If you work in a creative field, then you already know about mind blocks. We often hear about “writer’s block”, but to include all professions from the arts, it is usually thought of as a creative block. Many times a change of scenery, meditation session, or long walk can help. However, if it lasts longer than a single activity, you may need a little more assistance.
These terrific mobile apps may not cure your creative block completely. But they can definitely help keep your creative juices flowing until you overcome that disruptive obstacle.
There is no one, all-encompassing reason or cause for a creative block. It can happen at any time. But there are some triggers that may put you at risk. GoodTherapy.org lists several that include self-doubt, rejection, illness, anxiety, and even the end of a relationship.
“A creative block might be experienced by anyone, for a number of reasons. Many writers, artists, and musicians reported periods of stalled creativity at some point in their careers, F. Scott Fitzgerald and cartoonist Charles Schultz among them.”
“The creative part of your brain needs to be stimulated. Sometimes you get blocked in the thing you do, because there’s so much pressure to do it.”
If you can determine what is causing your creative block then you are one step closer to addressing it and reducing the risk of it happening again. But, in the meantime, check out these mobile apps that can spark ideas and keep your mind open.
1. Writing Prompts
Writing Prompts from Writing.com is a full-featured app that gives you the pieces to put together. Choose from categories such as scenes, sketches, texts, and words. Then, use the prompts provided to inspire an idea, story, or character. For example, a scene may include a place, character, object, and mood. You then use those pieces to put together your story.
You can save your favorites, refresh the category prompts with a tap, keep items in your notes, and access your device camera to capture a shot. If you want more prompt packs, you can download them via in-app purchases.
2. SketchBook — Sketch This Challenge
If you are an artist, you may have heard of or currently use SketchBook (Autodesk SketchBook on iOS). This is a powerful drawing application that offers a full set of tools and features. One such feature is called Sketch This from SketchBook and DeviantArt. One reason this drawing challenge was created is to help those with art block.
The way that Sketch This works is that you receive prompts. You can choose from categories like illumination, abstract seascape, and even vegetables. Then, check out a description of the prompt, click the Sketch This button, and create your drawing.
You can also pick a timed or level-based challenge, see submissions from others, and view artwork on the DeviantArt website or app.
3. Instant Poetry 2
You do not have to be a poet to enjoy Instant Poetry 2. This app for iOS lets you create poems with the words provided on beautiful backgrounds that you choose. Just drag the words displayed onto the canvas and then arrange them to your liking.
You can choose from a variety of lovely background patterns and pictures or upload one of your own. Tap the refresh button to receive new words and save your creations. If you like Instant Poetry 2, you can buy more word packs via in-app purchases starting at just $0.99.
Download — Instant Poetry 2 for iOS (Free)
Brainsparker for iOS (coming soon to Android) is a simple way to generate ideas. The app uses cards with different types of prompts to help trigger creative thinking and overcome blocks. The prompts vary from a single word to a phrase to a famous quote.
While it is mostly intended for those in the creative field like writers and designers, the app can also be used by teachers and coaches or for brainstorming sessions. And, just so that you don’t forget to get your daily dose, you can schedule a boost for any time of day.
Brainsparker is available for free, but if you are interested in specific types of prompts, you can purchase packs from within the app.
Download — Brainsparker for iOS (Free)
5. Creativity Cards
For Android users, Creativity Cards is a card-based app similar to Brainsparker for iOS. The app is intended for artists, but can easily spark ideas for others in the creative field with ideas at your fingertips.
With a very basic concept, Creativity Cards provides as little as a single sentence for inspiration. Just tap a card and receive a prompt. If you enjoy Creativity Cards, you can check out Creativity Cards Pro for $0.99. The paid version includes additional prompts for designers and writers along with the ability to submit ideas.
Download — Creativity Cards for Android (Free)
6. The Brainstormer
The Brainstormer is similar to Brainsparker and Creativity Cards, but with a wheel instead of cards. For generating drawing concepts or character-driven stories, just spin the wheel. Then, use the conflict, theme, subject, or location to uncover that idea.
You can fine-tune your spin by locking certain parts of the wheel. For instance, say that the theme and location give you ideas, but you want more help with the conflict. Just lock the theme and location pieces and spin again for another conflict.
For authors and writers, you can obtain more specific wheels for characters, worlds, or sci-fi via in-app purchase. However, you do receive countless combinations with the initial app purchase.
Unstuck for iPad is an unusual yet extremely interesting tool. The app prompts you with questions and statements to help you figure out what is causing your creative block. Then, it provides details to help you understand what is happening and how to move forward. You will see how many others in the community are stuck in the same moment and view inspirational quotes.
You will also receive a set of tips to help you get unstuck and you can share these if you have a friend in the same rough spot. If you do not own an iPad, you can visit the Unstuck website for help, inspiration, and advice.
Download — Unstuck for iOS (Free)
Adult coloring has become a popular way to unwind and release stress. In addition, creating a colorful picture can keep your creativity flowing as you relax. Colorfy is a wonderful digital adult coloring book choice. The app includes florals, animals, mandalas, patterns, and places among the image offerings.
You can choose from a variety of color palettes, brushes, and gradients. And, when you complete your masterpiece, you can add a finishing touch with a filter. Pick from effects like vintage, pop art, or neon for a truly unique look.
You can enjoy Colorfy for free many images or receive unlimited access and remove the ads with a paid subscription available from within the app.
Have You Experienced a Creative Block?
If the answer is yes, how did you overcome it? Maybe you created a specific routine or began a new activity that helped you. Or perhaps keeping your brain pumping with tools and apps like these is what you needed.
Since not everything works for everyone, share your suggestions below. They might be just what another creative mind needs to break the block.
Image Credits: SFIO CRACHO/Shutterstock