Saturday, January 14, 2017

Top 3 Ways to Combat A Creative Block (Jill)

Everybody has experienced a creative block, even people who consider themselves to be "non-creatives." Anybody who creates something, whether it's a piece of art or a solution to a problem, can encounter it. The well dries up, the muse takes a vacation, and you're left struggling.


 It's happened to me. Both of my pregnancies robbed my creativity and "the voices" went silent. Below, I've listed a few ideas that helped me "unstick." The next time you're immobilized in that gray land where the ideas don't come, try one of these tips to get your creativity flowing again.
 

1. Take a break. Go for a drive, take a shower, grab a nap, exercise. The solution to your problem could be hidden in a different part of your brain. Whether it's a plot hole, or that difficult conversation you have to have with your supervisor, give your mind some time to figure out a solution. Some of my best ideas were born in the shower or while driving.

2. Look for the weird. If you go beyond simply observing and search for the unusual, it's amazing what you'll find. Newspapers, blog posts, and other books can offer a small nugget that answers your current problem. My local newspaper has a section on Sundays titled "News of the Weird." It's a good "what-if?" exercise.

3. Write (or press on) anyway. If you're stuck on a current problem, try what I call a snowflake map. (List your main idea in the center of a piece of paper with related ideas and possible solutions recorded on the spokes.) If you're truly lost, attempt work on another project. For writers, that could mean editing, creating a new plot or characters, or drawing a map of your world. It might help you move forward. Sometimes when I'm stuck on a single idea, I push forward and write anyway. It might be garbage, but I can edit garbage. I can't edit a blank page.


If none of these ideas work, you might have to wait it out. I've found that to be the toughest tactic of all. But if you're patient, eventually your brain will untangle your problem and your creativity will return.


8 comments:

  1. Thanks, Jill! These are great ideas and they would really help!

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    1. Thanks, Erin. I've tried all of them! :-)

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  2. Welcome, Jill! This is a wonderful first post! I'm glad to have you on the blog.

    I love your second piece of advice - "weird" things are the perfect place to find inspiration! Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. So sorry for the late reply (buried in edits!) Thanks for the welcome!

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  3. Great post, Jill! I experienced some serious writing block during pregnancy, too. I love your line "It might be garbage, but I can edit garbage" - so true :)

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who suffered from pregnancy brain! :-D

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  4. Thanks for the tips, Jill! Welcome!

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    1. Thanks for the welcome -- and for stopping by!

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