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Jeremy Posner - Breaking out of a Creative Block

Breaking out of a creative block can be one of the most difficult things to do as a creative. There are many things you can do to try and un-snag your creative juices but getting those techniques to take can be a nightmare. I have been blocked up for weeks at a time and it can be incredibly frustrating. There are three main techniques I use to unblock my creativity, they are doing other activities, exercise, and surround yourself with creativity.

Let’s explore doing other activities first. It seems counter-intuitive but just do some other stuff. Go for a walk, play the banjo, do whatever it is you can to try and move your brain away from struggling to be creative. A creative block can be a lot like quicksand, the more you struggle the faster and deeper you sink into that hole. I have found when doing these other activities it is also important to keep your mind free. Doing a guided activity, like listening to a podcast or watching a TV show can be relaxing they tend not to let your brain unstick. The way I like to look at that is the TV show you are watching is like a railroad track for your brain, which is the train. It provides a clear path for your brain to go down and it doesn’t have to do much work. What you want is to empty your brain and provide your train brain with the open field that all trains prefer and thrive in… okay, maybe not the best analogy. So go for a walk… Don’t try and be creative… don’t try and be un-creative, don’t do anything, just walk. Or lie out in the sun, or go for a bike ride, or sit on your porch in a rocking chair whittling… just keep your mind free.

Exercise is another great way to help spin your brain back up. It can easily pair with doing other activities but grants another purpose. Your body can get lots of pent up energy and if you do not use it properly it will come out as anxiety that helps bury the creative parts of your brain… so do something about it! Run, climb, bike… whatever. It is all good for you.

Finally I would recommend surrounding yourself with creativity. Whether it be creative people or a creative place, being around new things can always help. Creative places, like museums, classrooms, science centers, even malls can help spark your brain to think about things you never thought about thinking about… think about it. Brainstorming with creative people can also put your brain into a space where it can be free! Think about it!

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