Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mental Blocks

What do you do when you've reached a creativity block? It doesn't matter if you're an artist, writer or just about any career that requires creativity. Slumps happen! So, what do you do? First off, don't fight it. Just continue to breath, move, watch, listen and live. Sometimes inspiration can come in the least expected ways. Relax and follow other creative people. More than likely, they had their own slumps.
My son had a notebook. It was blank and we were traveling in the car. My husband was driving. I decided to have a writing game. My mother used to do similar games when I was a kid. I wrote the beginning of a story and handed it to him. He was to write a few paragraphs and hand it back to me. I added to that. We went back and forth until we felt it was time to end it. We wrote off the top of our heads with no particular idea in mind. We ended up coming up with some very funny and creative stories. My mother did a similar game except it was a group participation story. About four+ people sat at a table and wrote the opening lines to a story. Then they folded the paper over, covering what they wrote except for the ending line or ending words. It was the job of the next person to finish the sentence or thought and continue with their own story lines. The papers went around the table until the paper was filled up. At that point, whatever paper you had in front of you, you concluded. The results were very funny and insightful short stories. These are a few ways to get your creative juices flowing.
The bottom line is to follow your passion. Do what strikes your fancy and see where it leads. Behind it all, know what you want. Its good to occasionally make a list of what you want. It gives you something to focus on. Your list will change as you do. Remember if you stare too much at the closed door, you won't see the open one. Live each day with purpose. Its OK to stop and smell the flowers. All work and no play makes for a very unhappy individual. Find what makes you happy and enjoy it. Eventually, creativity will follow. Don't spend too much time on the "hows". If you know what you want and do what makes you happy, things will fall into place. I've asked "successful" people (writers, actors, etc) how they did it. Generally they tell me that they never gave up and just did what they loved. They said that when they worried or stressed over it, they stalled. It was when they stopped all that they started to succeed. The author Neil Gaiman once said that when it starts to become "work" and stops being fun, he'll stop. Until then, he said he'll write as inspiration dictates.
Don't restrict yourself either. If you're a writer, its OK to write within different genres. You don't have to stick within your chosen field if you don't want to. You're the creator of your life. You can take advice or leave it. Its entirely up to you. Here's to your dreams, may they all come true!


Tera said...

I've been told that life is hard and doing things you don't like builds character. It took a long time for me to realize it doesn't have to be that way if you don't want it to be.

Anonymous said...

" Do not fight the slump in creativity" - absolutely true!Injecting the opposite at this time may help too! That is indulging in a completely non-creative routine activity for a time may remove this block very effectively! If you want to know why here is the link to my book "Success through Opposites" wherein I talk about vaccinating the mind to remove or get over any mental block, including the creativity block: