Avoiding barriers to creativity

I haven’t had writer’s block. Yet.  Or Artist’s block. I have in the past, and still sometimes do, wander down useless paths, as I try to resolved a problem or force a thought that perhaps isn’t worth the effort.

The method I used to avoid the dreaded block. Is to dodge, weave and duck. I think it works for real life, but, caution on that one.

First off, to create I need solitude, peace and quiet. I need to focus, and being alone and undisturbed helps a great deal. When everything is clicking I don’t want music or noises.

On those occasions when things aren’t quite going as they should, when the work and creative process meanders and flails, perhaps not stopping, but not really going anywhere either.  I  step away from it. Don’t get me wrong. I will try at first to resolve the storyline, or work the painting. But if there is no clear way forward, distance is the answer. For me at least, I see nothing  gained by wasting time and effort on something that is not working.

I quit the knot, and move on. Often distance, a break. A walk around the neighborhood helps better resolve a problem than starting at it for hours. When you are ready, return to the other piece. Or to the spot where you were stuck at, in the same story. If you don’t want to go back to it, maybe it was meant to be abandoned for good, and to keep working on something that just isn’t meant to be, will just suck up your time and energy. And likely give you poor returns in the end.

So, get up and stretch. Get a nice cold glass of water, pet your cat, or dog. Or your better half. Then go for a walk. When you are back, are you back? Oh yeah good, welcome back dear reader, so, try this now if you are stuck.

Jump ahead in your story, start in the middle, or at the end and work your back.

Start a new piece of fiction, tell that story, and see where it takes you.

Take your sketchbook and do some studies.

Still no dice? Maybe it was meant to be abandoned for good, or temporarily.  You can always come back to it later.

Well, at least it works for me.