5 Unusual Ways to Overcome Creative Blocks

As a writer and editor, I regularly experience creative blocks. I’ve logged countless hours staring blankly at a computer screen desperately trying to summon inspiration from the gods of creativity. After nearly two decades of professional writing I’ve learned three things:

  • The gods of creativity may not actually exist.
  • The worst thing I can do is try to wring the words from my brain. I’ve got plenty of manuscripts that look like blood baths to prove it.
  • The best ideas emerge when I stop trying to force them into fruition.

Whether you need to study for an exam, develop a project proposal or write a blog, here are 5 ways to overcome that dreaded creative block:

Take a Hike

I know: You’re on deadline. But having a staring contest with the computer isn’t doing any good. And the harder you force yourself to produce quality material, the worse quality material you produce. So, when I have difficulty putting fingertips to keyboard I take the dog for a walk. During that time I do my very best to think about anything other than my project. I gaze at the flowers and watch my dog go nuts when she sees a pigeon. Then, almost like magic, an idea pops up. According to research, the best boosts happen while in nature, but a quick jaunt through your neighborhood is a good next best bet to release some creative juices. Don’t forget to bring a pen and paper, tape recorder or iPhone so you can capture the idea before it escapes into the ether.

Get Physical

Countless studies show that exercise helps the brain relax and reboot. Instead of getting physical with your computer (Office Space, anyone?), channel your energies into a short workout of push-ups and squats, or head out for a sprint around the block. Intense exercise is best, but keep in mind your own physical limitations.

Get Musical

When your brain is blocked, researchers suggest that you bust out the banjo our rap some drums. According to several studies, playing a musical instrument can improve cognitive function. Not musically inclined? The experts say that simply listening to music can also boost creative flow.

Take a Spin

I generate some of the best ideas while I’m in the car. This is fantastic, but also terribly inconvenient because it’s difficult to write anything down with two hands on the wheel. I also think it’s illegal. To overcome the hazards of note taking and driving, I’ll open up an app like Evernote, set it to take audio notes and off I go.

Take a Shower

In a recent article on Huffington Post, film director Woody Allen reveals that he steps into the shower when he’s blocked. He believes it offers a respite from the “real world,” and the physical sensation of water running down the body helps overcome the mental stress of forcing ideas. Whatever the reason, it works. While much less hazardous than the car, the shower poses its own note-taking limitations. Pen and paper is out, as are electronics. The solution? Bathtub crayons or markers. When an idea hits, pull out your marker and write it out right there on the tile. Once you’ve logged it somewhere more permanent, simply pull out a cloth and wipe the idea away.

These are just a few of the ways I traverse creative blocks. In the comments section below, I challenge you to post how you keep creativity levels high.

Facebook Comments:

Leave A Reply (No comments so far)

The comments are closed.

No comments yet

Four-Week Coaching Program