It might sound a strange claim to make after having written an entire series on overcoming creative blocks, but there really is no such thing.
Think about it. Have you ever seen a creative block?
How big was it?
What colour was it?
How much did it weigh when you tried to pick it up?
Exactly. There’s nothing there. The ‘block’ is just a metaphor.
The block only exists in your mind.
It can become very real, if you let it. But it can also vanish in the blink of your mind’s eye.
Look back at every article in the series, and you’ll see I avoided putting labels on any of the creative blocks sent in by readers. That would just make the block appear real, and it is unreal.
Look again, and you’ll see that in every instance I encouraged people to stop thinking about having a block or what the block might be (let alone where it came from) and got them to look at what they were THINKING and DOING that was keeping them stuck.
Then we flipped it round and looked at options new things they could think and do, that might get them unstuck.
And that’s really all you need to do:
- STOP what you’re doing that keeps you stuck.
- START doing something different, that could get you unstuck.
And when you break it down into specific steps, it’s often not that hard to do each step. Sometimes the hardest thing is letting go of the image of the block or the identity of being blocked.
So next time you are tempted to say you have a ‘creative block’, stop and ask yourself:
Do I really?
Can I see it? Feel it? Touch it?
What am I thinking that is perpetuating the idea of the block?
What different thoughts could I start thinking right now?
What am I doing that is keeping me stuck?
What could I start doing differently, right now?
Get into the habit of asking these questions, and your days of being blocked could well be numbered…
What Do You Think?
Do you agree that creative blocks are all in the mind?
Have you ever thought you had an immovable block, only to discover it disappeared when you changed your approach?
What do you do when you think you might be blocked?
Mark McGuinness is a creative coach with over 15 years’ experience of helping people get past their creative blocks. For a FREE 26-week creative career guide, sign up for Mark’s course The Creative Pathfinder.