Wednesday, 28 September 2016

How to cure creative block

How to cure creative block

All writers, designers, artists, and people with imaginations suffer from creative block at some point in their lives. Several points. Actually, pretty frequently if we’re honest.

The internet abounds with sources telling you how to rid yourself of this most dreaded affliction. But most of the ones I’ve read forget something very important: everyone is different. What removes one person’s creative block might not work for you, or me. Or anyone else. It’s a personal phenomenon that has some profound psychological effects if left unchecked.

So I’m not going to deal with the science of how to free your mind. Nor the psychology. This post is, in fact, entirely self motivated. It’s because right now I have creative block. One of the things that helps me with this is to do something… creative. Something else. I don’t want to stop creating the branding for Escape Technology’s next event, but right now my mind won’t let me do it. So I turn to my first experience of creativity: writing.

This is true of many instances of my creative blocks. My draws at home are filled with scraps of paper covered in sentences dumped out of my brain via pen and ink. My Google Drive is full of the beginnings, middles, and ends of myriad stories. None will ever see the light of day or even exist in full. They are there because I needed to do one simple thing: reset my brain.

And that’s the key. Creative block is only dealt with when your brain resets itself. Whether that’s after going for a walk, sleeping, doing something else creative, or just staring into space for an unspecified length of time, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you feel comfortable doing the thing that can reset your brain.

Most offices don’t understand this. If you don’t look busy then you aren’t. If you’re out for a wander you’re wasting time. This is all simply not true. Our minds are delicate. They can only process so much and definitely know when they need a break. I, like many, have a tendency to over-work myself. So from time to time my little brain screams at me that it’s had enough. So I do something else.

After I round up these musings I doubt my block will have disappeared, but it will be well on its way. I can already feel my mind refocusing itself from design to writing. And after that, it’s a simple (tedious) matter of allowing it the space it needs to cool down, reset, and start back up again. Like any computer that’s been left on too long the brain slows down. Turn it off and on again.