10 Creative Block Breakers That Actually Work

Posted on: January 31st, 2013 by bobmorris

10 CreatuveHere is an excerpt from an article written by Susan K. Perry for Psychology Today in which she insists, “You CAN overcome the frustration of feeling blocked.”

To read the complete article, check out others, and obtain subscription information, please click here.

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Doesn’t matter what you call it: writer’s block or creative block or simply “Where is my inspiration when I need it?!” All creative individuals find their work coming less easily at some times than others. That’s when you need strategies, and plenty of them.

Doesn’t matter what you call it: writer’s block or creative block or simply “Where is my inspiration when I need it?!” All creative individuals find their work coming less easily at some times than others. That’s when you need strategies, and plenty of them.

There are at least 90 such tips, tools, and techniques in Breakthrough! 90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block & Spark Your Imagination , edited by Alex Cornell, with a foreword by Erik Spiekermann.

Breakthrough! is a fresh compilation of practical, real world solutions offered by a range of creative individuals, including graphic designers, artists, writers, and photographers. These are people who are employed in jobs where they are required to be creative, regularly (brief bios are in the back of the book).

The insights in this perkily designed, light-hearted, and useful little volume are sometimes amusing, often unexpected. It’s worthy of being read straight through and marked and stickied and personalized by any reader who has ever felt not lazy but gooey in the brain in regards to a particular project.

[Here are Three of the] 10 Favorite Block Breakers:

1. Redefine the problem to find it more compelling. Ask yourself something like “What if Winston Churchill were designing this packaging?” That will provide an unfamiliar angle and perhaps a new perspective. (Christian Helms, Graphic Designer)

2. Dirty your canvas. Place an ink-stained handprint on its blankness so you have something to fix. (Deru, Musician)

3. Draw blindly for half a minute. You can’t criticize the results. Give yourself a theme (this works for freewriting, too, and let loose. Without expectation, you can break through to being able to work on your blocked project. (Paul Madonna, Illustrator and Cartoonist)

4. “Look at creative block as growth.” Consider this: “I’m not running out of ideas, just trying to push myself into better ones.” (Mike McQuade, Graphic Designer and Illustrator)

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To read the complete article, please click here.

PderrySusan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a writer and social psychologist. After years of nonfiction writing, she became curious about how top writers accomplish their feats of creativity. With famous flow researcher Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi on her doctoral committee, she interviewed more than 75 best-selling and award-winning novelists and poets, including Jane Smiley, Billy Collins, Robert Olen Butler, Ethan Canin, and Ursula LeGuin. The resulting book was the Los Angeles Times-bestseller, Writing in Flow: Keys to Enhanced Creativity. She contributed chapters to Faces of the Muse: How People Think, Work, and Act Creatively in Diverse Domains (Erlbaum) and Psychology of Creative Writing (Cambridge University Press).

Among her other popular books are Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way and Playing Smart. She has also written 1000+ articles, essays, reviews, and advice columns for publications such as Psychology Today, Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Woman’s World, and she has been quoted widely in national media. She has taught at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and numerous other venues.

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