The creativity block is something that almost everyone who has ever created anything on a regular basis experiences. As an artist, I’ve experienced this feeling many times. I’m not totally sure what triggers this emotion and I can tell you that it is not a pleasant experience. The easiest way to describe it is to say that suddenly or perhaps not so suddenly, your mind seems to go blank. No matter how hard you focus, the energy that you need to ignite your creativity seems mysteriously missing. If you’re a writer, you may be staring at your computer screen and having absolutely no idea where to begin your next chapter or blog post. When the creativity block hits me as an artist, a blank canvas can become intimidating. It’s that blank surface before you even pick up a brush. Did you ever wonder if Beethoven ran out of ideas for his symphonies? Did Picasso ever take a blank canvas and hide it in the closet because he didn’t know where to begin? Maybe they did give to this emotional downer for very brief periods of time. However, masters are also masters at getting over the creativity block.
Let’s talk about the first step you need to take to rid yourself of this dreadful creativity block
First of all, you have to be honest with yourself and recognize that you haven’t suddenly become uncreative because brilliant ideas don’t seem to be popping into your head at the moment. That’s the easy way out. Recognize that what you are doing is making excuses. Buckle up guys and get ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work being creative again. Make no mistake, if you want to get over your block and get over it quickly here are the steps you must take.
Create something. Anything whether it is good or bad. That’s right, I said;” anything”. If you feel stuck, you’re going to experience a little bit of brain pain at the beginning. But that little bit of pain is worth it. It’s been my experience that its best to begin with a small project first. It’s easy to start and easy to finish. For example, if you’re a writer, just make an outline of the first thing that pops into your head. Walk away for a while. Maybe even for a few days. Then come back and evaluate what you have begun. I’ll bet you anything that even if you’re not so pleased with your first attempt to break out of the creativity block, you’ll begin forming new ideas on how to amend and re-structure your outline. It’s your first action step and a lot better then whining about being uninspired.
Inspire yourself by letting others stimulate your mind
If you are a musician, listen to your favorite composer. If you’re an artist, try a trip to the museum. The time spent will really pay off. A good book works every time for me. Reading, listening, viewing and absorbing other people’s brilliance and creativity is a contagious habit. A very simple way to say this is; “every artist at some point or another has been inspired by another artist”. You’re not copying someone else’s work; you are just letting their art and creativity motivate you.
Always start something new before you finish your current project
A sure way to end up in the stuck mode is to finish your current project with no idea about where you are going to go from there. While there is a sense of satisfaction with what you have just accomplished, if you have not taken the time to plan your next venture, what follows is usually nothing. Yes, nothing or what is commonly called The Creativity Block. Avoid this problem by planning ahead and outlining your next project. You’ll soon find that you can’t wait to finish what you are working on and begin work on this new idea.
Don’t blow goal setting off
Goal setting has gotten a tremendous amount of attention through the years. It’s not something to be taken lightly because it really works. I found that I set a goal for myself that I was going to write a least one blog post a week, complete at least one page in the book that I am writing every day, and create at least one new painting every 3 to 4 weeks. Think about what you’ll have at the end of the year. Do not set your goals too high because in doing so you may underachieve what you set out to do. There is a danger in setting your goals too high. Falling behind creates a feeling and a sense of failure within you. Be careful, this is a negative mindset. Negativity begets negativity and success begets success. As you progress and achieve your goals you will find that you will more than likely overachieve what you set out to accomplish. I don’t know about you, but that works for me every time. You’ve just started that ball rolling.
A simple notepad and pen
When I was a kid and in school I always had a little note pad and pen. This was a separate from the larger notebook that I would take to my class and use to take notes during a lecture. This little notepad served as my Idea reference or recall pad. Great ideas seem to pop out of nowhere and float across our mind, but very often they don’t linger very long. If you don’t write them down at that very moment you may find they just dissipated into thin air. Save all your notepads and when you’re mind becomes void of ideas go back and review all the little notes that you’ve taken and never acted on. I bet she’ll find some pretty stimulating ideas just waiting to be developed into your next project.
A cluttered mind may need a break
Sometimes the opposite happens when you’re planning your next project. Instead of experiencing a blank mind you experience a mind that’s over active. Too many creative ideas! Is that possible? Yes, in my opinion. If there’s too much going on in your head and you are unable to focus the results may end in a creativity block. Take a break! Stop everything for a while except for writing down your new ideas. Have some fun doing something totally different. Then plan the day and time you will begin creating again. When you set the exact time to begin your new project you will be armed with lots of new ideas.