We’ve all been there. The blank screen. The waiting cursor. The complete and total lack of ideas when something really spectacular needs to emerge, and quickly.
Writer’s block may be the most common term, but these temporary lapses in creativity eventually get their sticky fingers into every professional that relies on their mind to make money. There are all kinds of creative blockages, and they can come from many different things, or from nothing. Maybe you don’t like the client, maybe it’s sunny outside and you want to be playing instead of working, maybe you’re tired/hungry/bored/lonely, distracted or excited about something else.
The “why” doesn’t really matter here. What matter is “how” you’re going to move past the block and get on with your life and work. There are many different tactics recommended for identifying and eradicating mental blocks. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Release The Kraken
Even creative work can get redundant sometimes. We can start to feel boxed into our own processes, habits, cycles. When it comes to the 105th logo design or 7,000th blog post, it can be difficult to come up with any idea you haven’t already explored. So, let your mind out of its box. Get a big sheet of paper, or stand in front of a white board, and go crazy. Create a map of the blockages in your mind. Write swear words. Draw pictures. Use big messy shapes. Create connections between things that make no sense. Eventually, something promising might emerge. And even if it doesn’t, you will have released a little tension and maybe even made yourself laugh.
2. Change The Scenery
The great thing about being a mobile worker is that you don’t have to stay in a cubicle or office just because it’s time to work. Feel like you’re going crazy at home or in that coffee shop? Tired of looking at the same pictures on the wall? Sometimes changing our surroundings can change our mood, and when we’re in a good mood, we work better. Cohere loves to provide a new work environment for freelancers that feel like they’re going crazy. We have lots of different rooms and even an outdoor deck where you can get your work on. Don’t suffer through alone–come tell us about your creative blocks. We’re here to help!
3. Exercise Your Mind (Or Your Legs)
When your creative self screams “I hate you!” stomps into its room and slams the door, the best thing to do is let it stew in it’s own juice. You’ve got plenty of other body parts that are perfectly willing to do what you ask. When you can’t seem to break through, step away from the screen and go look for a good book. Read a chapter or five. You might just find that after watching all the other brain cells having fun, your creative self will want to play too. If you don’t have a good book at your disposal, or don’t feel like reading, try going for a walk or jog, no matter what the weather. Just turn your brain off and go. You’ll likely find your creativity waiting at your desk when you return.
What’s your favorite trick for dealing with creative blocks? Share it with us in a comment!
Image via emdot/Flickr