How to Melt Creative Blocks

Blank screen, blank canvass, blank space, blank you …

We have all been there. You have to honour your commitment and deliver the goods, be it writing, art, musical composition or whatever, but no matter how long you stare at the space waiting to be filled, nothing but nothing comes forth.

It’s in times like these that tasks like cleaning the toilet suddenly become irresistible.

Many things can cause the cranial cogs to freeze like lack of faith in your ability, listening to that inner critic as it chants demeaning abuse, lack of clarity on intention, fear of mistakes and even plain old fatigue. Maybe none of these is applicable, yet the block persists in your creative flow.

No matter the cause, the first step on the road to recovery is to relax. Breathe deeply as you focus on releasing tension from each part of your body.

A complete break can revitalise and stimulate inspiration. Doing anything from chores to something you really enjoy like a walk or sketching can provide block-melting distractions. Keeping a recording device with you is a good idea to capture those gems as they pop into your mind.

Sometimes indecision around the crux of your intention, or what is and isn’t relevant for inclusion, can hold you back. Grab a cup of tea, switch your recording device on, and tell your dog all about it. Just talking it out aloud can have an amazing effect of transforming confusion into clarity.

If fear is holding you back, then you just have to begin. Put words on the screen and keep adding to them. It doesn’t matter if the demeaning chants have turned into riotous laughter, ignore that and continue with no regard to the outcome. Accept that mistakes are an essential part of the practice. Once you’ve overcome that starting hurdle, involvement gains momentum and slowly, or perhaps not so slowly, your creative output will flow.

 “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”  Carl Jung