By AllSwell Creative
Sometimes your muse can be evasive, fickle. For hours, or even days, she stops answering your calls and starts ignoring your texts. These are the moments when she needs to be cajoled, flirted with a bit before she shows up again. Whether you’re on deadline and unable to overcome the curse of that blinking cursor, or looking to expand your own personal creativity, here are four tactics that have helped artists of all kinds overcome blocks for centuries (that’s a pretty respectable track record).
Find silence. Creating a space stripped of responsibilities and environmental static–somewhere to simply be–sets the stage for you to commune with your own thoughts and images. When you go there, be quiet, listen to the silence, and see what it has to say.
Adapt. Very few things are purely original. Most build on existing ideas, taking them to new heights and in new directions. In other words, you don’t have to begin from scratch. Rather, cross-pollinate your creativity by using existing works as a starting point for your own. They don’t even have to be in the same medium. If you want to write, for example, looking at photographs might spark your mind. Or, if you’re sketching, a passage in a novel might trigger ideas. See where the journey takes you.
Collaborate. You don’t always have to work alone. Not everyone sifts through information the same way, and if you’re like me, sometimes you need to talk a concept through to get it polished and shaped. I have certain colleagues and mentors that I call upon when I’m stuck or need to raise the ante on my output. Their feedback and input doesn’t water down the finished product. It isn’t cheating. On the contrary, partnerships can yield extraordinary results thanks to the creative tension that arise from multiple perspectives.
Respect your muse. This is true of the work of others, but most specifically your own works. Don’t harshly judge it while it’s in process. Hemingway recommended, “Write drunk. Edit sober.” Whether or not you want to take this literally (bottoms up), the takeaway is to get a flow going. Get it out, and only then will you benefit from a critical eye. Not everything you do will be of the highest quality, that’s what the editorial process is for. Respect your muse and she’s more likely to show up and play.
AllSwell is a passion project launched to encourage creativity in all its forms. While the world has become undeniably digital, research shows that putting pen to paper is linked to increased wellbeing, and basically a boosted brain. AllSwell partnered with Sonäge at the recent Ritual Reboot event in Los Angeles, where each participant received an AllSwell Notebook No.1 as part of the Sonäge gift bag.