Tag Archives: creativity

Blocks

Blocks

Day 8 of 30 Days of Imperfection…and I haven’t been writing every day. But, I am also studiously not beating myself up for that!

Tonight, I’ve just gotten home from a busy day, and all I want to do is decompress. Sit in front of the computer, watch videos and pet my dog. But it’s been several days since I last blogged, and I am aware that doing so whether I “feel like it” or not is part of the process of this challenge.

I’ve been feeling blocked. I keep saying things like: “I don’t have time,” or “I’m too tired,” or “I’m too busy to write…”
This afternoon, a client asked me: “What do other Creative people do when they’re blocked? How do they get out of it?”

Well, that depends. It depends a lot on the particular individual, but it also depends on where the block is coming from.

I encourage anyone who’s blocked creatively (and this doesn’t have to be limited to artists!) to look at the root of the block. Sometimes, we’re blocked because we’re actually afraid. Sometimes, we’re blocked because we need to fill up our energy wells – to rest more, to take better care of ourselves. Sometimes we’re blocked because of other emotions: anger, jealousy, grief.

I’m thinking now of the costumer I know who couldn’t bring herself to enter her studio, clean it up and get back to sewing, after the costume she’d worked so hard and lovingly on got lost in transport and never worn.
Only after I coached her on grieving the loss of that beautiful work — where the block was coming from — could she go back into her studio with a renewed spirit of creativity.

Some blocks are more practical: perhaps you need to talk to someone more experienced and get their feedback on your idea. Maybe you need an accountability partner to help you stay focused so that you can push through.

Ask yourself: “What needs to happen in order for me to make this project a priority again?” Let yourself explore all aspects of it, including – and especially – the feelings that come up. If, after you have looked at this creative block from a variety of angles, you still don’t feel inspired to pursue the project, then ask: “What will it take for me to let this one go?”

It’s OK to let go of unfinished projects, but it’s worth taking the time to determine what the true reason is that you don’t want to pursue it.

It takes no small amount of courage to face into our creative blocks. Remember to ask for help! A close friend, a mentor or a coach can provide the support you need to explore what’s really holding you back and help you to take concrete steps to move forward – over, around or through what’s blocking you.

(PS: I don’t feel so blocked now! Thanks!)

Top That!

Top That!

Day 5 of 30 Days of Imperfection – Wait, it’s only day 5?!?

So yesterday, it felt risky to write my last post on Business Plans. But I’ve received good response (thanks!) and feel good about what I wrote.

Today, I don’t what the heck to write about. I feel kinda like a novelist who’s finally finished the 600 pager, but has been asked to write a sequel. Or worse yet, an entire series. With the same leading heroine. Ugh.

So what will the heroine do next? Whom will she champion? What new risk will she take?

What does the heroine do when she gets writer’s block in the middle of a 30-Day writing challenge? And really, this isn’t the middle, it’s the beginning.

Hum.

Yes. That’s it. This is about fear, too. (Jeez, what isn’t?) Can I write something good enough? Or am I doomed to write only 1 post a month, or a quarter that’s any good?

What if I can’t top that last post? What if I fall flat?

(OK I almost just deleted all of that. But, that would be *perfectionist* of me, wouldn’t it?)

What would the heroine do? Thinking of all my favorite fantasy adventure novels, the heroes and heroines tend to reach a point in the story where they get stuck. When all seems lost. Sometimes it happens more than once.

In Joseph Campbell’s writings about The Hero’s Journey, he talks about Crossing A Threshold — an adventure cannot happen until this is done…to pass beyond the known into the unknown.

This process of writing these posts every day, letting go of my judgments and just putting my words and my Self out into the world, a little each day, is my journey into the unknown, away from what has felt familiar and safe, even if painful.

So, I’ve crossed a threshold by writing these posts. What happens next?

Your guess is as good as mine. Stay tuned, as they say…