2012-04-19



One Powerful Way to Overcome Creative Block

A lot of people get blocks. Some call them writer’s block or artist’s block. Others refuse to accept that there is such a thing, but they have their unproductive periods too when things just don’t seem to work. I’m not here to argue validity of creativity block. If you have it, it’s valid.

I’m going to share one powerful method to overcome any creative block. It doesn’t matter if you are writing a book or painting or writing a blog post or making a scrapbook. It doesn’t have to be limited to something artsy. You might be having trouble creating a presentation for your job, or trying to write a speech. Whatever you are stuck with, this method can help.

So what’s this method?

Dialogue. Simple.

Exchange a dialogue with whatever is bothering you. It may sound silly, or over-the-top. Your first impulse might be to scoff and say it wouldn’t work for you. But I guarantee that if you do this exercise as it’s intended, with focus and attention, and pour yourself into it, it will work.

It might not work for you the first time. If you are resistant or have a lot of things going on that put you in a negative frame of mind, maybe you will need to do it for longer to really get into it. Give it a go. Have fun with it. Go crazy.

I often do dialogue exercises in my journal, whether for personal issues or for creative confusion or even just dialogue practice between my characters.

3 Steps to Follow

Pick a place where you can focus.

You need to absorb yourself into your journal (whether paper or electronic) without being disturbed. Focus and comfort are important.

Pick a problem.

Yes, you might have many problems. Just pick one. Don’t worry, you can repeat this exercise with ALL of your issues. If you can’t prioritise, tackle them in alphabetical order. So say, you have one or more of these problems: your back aches, your marriage has lost its spark, your boss is stifling you, your self-esteem is low, and the novel you’ve been working on for a year is stuck.

Pick one that is making you feel stuck in everything else. Let’s start with your back. It hurts, so you don’t feel healthy. You are too focused on the pain, which only makes you realise how miserable you are in your marriage, or in your job, and how you are never going to finish that book. So what do you do now?

Have a dialogue with your back. Here is a quick example:

You: why are you causing me so much pain?

Back: It’s not my personal mission, you know. (your back might be as sassy mine).

You: well, then. Just get back to normal.

Back: I will, if you let me. It’s hard to stay in good shape when you keep abusing me by hunching over computers at all times, lifting things randomly and never keeping your spine straight.

You: oh. I guess you’re right. I should pay more attention to how I sit.

Back: yes, and while you are at it, give me some movement too. I need to stretch too.

Okay, this was just a quick example. It was also a very simple example, but while solution that comes out is not a miracle or rocket science, it makes you focus. We all know that we should take care of our bodies, but do we always do it? It’s pretty obvious that the more you write the better you get, yet people expect to have a perfect book after a draft.

Having a dialogue with your problem is like stepping into someone else’s shoes, and look at things from their perspective. Just the awareness often opens doors for solutions.

Repeat it regularly.

Do it without fail, daily, and you will get two benefits:

You will be able to get negativity out of your system (this is why it’s ideal to do this in the morning if you have time).

As you delve into this, you will gain clarity, because you will be constantly pushing your problem. You will dig deeper and deeper to find out cause behind cause. I’m not saying it’s going to make all your problems disappear, but I do believe it will help you feel more in control, and make it possible to take actions.

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:
1.      
Make a list of things that are bothering you right now, and
stopping you from moving forward in your life with whatever you want to do.
2.      
Use the 3 Step Process Above on at least one of those problems.

If you need a dose of positivity, you can download a FREE PDF guide, 17 Questions to Find Your Positivity, by clicking here.

Dolly Garland is a founder of Kaizen Journaling, where she helps a community of Kaizen Warriors create their personalised arsenal for success. Find her on Facebook

2 comments:

C R Ward said...

Thank you Dolly for sharing this wonderful post. I really like that your method for overcoming a block can apply to life, as well as writing.

Dolly said...

Carol,

Thank you for having my post here :-)