You’ve cleared your calendar for some “creative time” only to discover that your creative “mojo” has disappeared. You had a million ideas running around your brain earlier, thus the clearing of the calendar, and then “poof” – gone. Sound familiar?

It isn’t uncommon to find one’s creative thoughts evaporate into thin air. Or to have the ideas that seemed brilliant in your mind fizzle when you start to put the pieces together.

So what can you do? Here are 5 ideas to regain your mojo, or at the very least be productive with your time while it’s gone.

1. Do something else related to the creative effort, that isn’t the creative part.

For the scrapbooker/paper crafter, you could scan non-digital photos, put away a stash of scrapbooking supplies, cull through your supplies and let go of products that haven’t been used in over a year.

2. Be willing to abandon the original idea.

For example, you’ve been working with a set of three photos for a scrapbook layout. Consider it possible that those three images might not work together, revisit your photos from that event or activity, and modify your original set.

3. Be more daring with your ideas and let go of your right-side brain.

For example, rather than move the photo just three nudges to the left, move it all the way to the left. Turn the paper 180 degrees and see the layout from a different perspective.

4. Walk away for the day.

Sometimes it isn’t worth it to do anything creative. Let your brain work on the idea in the background while you get on with your day. Carry a notebook with you so that when an idea hits you, you’ll be ready to capture it before you forget it.

5. Play with your supplies.

Rather than focusing on the end result, play with your products. For example, you want to make a card, but have no ideas. Pick up a stamp set and stamp it in different colors on different papers.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, discusses nurturing creativity in this TED talk. I was especially interested in her description of author Ruth Stone’s creative process at the 10:20 mark.