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Moving past a block

Not that I don’t occasionally suffer from plain old writer’s block – but this past week (and hmm, hmm, the lack of blog entries) beat the band because I had the flu – so not only was I void of creativity, I also felt awful.  While I wallowed in my own special brand of self-pity, I got to thinking about writer’s block and then ‘blocks’ in general.

Whether you write, design, coach, sell, teach or invent – whatever you do. Your work contains some amount of creativity or, at least, the need for energy to move forward. And, at some point, the energy disappears. So, what do you do?

Here’s what I do (and if you aren’t a writer, use the writing references as metaphors):

  • Start in the middle.  It’s that blank page thing again. When the long view of the project overwhelms, begin the work as if the momentum is already there. Fake it till you make it, in essence.
  • Break it down. A variation on the theme above. If the entirety of the project is to massive, the psyche can take a beating which is a total energy-sucker. Breaking the project into small pieces takes away some fear, and once you conquer one of the little chunks, well, the rest is gravy.
  • Tell yourself to shut-up. I know this doesn’t sound very nice, but my best friend from high school and I had a philosophy, ‘we’re going to get the assignment done, so stop worrying and/or bitching about it and just start.’ There is some comfort in this reality, that you do know, deep down inside somewhere, that you will finish – because you always do.
  • And, finally – search the web. I find the internet to be the ultimate igniter. I just search my topic and start to read what people are saying and before I know it, I’m inspired or disgusted, I’ve formed my own opinion, I know exactly what I want to say (what must be said!)…and I’m all set, mission accomplished.

Caveat to this last suggestion: only search for your topic…if you are stuck in blocked land and you start tooling around the internet aimlessly, the whole day will pass and what will you have to show for it? 30 viewed YouTube videos, a new foot massager, and enough Brittney sightings to win you a subscription to Teen People.

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