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How to break through creative block

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 09:28

Many people are under the impression that creative block is a myth. They think the term is simply an excuse for creatives to take long coffee breaks and avoid their tasks.

They think it’s an excuse to be lazy. Those people couldn’t be more wrong. Creative block is a real thing and it can have devastating consequences.

When your job is to be creative, whether it’s writing or creating visual masterpieces, you’re expected to be able to produce top quality work 24/7. The thing is, that’s not always possible. Some days it’s like hitting your head against a brick wall and not being able to stop. The words just won’t come, the pictures never look quite right and the concepts are never fully formed.

So, when you’re getting paid to create, how do you get through creative block?

Step away

This is what coffee breaks and short strolls are for. Take a moment away from your desk or the studio and clear your head. Spend ten to twenty minutes emptying your mind. Don’t think about the task at hand and don’t stress about not being able to do it. Chat to a colleague, phone a friend, walk to the shop. You need to get away from your screen and the job you’re working on. Putting physical distance between you and the problem may help give you some perspective.

Focus on another project

Okay, so everyone who has ever worked in the creative industry knows that deadlines are pretty much always there. But if you have some time and something else to work on, try starting a new project. You may just have a mental block against the task itself and you only need to focus on something else for inspiration to hit.

Go out and look for inspiration

Inspiration, much like opportunity, doesn’t go around knocking on doors. You’ve got to get out there and find it. Go through your favourite blogs, check Pinterest or stare out the window for fifteen minutes. Whatever gets your brain working and blood pumping, do it. There’s no use sitting around waiting for a sudden moment of clarity.

Sometimes you’ve just got to force it

Sweat it out. Sit at your desk or wherever it is you work and force your way through the creative block. It will not be easy and it will be painful but when the deadlines are looming, you can’t just curl up and cry. Just start at the beginning and carry on until you’re finished. It’s likely you’ll have to go back and edit the hell out of it, but at least you will have produced something.

Creative block is a real thing and it can leave you feeling drained and frustrated. Unfortunately, you can’t just call it a “sick day” and put the work off. So, try these tricks if you ever find yourself banging your head on your desk with tears streaming down your cheeks.