One of the most discouraging issues any creative has to face is the creative block. One of the definitions I identify with regarding a creative block is what an article in GoodTherapy describes as “the inability to access one’s internal creativity. People who are in engaged in creative activities or professions such as authors, actors, artists, dancers, etc. are often adversely affected by creative blocks….long stretches of uncreatively which can last for up to years..
There are many things, which I have covered in previous blog posts that can lead to a creative block. Some of these include
How does one deal or overcome the creative block when it rears its ugly head in our creative life? Here are some ideas and methods that I used to help me move past it in the past:
Think of who you know you want to cultivate within you as a creative. Practice writing statements (in the affirmative) that describes who you are or becoming.
EXAMPLE: I don’t know if I am truly the creative person want to be.
Affirmation: I love and trust my creative gifts.
EXAMPLE: I think I am a songwriter, but not sure if it is just in my head or if I’m that good.
Affirmation: I am a talented and very gifted songwriter that is celebrated for my work.
If you facing depression or some kind of mental or physical illness, these tips may not work well for you and professional intervention via a therapist or physician may be the first step in dealing with the creative block you are facing. Take time to make a proper assessment of what is going on and what might be the source of your blockage before trying these or other tips to address it.
Have you tried other ways to unblock your creativity? Share below!
One of the most popular creative blockbusters that you may hear about is a tool, made popular by Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way is the morning pages. As Julia defines it, the morning pages are “three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. “ The writing that is done here is not “high art” or publishable by any means…it is whatever comes to your head that you need or want to get out on paper, pen in hand. That’s right, it is not a typing or texting exercise…it is old school writing.
There are many people who use this as tool to unblock their creativity. For me it has been a tool that I have been using for a few years and it helps me to do a “mind dump” on everything that is going on in my daily world. Write everything from gratitude lists, poetry, funny things that happened during the day to venting out frustrations. Once I do this daily version of journaling, I begin the day a bit lighter and focused, especially as part of my morning ritual.
If you have been thinking of starting this practice, here is a few benefits that may encourage you to start earlier than later:
• There is No Wrong Way to Do the Morning Pages: Julia said so herself! It’s all about what comes out of your mind and on to the page. There is no writing structure or topic to follow. It is whatever is on your brain at the moment.
• The Morning Pages Clears the Fog of the Mind: For me, it is a wonderful brain dump….and at times I am surprised as to what appears on the page. There may be issues or thoughts latent in the brain that you don’t realize is in your subconscious. The morning pages allows you to get it out.
• The Morning Pages Helps You Discover Patterns of Thoughts or Concerns: You may be surprised that you are venting about similar issues or that a problem you thought you had now includes a solution in your writing. That is the magic of the process…when you identify patterns or find solutions, it helps clear the way for creativity.
• The Morning Pages Can Help You Think Through Creative Projects: New ideas often come as I write for artistic projects or for resources for my creativity coaching practice. I may write down an idea for workshop, or an art series and then expand on it. I may recall a detail from an Artist’s Date or an event I attended that I will write about which launches other ideas.
• The Morning Pages is a Healthy Way to Release Stress: If you have a habit of venting or complaining to your friends or family, a journaling practice of any kind is a healthy way to get it all out without losing friends and loved ones in the process. You can identify triggers, or crazymakers that may be getting in the way of your creativity.
Any journaling practice can have benefits to help you clear the mind and focus on your creative practice. Do you do the morning pages? What has been the benefits of this daily ritual for your creativity?