Artists and coders: How do you deal with the 'Wall of Nonproductivity'?

When it comes to art, coding, or any hobby that requires a fair amount of time and patience, there will almost always be a time where you just can’t get anything done. For artists this is called ‘Artist Block’, but for generalization sake, I’m gonna call it the Wall of Nonproductivity.

There are many ways of dealing with it, but as someone who can’t really find a definite solution other than just wait it out, I’m interested in seeing how other fellow artists or coders deal with this!

Do something else
There’s not really any “real” solution; usually your mind just needs a break


The truth is, with any issue involving your own motivation, much of the time it is up to YOU to decide when to get up and get back at it. With an artist’s block it is difficult to fight because the threshold is your own personal satisfaction. But just because you’re in a block doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten those skills. So as for this “wall”, if we’re talking literally then try to climb it. It may seem like a pain seeing how tall it is, but you could make it farther up than you expected. Do what you know, and go piece by piece. When inspiration and satisfaction finally hit you, it’ll take you up the rest of the way.

It’s also important to note that you don’t have to keep your head down and charge like a bull every time you feel this way. Sometimes your brain needs to feel refreshed, those chemical releases in your head need to feel fresh again. So take a break and enjoy it. But don’t wait too long! Sometimes you have to chase the results and fun back yourself.

I wish you the best with your work! If discussion would help entertain you, my DM’s are open.


I never really have motivation to do anything, I usually end up forcing myself to do things anyway. There’s more chance for me to force myself if it’s something of particular interest.


I just got out of a artist hiatus myself and I think it varies from person to person. In general the advice is to take a break from your current focus and do something else (not for like just an hour or something, actually go and do something else for a while). Whether that is another picture/sprite/project or something entirely different. Personally I try to avoid doing another sprite, because I know if I start a new one I am far less likely to go back and finish the one I got stuck on, so I went and watched some shows, played some games in my video game backlog and focused on more IRL things.

I find if I am not motivated and I force myself to do things hobby wise/creativity wise the quality usually takes a dip.

Sometimes you won’t ever perfect or be 100% satisfied with what you end up with on this current run but when its completed, you know you can always go back to it later when you’re in a better state of mind.

Yeah the need of quality artwork for a hack is a massive hurlde I struggle with.

it depends on the situation, but usually it’s all about inspiration.
the more ideas you get, the better your work, otherwise if you run out of concepts to work with, that means that you might need to take a break until inspiration comes around again.

on the other hand, there’s also to consider if you’re gettin’ paid for your work or if it’s just a hobby, but taking a break and doing other stuff meanwhile will probably help in the long run, if you’re not in a hurry to produce material.

given the fact that rushing things usually leads to poor quality stuff, you’ll be better off just waiting it out and taking your time~

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In addition to simply doing something else, you can sometimes get away with just finding a new perspective on the thing(s) you feel stuck on. For example, rather than stop writing altogether, you might find that brainstorming via a chart, diagram, idea web, etc. helps you achieve that breakthrough.

Boy have I been doing something else for a year + now lol

Taking a break from the hobby itself can do wonders for writers block/artist block/‘wall of nonproductivity’. Play other games, read a book, go for a run, do whatever. Depending on what you do in the meantime, might get a spark of inspiration from something you wouldn’t expect that will break the mental block. Could be days, maybe weeks, could be longer, hard to say.

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I personally realised i just needed to be bored every once in a while. Nowadays we’re always glued to our screens, listening to music or stimulated in some other way, so sometimes you just need to feel bored again, which will rest your mind and make you want to continue working after a bit.
I’ve taken a habit of never listening to music while walking somewhere for a while now, and those walks have funnily enough become a highlight of my day, and one of the best ways to generate new ideas.