Lifting the Block on Creativity

Lori Baxter Writing Tips

How can you get writer’s block if you aren’t even a writer?

In the information age, anybody’s job description can include some kind of writing. That means anybody can suffer from writer’s block or any other kind of creative block.

Deadline is approaching. You have to be cunning, creative, even brilliant. But after a half hour of staring at the screen, the ideas just aren’t coming. What can you do?

While writers may have given us all their disease, they’ve also given us a few mental plungers that can clear out the creative pipelines.

Here are a few suggestions for lifting the block on creativity:

1.  Relax your brain

If you are in a time crunch and can’t summon the creativity you need, beating your head against the wall will not help. Instead, relax. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Take a breather.” Sixty seconds of deep breathing can do more for your project than ten minutes of trying to force the idea out. It’s no coincidence that the word “inspiration” means both the drawing of air into the lungs and a brilliant idea.

Another method of relaxing your brain comes from Isaac Asimov, a man who wrote in nearly every category of the Dewey Decimal System. Asimov kept a library of mindless action films to help him relax when faced with writer’s block. When he couldn’t get an idea to come, he would watch something that required no real thinking until the ideas would start to flow.

So, shift your mind into neutral and let it coast a while. Chat with a friend. Go get a cup of coffee. Check the sports page. While it may be hard to step away from a rush project, relaxing your brain for a while can be far more productive than drudging through the project uninspired.

2.  Work on something different

If you can’t get the creative juices pumping on one project, your brain may be bored with it. Try working on something else for a while. A similar but unrelated project might help generate some fresh ideas. Or you can catch up on those phone calls you never seem to have time to make. When you get back to the original task, the project of doom may look a lot smaller.

3.  Talk about it with a friend

Another option is to borrow an old reporter trick: try explaining what you’re working on to a friend who doesn’t know anything about the project.

It may be that you are too close to a project or too hung up on one detail to get the creativity flowing. Explaining your idea to someone else will force you to take a step back and look at the whole picture. Your friend might also suggest an angle or make a connection that will spark your imagination.

4.  Hire professional help

If all of these methods fail, you could always fall back on the old adage of, “If at first you don’t succeed, pay someone else to do it for you.”

Contact us and we’ll show you how we can help.