When your life's work involves being creative, sometimes the sheer stress can stop you cold. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a well-known sufferer of writer’s block, according to The John Hopkins Gazette. Writers are not the only ones that face the damming of creative juices. Artists, graphic designers, fashion gurus and advertising executives all butt up against that wall. Consider some ways a professional can fight that inevitable block of creativity.
Relearn from the Masters
Sometimes all it takes to restart the creative flow is seeing how someone else does it. Writers stuck on the next chapter of the great American novel might reread their favorite Stephen King book. Artists should take the night off to visit the local art gallery or go online for a virtual tour of the Louvre. The point is to learn from and be inspired by masters of your field. It doesn't even have to be work from a master to inspire. Artists, graphic designers and even storytellers can get ideas just browsing photo sites like iStock.
Take a Night Off
The University of Illinois suggests that sometimes you just have to wait for the inspiration to come to you. No matter what your profession, a night off can do a lot to recharge your battery. The key is to step away completely from your work. Spend the night out with friends talking about anything but work or watch a movie with the kids. Don’t forget the popcorn.
Go Back in Time
Reviewing your past work is an ego boost for many creative minds. Look at a successful website design or a tag line that went viral. Creative block does a number on your ego. Seeing something you created at some point in your career gives you a sense of accomplishment. Just knowing you got through it once is enough to put you back on track. You really are that good.
When the block seems insurmountable, consider taking a class to get going again. An artist who focuses on landscapes should take a class in abstracts, for example. Copywriters can make a switch to fiction with a creative writing course just to change things up. The first class will remind you why you do what you do in the first place. The excitement of learning is all it takes to get going again.
Thanks to the wonder of the Internet, you don’t even have to leave your house to take a class. Major universities are offering free online classes through platforms such as Coursera.
Keep a Journal
No matter what your creative profession, a journal provides a way to explore your ideas and thoughts, explains the Primary Education Oasis. It is kind of like running sprints to get your creativity flowing. Set a time each day to write in the journal, and discuss issues you’re having with your creative process, problems in your personal life and anything else that comes to your mind. There are no rules for keeping a journal, except trying to write in it often.
A pocket journal also gives you a platform to jot down notes when an idea comes to you. You might lose the napkin you wrote down your marketing plan on during dinner, after all. Write down ideas as they come and go over them later. Try the DayOne app if you want a high-tech solution. It is available for both Mac and iPhone and costs less than $5.
Article Author: Dan Meyer - Dan is a professional grant writer and amateur song writer.