Surviving Creative Block
Nothing kills creativity more than being forced to submit to a form of creativity for a subjective purpose. I have noticed a trend in my blogging and personal writings. When I am taking a composition class or a class that requires specific writing, the amount of blogging or writing goes dramatically down. I understand the purpose of composition classes are to engage you in way to better your writing for academic research. Overall, I do believe that the English Comp classes required of freshman in college is beneficial to the student in the long-run.
Why is the way we teach composition prohibiting personal and creative writings? I could go on a very long tangent, but I will leave it up to people like Sir Ken Robinson to explain why schools are killing creativity and why our current system is currently not working.
If you find yourself in deep waters, drowning in the lack of creative motivation, do not worry. Here is a list of 5 things you can do to reboot your left-side brain and overcome writer's block.
1. Take a nap.
Sometimes the reason our creative juices quit flowing is because of "over-processing". This comes from having to do homework, work, or repetitive tasks. Essentially our brain is multi-tasking and has overloaded our processing. Much like when a computer has too many windows open and processes running, it slows down. It is not able to function properly. Our brains have similar processing limits and in order to reach our potential we sometimes have to restart and cool down. Taking a 20-30 minute nap can give your brain a much needed reboot without having drowsiness. Some of our influential men of the 20th century understood the power of a nap and here are a couple of their napping routines.
In a digital world, it is very difficult to disconnect from our phones, laptops, fitbits, and all the other digital devices. While these tools can be in fact tools, they can easily become distractions and "mind-numbing medicines". If you have a serious case of writer's block the best thing to do is put down your phone and close your laptop. Pull out a notebook and a pen and jot down a few ideas or doodle. Don't overthink it. Just do it.
3. Engage in activities that do not require reading or writing.
For me this is hiking or taking landscape photography. We live in the information world. We consume over 100,000 words a day from texting, reading, writing, surfing the web, driving. That is a lot of information. By engaging in non-reading or writing activities this means your brain is now having to develop the vocabulary in order to understand the world. Your brain is not using words from your surroundings to understand it. This engages your brain in a way that it is not forced to when you are constantly surrounded by labels and words.
4. Buy a coloring book.
Pick up a coloring book and crayons. This comes in many different forms. Use another creative medium to engage your left-side brain in order to help reboot that side of your brain. Our brains use these activities to help actively restart our brains. For me, my coloring book is film photography. I can not process the photo in camera so I have to rely on my current analysis from a scene and my artistic ability to ensure I get a photo I am content with.
5. Start writing.
This was advice given to me by one of my English professors. Simply just start writing. The largest part of writers block is inaction. By not taking action, you are reducing your probability of writing good content to 0%. You can not be successful if you don't take steps in order to achieve your success. My blog writing process is based off of this tip. I erase 80% of what I type. However, without the 80% of poor content I would not think of the 20% of great content. We live in a digital age and thank goodness for whoever invented delete.
So if you are in a writer's block, do not fret. Writer's block is simply a small obstacle to great content. Reboot and get back to writing.