Waiting for the muse to come, often feels like waiting for Godot- it’s not going to happen anytime soon. The harder one tries to find that lost thread of inspiration, the more difficult it seems to be. And in this fast- paced world, lacking inspiration is a widespread problem- everyone has had it at least once. So, what are the cures ?
A lot of websites and life coaches come up with their own magic bullets for breaking the creative block. They are all useful, but our article aims to offer the best mix of these different approaches with only one goal- refilling the well of inspiration in just 1 day.
We think of the creative block as a congestion of balls with tangled threads. To break the block, one needs to unfetter every thread in the case of human head, it means looking at a problem from multiple perspectives, listening to every opinion and writing down every thought in an attempt to track the flow of consciousness and locate the problem and its solution.
Here Are Our 7 Tips For Breaking The Creative Block
John Steinbeck said: “It’s a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it“. Albert Einstein, who is one of the biggest creative geniuses, slept for 10 hours each night. One research study conducted at the University of Lubeck showed that those participants who had more sleep “were more than twice as likely to uncover a hidden rule“. The reason why this happens is not only that during sleep we let the brain relax and recharge its batteries without obsessing over the creative block, but also that in the state of unconsciousness our creative forces are more alert than ever and our brain is more prepared to solve any problem. To help this process one should try getting to lucid dreaming state, where he/she is alert and aware of dreams.
When one is trying to overcome the creative block, obsessing over it is usually not a good solution. The reason is that this makes the brain tenser and less flexible, preventing it from coming up with spontaneous ideas. This creates the effect of running round in circles, or in the words of David Burkus: “When you work on a problem continuously, you can become fixated on previous solutions“. To avoid this, it is useful to give oneself a break and engage in some sort of distracting activity which could be anything, from reading a book, fishing, listening to music, all the way to chatting with a plumber about bills like Dr. House did when he had his Eureka moment and came up with the diagnosis.
Go for a Walk
While going for a walk may seem like a trivial and not so useful solution, it actually works as a way to let go of the stress. During walks, one is doing just that walking, without fretting about anything else. This state of mind is ideal for coming up with creative ideas because they are allowed to pop up spontaneously. It is important to process and analyze every thought that comes up during these walks and keep up walking until solution occurs either in a form of a new idea or at least a useful insight into how to get to them.
Look for a New Perspective- Argue
In this case, arguing does not mean sticking blindly to one’s own ideas and trying hard to win the argument at all costs. It’s all about finding a new perspective and broadening one’s horizons through a dialogue. It could be through a conversation with a friend whose worldview is total opposite and whose insights could help locate a weak spot in the argument and find a completely new path for coming up with the solution. Here, it is important to keep one’s mind open and allow for a different opinion without prejudice.
Go Crazy- a Bit
This does not mean throwing a wild party, walking around naked or attempting to jump off the bridge. It simply means trying to break out of one’s comfort zone and giving something else a try. The reason why people often fail to come up with a creative solution is that they prefer to stick to their old ways and are afraid to try their luck with something new. They have their favorite books/ genre and would never in their right mind try to read something else, they have their favorite scientists and everyone else is a pseudoscientist etc. It is important to allow oneself to be challenged because that is the only way to put ideas to the test.
Have Some Fun
While having a beer with friends does not seem like incredibly useful way for getting into the creative flow, it could be of tremendous help. The best solution for those suffering from a burnout is to give themselves a break. Having fun with friends is a proven way for getting that much-needed dose of serotonin and boosting one’s mood. However, it’s important not to make a mistake of going out and having a guilty conscience over doing it, still obsessing over the problem. For those worried about getting a hangover- Charles Bukowski wrote a story about the “ Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip“ and it became his first piece of writing to get published. It could be worth a shot writing about a hangover and awakening the creative-self. No one knows when such an opportunity can arise, but it is important not to discard any of them.
Imagine & Dream
One of the reasons why people find themselves stuck with creative block and unable to break it is that they are unhappy with their current situation. The problem could be in their state of mind, their surroundings, frustrated desires or the actions of other people. If that is the case, it’s a good idea to get removed a bit and try some visualization techniques. Here, it can be useful to get lost in daydreams and imagine that things are working out perfectly well and everything is in place: friends, family, professional plans, relationships. If one adopts a positive mindset it’s much easier to make a positive change and achieve goals. When a person is frustrated, he/ she enters the vicious cycle of negative energy and finds it difficult to break out and do something constructive. After all, this technique of positive visualization is used in psychotherapy to help patients who are suffering from anxiety, so it could work equally well for those trying to get into creative mode.
Finding out that one’s creative juices are no longer flowing, could be a very frustrating experience, especially if it has been going on for a long time and does not look like it will be ending anytime soon. The good news is that everyone has been there, even the most creative among us and they eventually managed to put everything back in place. It’s simply impossible to maintain the same level of inspiration all the time and cling to one’s muse forever. Dry periods come and go. What is important is to keep moving forward and identify the source of creative block. Is it a stress, having too much work, struggling to find motivation or something completely different but equally frustrating? The worst thing to do is trying to force things happen instead of letting them happen spontaneously. It’s important to think of a creative block as a part of the creative process overcoming it will only make one stronger and more prepared for dealing with similar setbacks in the future. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade – just be creative!
About the Author:
Samantha Anderson is Educator with a passion for blogging. Her mind map is surrounded on discovering new world perception theories and cognition approaches. To practice her writing skills Samantha writes essays for the writing service WriteMyPaper.Today. She takes her inspiration in traveling around thought-provoking places.