Having a Creative Block? Here Are 9 Exercises to Confront and Dissolve Creative Resistance
When a creative block comes to visit we can assure ourselves that this is a temporary state of being and address the issue with courage and compassion.
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When I experience a block in my creative flow, I tap into my intuition and knowledge and use the many tools I have to inspire me.
There is no such thing as creative or noncreative people, only people that use their creativity and people that don't.
– Brené Brown
No matter what modality we use to create it is possible that at times we will feel blocked. An occasional feeling of “creative block” is totally normal when it happens every now and then and it is this type of block we are discussing in this session. (Over the years, creatives have reported creative blocks that have lasted weeks, months, and sometimes, years. That is an indicator of a more complicated issue.)
With self-observation, you may notice a pattern to the blocks. If that is the case it helps to understand when, how and why these patterns occur. There could be many reasons but fear is the best place to start:
- fear of rejection or failure
- self-doubt, anxiety about the outcome
- negative self-talk or criticism
These are a few of the possibilities but what I end up finding is that there is a lack, an overattachment to what my mind is saying or a fear of some kind.
My creativity flows freely.
In the journal segment, we will explore some tips and techniques that could break the block. It really doesn't matter which creative practice you love to do, these quick exercises are designed to get into whichever flow excites you. (Writing, dance, painting, drawing, songwriting, theater, leadership…whatever your creative outlet).
Some of the tools that will unblock the flow are tools that can be used for any challenge you are experiencing:
- Meditation – a releasing meditation is helpful. Add in an intention of curiosity and compassion.
- Free form writing – (I call it a stream of consciousness)-with this exercise we clear our mind by writing continuously for at least one page. We do not stop to correct spelling, analyze what we have written or judge what we are saying. We simply write. If we all of a sudden run out of words to write, we write one sentence or word over and over until something else evolves.
- Recharge – If you have been creating for hours a day, for days, maybe it is time to recharge your batteries. Spend the day caring for yourself without a specific creative goal.
- Nature – A walk in Nature with the intention of experiencing the wonders of the moment (no guilt or judgment).
- Information Deprivation – Limit or forgo social media or the news.
For the hands-on tools let's try these:
- Draw 5 or 6 “clouds” on a sheet of paper (try not to duplicate shapes). Now, just as if you were lying in a grassy field look at each cloud individually and make it into what you see.
- On a clean sheet of paper do a continuous line drawing. Set your pen/pencil on the paper and make a line without lifting your tool until you have an “interesting or resonating” line. Use your color to color in the shapes.
- Continuous doodle-fill in the spaces with dots, squiggles, lines, Keep going until you feel the flow or you fill the page.
- Choose one form-eyes, hands, bottles, cactus, etc. and sketch it over and over again.
I honor my creativity even when ideas seem stale or stagnant.
I am grateful for _____________________
When a creative block comes to visit we can realize that blocks are a natural occurrence. We can embrace the need to take a creative break without panic or self-doubt. We can assure ourselves that this is a temporary state of being and address the issue with courage and compassion.
Have you experienced a creative block? What was your method of bringing the flow back? Please share your stories and observations in the Activity Feed.