austin Kleon, who describes himself as a writer who draws, (I recommend his weekly emails -- entertaining and inspiring), wrote this about Bradbury:

“One thing he (Bradbury) emphasized is that you shouldn’t just feed on what you think you should feed on, but what’s most delicious and what really nourishes you.”

Maybe my Muse is hungry? Bradbury fed his Muse equal parts trash and treasure, including comic strips, TV shows, books, magazines, newspapers, plays, and films. 

What do you think of Bradbury’s program? It seems like a fun way to set a inviting table that might entice my Muse to return. I'm currently pondering what sounds most delicious and nourishing, so I know what to serve. I'll keep you posted.

Do you have a method for breaking through creative slumps? If so, please tell me about it in the comment section below so I can try it myself!

Thanks for reading, 



Collection of floral paintings (15% off in-store sales)
Lauren Quinn Flower Boutique | 129 S. Santa Fe | Salina Downtown

February 1-April 25, 2023 | Triptych of tulips
Trinity United Methodist Church | 901 E. Neal Ave | Salina


Members' Show | Lincoln Art Center | 126 E Lincoln Ave. | Lincoln, Kansas
March & April 2023 | Opening Reception March 10

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1 comment

New input leads to new ideas so …
Go for a walk but take a new route or walk somewhere you’ve never been.
Read a magazine but also read the adds, the columns that you normally skip, and the postal service notice on the index page.
Watch a movie that you would never suffer through otherwise.
Etcetera. Etcetera.

Steve Hoffman

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