By a show of hands how many of you have experienced what writers and creatives call “writer’s block”?
Simply put it’s the inability to think of what to write or create. This is what I have been struggling with since my last talk at toastmasters. I have been going over the talk requirements, been reading and trying to form a talk and I got nothing just a simple blank page.
So out of desperation, I decided to google the topic and see how one can overcome such a roadblock. To my surprise, there was a lot of different options. So I selected only three that makes the most sense to me.
Strategy 1: Change Focus
Move your focus away from your task. As world renounced graphic designer and artist, Stefen Stagmeister says when speaking on the topic – Design from a different vantage point.
He gives an example of how one can design a book on creatively using a glass of water. He starts off with describing the glass and the characteristics of the water which moves he to different design elements. The next thing he knows the glass of water isn’t relevant anymore.
This simple strategy of changing focus and using a different vantage point helps your brain sift through all the information, old and new within until you find something that works.
So let’s try an example together – Take a problem, blank page or even something that you have a to create and then select something in front of you to describe and design a solution or a desired result.
Strategy 2: Everything is figure-out-able.
One of my all-time favor social entrepreneurs, Marie Forleo has created a catchy term to describe a process of finding out the answer to any question. This term is simply: Everything is Figure-out-able. She tells stories of how her mother would fix things around the house by simply figuring out the answer. If she was unsure she would go out to the library and find a book that covered the issue. She didn’t wait for someone to help her and she definitely didn’t want a man to step in. She made it here mission to learn and figure things out as she grew.
In the same way, if we are struggling with a topic or problem. Instead, of putting our hands up and sitting in the corner until someone else comes to fix it. Let’s go the library or head off to google and ask for help. With the development of technology, we have the world at our fingertips. Google, Youtube, and blogs are filled with helpful tips and hints. Ask our local Suzelle DIY for help.
If we want something bad enough we will find a solution. No one ever said it has to be perfect. The only thing you have to do is start.
Strategy 3: Create without limits
Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge says it wonderfully. As soon as you put limits on your creativity you are telling a small part of yourself not to be true. So, create without limits and then edit it to what is required. Just like our example of the book cover in strategy 1 we need to be free with our thinking, expression, and movement. Allow yourself to capture that special thing that only you have, in a way that only you can share it.
You can’t be everything to everyone. Give yourself a break and take some time to truly reflect on what is true for you. Our friend, procrastination only pops in for a visit when we are unsure and uncertain on what to do next. Don’t overthink it. It simply means that you have to explore a little and get a little dirty.
So let’s wrap this up.
The next time you find yourself steering at a blank page. Simply remember these three strategies.
Start off by changing your focus. How can I use a different vantage point to create something magical and different?
Secondly, remember that everything is figure-out-able. All question has an answer. It’s up to us to try to figure it out. Our solutions might be different but that the fun of the process.
And lastly, Create without limits. Write, move, express freely and once you have something edit it to fit the parameters of the task. It’s OK to not have something down perfectly. Our world craves something true and authentic from real people. And show perfection out the door.