Overcoming creative blocks
Bohemian notion of a writer’s block is nowhere near when you are creatively stuck, brewing in self- hate or channeling negativity and unfulfillment towards others. Waiting around for the muse to come and check on you is a tempting option and so you linger. Scrolling down all the social platforms, visually stripping yourself of fresh ideas and eye blistering from all the post-production involved. An activity which should not be dubbed ‘research’ but plain procrastination.
Nothing beats better the puzzled mind than diving into the task at hand
Terrified? Well, the modern culture of ‘busy busy’ strives on planning. The amount of self-help books on the topic is eternal, but the concept is corresponding. Make a list. Write down your artistic objectives like a chief executor of your own business plan. Overwhelmed? Divide assignments in short and long term goals; shape them with as much details as possible. Make it a daily habit and here is a tip: do the last pinpoint first.
Putting the results aside can actually free you from the stress levels
If painting a great piece of work is your end goal, do not sit yourself down for a great success right away. Sketching or making a collage instead will make you feel satisfied creatively, but will not ruin your mood if you happen to screw things up. Seems like a simple ‘how-to’ that can be applied to many experimental exercises, yet we tend to forget to soberly give ourselves a break. Not every day is going to be a master piece.
If finding a window in your jammed schedule for your creative ventures is something that stands in a way, timing yourself can be a solution. Natalie Goldberg, the author of the celebrated book ‘Writing Down The Bones’ suggests carving out as little as fifteen minutes for a writing exercise daily, which will pay off in the long run. Like training, this painless responsibility will get your mind in shape regardless your artistic pursuit. Another notable writer Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of infamous book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’), advises to stop mid-sentence1 and continue the next day. That way, not only you save yourself from staring at a blank page but also continue from a platform you have built for yourself the day before.
The result on daily basis is not as important as consistency and devotion to your art
There is a chance you have happened to hear about the well known ‘Seinfeld Strategy’2 if you are banging your head on the wall of creative frustration. The comedian (Jerry Seinfeld), gets a year calendar up on the wall and puts an ‘X’ on each day he has sat down and written comedy work. Your only goal is to keep the line of ‘Xs’ unbreakable. Once you see that line grow, satisfaction and self-admiration undoubtedly will occur. The result on daily basis is not as important as consistency and devotion to your art.
When a creative block suppresses you like a grim cloud, most importantly is to not be at war with yourself. Plummet in your art and watch it bloom, maybe not in the same day, or even in a week; but great things were never built with a turbo speed.