3 Reasons You Should Pay Attention To Creative Blocks

creative blocks how to break through

There is no greater pitfall for creative types than not feeling creative. These blocks have haunted artists since the beginning of art and, like a hangover, there is no surefire cure. But unlike a hangover, embracing a creative block can, in the long run, be one of the best things to happen to you. Here’s three reasons why:

1. They Inspire You to Seek Out Inspiration
Artists often think that the world revolves around whatever they’re working on. This can be an important trait, but sometimes it takes a feeling of running on empty to go out again and be inspired by others’ work. If you’re staring at a blank canvas, it’s time to fill your head with new creations that you’ve never seen before. Go to museums or bookstores or the library or just search through the Internet. Find something that really wows you and the block will start being chipped away.

2. They’re Not Blocks, They’re Distress Signals
Our creative side can sometimes be like a little kid. If it doesn’t want to do something it starts to throw a fit. Occasionally we may interpret this as a block, but in reality your brain is screaming, “This is not fun and I want to stop!” While not finishing something can be a big problem, slogging through a project just for the sake of getting it done can be just as bad. If you can’t fix something, it could very well be because deep down you want it to stay broken.

3. They Replace Fear with Routine
Inspiration is not an infinite resource. Hemingway referred to this as “juice,” and talked about it like a physical thing inside him that would drain out every day. But when the juice isn’t there, that doesn’t mean you don’t do anything. You still write, paint, take photos, record music no matter what. It can be completely awful, you can hate every single thing about it. But you do it today and no matter what you to it tomorrow. Because if you’re not working every day when the juice is gone how can you be sure you’ll be in the right place when it comes back?

Shane Mehling FOLLOW >

Shane Mehling is a freelance writer and editor who plays in noiserock bands.