Let’s turn the block into creativity!
A few weeks ago, I was stressed out by a task assigned by my boss. It should be simple: find a catchy tagline for an event program that we've been working on. But alas, it took me hours—almost a day—to come up with something. And when I did come up with something, I wasn't really satisfied with it. Then it hit me: am I losing my creativity?
As soon as this post finds you, my draft must be flooded still with blog posts that I probably will never write. Each time the number of unfinished posts grows bigger and I keep telling myself that I'm going to delete them, but I always find myself struggling to go through with it. Because lately I feel like it's difficult to get started on anything. I may have so many ideas that I want to work on, but at the end I don't know how to begin. So those unwritten posts often ended up being forever abandoned and will never see the light of day.
As a full-time writer, facing writer's block is like going against a frustrating foe. And if you don't know how to climb out of it, you'll definitely be struggling to deal with future blocks. From what I read here, writer's block usually comes from "a feeling of unhappiness or discontent with the creative act of writing—and not a lack of talent or ideas". Blocked writers felt unmotivated to proceed with their writing because of self-criticism. I think this really explains the struggle with getting started on anything I’ve been trying to write. Now I’m in the process of tackling the block and finding ways to jump start my creativity. Here’s how I try to get my mojo back…
Kicking Away Creative Block, Now and Forever
Surf the net. Well, this is actually something that I always do whenever I spent hours in a staring contest with my laptop screen and kept on asking myself "GEEZ WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?!". I would usually check out Pinterest or my favorite blogs to get inspiration. Sometimes I would just Google up what I'm going to write and see how others point out the ideas, then come up with something new or different.
Try something new. If you write, dance to something. If you take pictures, color something. If you draw, write something. If you sing, cook something. If you craft, read something. Start with something small, then improvise. You'll find your creativity improved by exploring new skills and adapting to a different medium.
Surround yourself with your favorites. Having my favorite things around me always gives me abundant inspirations. The smell of fresh air, a chill and calming playlist, a glass of sweet ice tea or ice coffee, an outdoor view, a cute notebook or journal, some green plants. Surround yourself with anything that interests you or makes you happy. This will allow your creativity to blossom.
Map it out. Whenever ideas flow like crazy, I find myself more productive in writing if I jot them down and map out everything beforehand. It's because I'm the kind of person that easily forgets and be confused, especially when it comes to overflowing ideas and overwhelming information. Mapping out your ideas will really help you develop the flow and figure out the whole point.
Listen to your body. Do you drink enough water? Do you get enough sleep? Do you feel well-rested? Do you eat well? Sleep often becomes my biggest problem, which always causes my low energy level, less responsive brain, and all the shitty moods. The second is usually water. When I don't drink enough water, my spirit dampens and my appearance looks exhausting. Needless to say, I find myself more spontaneous, quick-witted, and creative when I try to get enough sleep and drink enough water.
Leave the room. It's okay to just step outside for a bit and move around. I love taking long walks—it always gives me enough quality time to spent with myself and observe my surroundings. Moving never fails to stimulate the creative nerve.
Take a shower. Or a lush bath. You'll be surprised to find how many ideas you can come up with while in the shower. It’s always interesting to see how your unconscious mind can wander and make creative links when you're doing such mindless activities. So get your favorite bath bombs or soap, lather, rinse, repeat.
Give free-writing a try. Find some place you can focus, set the time limit, and write anything. Just anything that comes to mind. It’s about writing your soul out without any second-guessing and self-doubting. Do not stop to look for the perfect word, the right grammar, the topic—not even for a typo. Sometimes you just need to exercise your writing muscles by working out with your random thoughts. Just have fun scribbling and loosen up.