Ten Obstacles to Creativity–and How to Overcome Them

Do you ever feel like this?


Photo Credit: Dave-F, Flickr Creative Commons

When you can’t quite find your creative groove, it can make you a little nuts! Check out these common obstacles to creativity—and then see what you can do to overcome them.

Ten Obstacles to Creativity

  1. Interruptions
  2. Lack of interruptions (aka breaks)
  3. Stress
  4. Lack of exercise
  5. Over-long hours and burnout
  6. Not taking yourself seriously
  7. Inability to take criticism
  8. New project-itis (aka inability to finish)
  9. Inability to let a project go (aka perfectionism)
  10. A loud inner critic

Resources to Overcome!

…to help deal with interruptions

…on the benefits of taking breaks

…for more information about how stress, exhaustion, interruptions, exercise, and more impact your mind

…on burnout

…to take yourself seriously

…on taking criticism

…on perfectionism

…to tackle your inner critic

…overall inspiration

Do you have any resources to add? Or obstacles to creativity you’d like to address? Please share in the comments!

The hidden price of "productivity" every writer needs to know - www.cherylreif.com

You’ve probably read the same tips I have: Have a smart phone? Check Facebook while standing in line at the post office! Respond to Twitter messages while waiting for your dentist! Catch up on your news feed while sitting on the pot! For years, I thought the path to increased productivity was to squeeze in MORE–more […]


  1. says

    Hey hon 😀 I would actually recommend people subscribe to this blog too: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/ I can’t say how often his 25 lists hit home for me.

    Also – I love your blog. Obstacles are always there, it’s how we deal with them that lets us get to the end.

    • says

      Hi there! I checked out terribleminds.com/ramble — and wow, is he funny! I’ve added one of his “25-lists” to my recommendations above. Thanks for the tip!

  2. says

    Just wow, Cheryl! I don’t really have any resources to add, but this list is AMAZING! Thank you so much for putting all these in one place. I could spend HOURS clicking through the links. Thanks!

    • says

      Hey there–sorry, I think my earlier reply didn’t go through :P. I just wanted to say thank YOU for your kind words. I’m so glad the list is helpful!

  3. says

    Hi Cheryl,
    Wonderful list; thanks so much for taking the time to provide all these excellent resources to your readers!

    I’ve owned Susan Perry’s Writing in Flow for years and am going through it again recently.

    Here’s a few more of my favs I’d recommend:
    1. Jill Badonsky’s extremely useful and hilarious book, The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard): Ten Guides to Creative Inspiration

    2. War of Art – Steven Pressfield (Out, out, damned Resistance! lol)

    3. Fearless Creating – Eric Maisel

    4. A Voice of Her Own: Women and the Journal-Writing Journey – Marlene A. Schiwy (This last one isn’t just for memorists;it has helped me in overcoming obstacles to creativity too!)

    • says

      Hi Carole,
      Awesome! I own one of those, have two of them on my to-read list, and the last one is new to me–and just added to that to-read list. I’ll add them to the list.

      Thanks for the recommendations :)

  4. says

    I love this Cheryl! Thanks, just what the doctor ordered. #1 is haunting me.

    • says

      #1 was definitely on my mind when I wrote it–I think the kids had a snow day and I was having trouble staying focused!

  5. says

    Great resource. Have linked it to The Funnily Enough.


  6. says

    Thanks so much for the link, Cheryl! And what a fantastic round-up of resources, too — I love Chuck’s piece, and will have to dig into some of the others (when I’m not supposed to be writing ;-))

    • says

      Ah, yes, that’s the trick–finding time to *read* all these fantabulous resources…Thanks for the comment, and thanks for the great posts on your end, too!

    • says

      My pleasure–I really enjoyed it. It’s in my file of starred blog posts so I can revisit it as needed :).

  7. says

    This is a gold mine! I’m bookmarking *and* Stumbling this because I want to be able to go back to it when needed. Thank you so much for pulling all of this together for us.

    I second Carole’s recommendation of The War of Art. It’s a very easy read and has done wonders for me in overcoming resistance. Eager to explore some of the others on the list that I haven’t read yet.

  8. says

    Great list of resources, Cheryl! War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a great one. I also have his other book, Do the Work. I will definitely be checking out the other recommendations as well!


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