Have you ever sat looking at a blank screen and realized that your creative reservoir is suffering from a severe drought – the dreaded writers block has descended? It’s as if creativity got up and fled in the night leaving your mind barren and empty.
I’ve worked in creative environments for a long time and you can’t say “sorry I’m having an off day” – that doesn’t go down well. So I’ve learnt ways to re-energize my creativity – to get the proverbial creative juices flowing again.
1. An ideas folder
I clip and print things I come across that inspire me or seem like a good idea and I keep the folder on my desk. Then on off days I can flip through it and find inspiration from the genius of others
2. Pinterest boards.
I love pinterest. As a visually stimulated person it’s the perfect tool to ease away those creativity crises either by dipping into other people’s boards or revisiting my own clippings. See my board here http://bit.ly/11bEDKV
3. Helping others.
I get such a strong buzz when I know I’ve helped someone – my sister tells me that exercise is the way to blow all the cobwebs away but it’s never done it for me, however helping another person is like a full adrenaline rush. People say that they do it for others and I’m sure, in part, that’s true but I’d be willing to bet that those people are also just a tad addicted to the excitement of knowing they’ve helped someone. That buzz always clears my creativity blocks. Two great ways:
- KIVA – my personal favourite (which enables you to take a small amount of money and help people over and over and over again and at the end get the same amount of money back – if you so wish. It’s micro-financing for individuals who are looking for loans to start or build up their own tiny ventures.) Check it out – http://bit.ly/14KwVxR
- Kickstarter – help other aspiring writers, film-makers and creative people to get their project off the ground – it’s like a perfect circular reference you are helping remove your creative blocks by helping someone else remove theirs. Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects – http:/kck.st/17KNXYr
4. A change of scenery – actual or mental
I can’t count the number of times a brilliant idea has come to me in the shower or as I’m driving home when my mind is far from the subject and relatively relaxed. The plot to my book came to me fully formed in a dream. Our brains are programmed to process things on a sub-conscious level and taking a walk around the block, getting up from your chair and doing a load of washing or simply leaving your current subject and moving onto another scene is often all it takes to unlock your creative gate. On a personal level a play in the garden with one of my dogs always helps – although that might just be to satisfy my adoration quota.
Talking is always good – generally I am a great believer in the power of listening but for this purpose it’s the talking that opens the creative channel. I call a friend and tell them what I am trying to do and what I ultimately want to do and 9 times out of 10 the block or problem is resolved in the telling. Well those are my methods – I’d love to hear anything you use to help blow those cobwebs away on zero creativity days.
Article also posted here: http://www.makealivingwriting.com/2013/07/05/first-friday-link-party-for-writers-4th-of-july/