Now. What's to do about it? Judging from the multitude of articles titled "12 Ways to Unleash Your Creativity," "How to Be Creative," and (my personal favorite) "5 Things I Did To Get Out of a Creative Dry Spell," this is a common problem, and although those articles can theoretically help someone, I found myself rolling my eyes until I got dizzy. So to remedy my dizziness and actually help myself (and help you, too), here is my list of ways to get through a creative dry spell/rut/mud puddle/area of quick sand/etc.
1. Acknowledge that it exists and absolutely SUCKS. Say it to yourself out loud in a mirror three times. This sucks, this sucks, this sucks. Gone yet? If so, congratulate yourself on a job well done and go celebrate with a glass of your preferred beverage while I silently judge you.
If step 1 did not solve all of your problems, then join the club and move on to step 2.
2. Ignore the advice of many self-help articles and take your mind completely off of your creativity (or lack thereof). This can be through yoga, meditation, or possibly knife throwing (if you're not the type who can visualize your creative blockage quietly melting away). Whatever takes your mind off your troubles and keeps you fully occupied.
3. Get OUT of your studio. And if you don't have a studio, get your supplies out of sight. Move the jar of paint brushes that is permanently stored on your bathroom counter. Shove the stack of blank canvases out into the hallway so they can no longer torment you with their emptiness. For the time being, unfollow all of the incredible artists on instagram that you cannot help but be slightly envious of. Wallow in your self-pity alone and without your camera perched on your bed-side table, cruelly reminding you that you haven't picked it up in three weeks.
4. Allow yourself to freak out and fully suspect that the Art Gods are mad at you and have punished you with an eternity empty of creativity. Repeat step 1 and then move on to step 5.
5. Know that no matter how distant your creativity may seem, it will eventually get tired of tormenting you and return home. Creativity, like the motivation to work out, ebbs and flows (though in the case of motivation to work out, mine has been on a constant ebb for several months now). One week it will be there, comfortably relaxing in your brain, and the next week it will be far, far away, sipping a piña colada on the beach and not concerned in the least with your well-being.
So, the lesson to be learned here?
Freaking out when your creativity packs up and leaves is a totally normal reaction. But don't freak out too much. It will be back eventually, unaware that you were every concerned about its location, and your life will return to normal.