Writer’s Block: 6 Steps to Cultivate Creativity

IMG_8691

For years, I used to think writer’s block was an inevitable, insurmountable obstacle I had no power to overcome. I thought creativity flowed from inspiration, and inspiration was summoned by the art gods in some sort of esoteric, supernatural ritual. Years later, and I’ve come to realize inspiration is for amateurs and there are very simple ways to harness creativity. Here are a few:

Creativity isn’t captured, it’s cultivated. Change your mind about how creativity is developed. Imagine if you were a comic book artist that had to produce a fresh strip of comics weekly for a paycheck. What would you do if you were fresh out of ideas? More than likely, you do what you had to do to find some. A lot of people have been led to believe being creative is a mystical, deeply spiritual process that requires divine intervention. In reality, it’s more about developing good habits and refining work. The first step is changing your paradigm  to recognize it’s an intentional process in which the artist is expected to participate.

In the long run there is not much discrimination against superior talent.
 – Carter G. Woodson

Practice capturing the moment. As a college sophomore I was blessed to be part of a group of writers that helped me shape my ideas about writing and creativity. When we got to the subject of writer’s block, the idea of capturing the moment was introduced. This simply means, as a writer you have to discipline yourself to write things down. If you keep a small notebook and make a habit of writing ideas, thoughts, and inspirations you will increase your creativity by a million, bazillion percent. Don’t miss the moment. Inspirational moments are like snowflakes; there are many, but no two are alike. A musician friend once told me he makes a habit of going to bed empty, meaning every night before his head hits the pillow he records all of this ideas.
.
Keep writing
: Carter G. Woodson once said, “In the long run there is not much discrimination against superior talent.” Many incredibly talented people have average ability coupled with above-average work ethic and discipline. As a writer, one way to expand your creative perimeter is to write often. The more more ideas you write, the more ideas you have, and the more ideas you refine, the more you have to choose from. Some will be great, some will be good, and others will be average. The overall goal is to have catalogs of work that display your creativity, versatility, and development process.

11289532_10153417266741248_7636702584288284944_o.jpg

Make writing a priority: Have you ever thought, “I know I should write, but I just don’t feel like it?” Of course you don’t, that’s why you have to force yourself. Instead of suffering from writer’s block, schedule a writing block (a chunk of time to create) and guard it like a mama pitbull over her pups. Turn off the phone, TV, YouTube, laptop (if you’re not using it to create), or anything else that could be a distraction. No meetings, movies, or answering crisis phone calls! Treat your writing block as if it’s your job. A job for which you are the CEO!  

Connect with a community of writers: As an African proverb states, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go further, take others with you.” Everything we know we learned from someone, and sometimes these people are right in front of us. Try searching sites like Meetup.com to locate writing groups you can collaborate with. You can also find people that can challenge your ideas and develop writing accountability groups.

“Remember, sometimes art is a fruit that most benefits the partakers, not the producers.”

 

Don’t be afraid to fail: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One man’s trash is another person’s treasure, so don’t trash your treasures. Remember, sometimes art is a fruit that most benefits the partakers, not the producers. Don’t be afraid to be as innovative as your mind can imagine! Have fun the process and create fiercely. Try the Bruce Lee approach, “Let no limits be your limit and no boundary be your boundary.

There is no magic formula to becoming a great writer or developing creative ideas. It’s as simple as this: the more you practice correctly, the better you become. Sometimes the hardest thing about finishing a project is just getting started. I hope these tips help you on your journey to becoming more creative and unblocking writer’s block.

Advertisements

Dare 2 Dream

f7cc6de67d756717950614fb5baa569d[1]

People don’t care about the problems you’re going through as much as the ones you’ve overcome. There are many people today that find it easier to complain about what’s not right rather than what is, and unfortunately this becomes more pervasive as our society matures. At times I find myself in this category and I can often become so narcissistic and self-absorbed I begin to highlight all the things that aren’t going well before I appreciate what is. Apathy is an infectious disease that can cripple the dreams of the courageous and blind the eye of the visionary. It’s prevalent in today’s society because it often camouflages itself as caution and critical-thinking. It is the cousin to slothfulness which also has the potential to apprehend the young and gifted. It was once said, “Slothfulness lives because there is nothing for which it will die for.”

With this in mind, there’s an important question to consider: Are you young and gifted? If so, are you living in the fullness in which you were created to live? If not, why not? What’s your dream? Have you ever dreamt a dream so big it frightened you? One of the most dangerous types of people is a person who isn’t afraid to die. He’s dangerous because he knows why he lives and isn’t intimidated by life’s vicissitudes, challenges and pockets of frustration. There are many dreamers that have been silenced by the pressures of life and paralyzed by the persistent pierce of impossibility. If we are truly spiritual beings having a natural experience then we will believe when scripture tells us there is nothing impossible with God and through our weaknesses He is made strong. If you’ve never read the story of Gideon, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s in that book called the Bible. Heck, you can even Google it.

It’s very difficult not to look at the realities of life and act oblivious to the challenges we face, however Solomon reminded us in Ecclesiastes there is nothing new under the sun. You’re not the first one to experience challenge, but you are the only one who’ll experience it in your shoes. Why not use it as an opportunity to help someone avoid some of the roadblocks you faced? Sometimes the biggest enemy to greatness is doing good so don’t waste time simply doing good things. It’s far easier, as well as less demanding but it takes uncommon courage to conquer the uncommon and travel the road less traveled.

The truth is, the longer we wait to start living the more comfortable we become with the idea of dying. Myles Munroe once said, “One of the greatest tragedies in life is to watch potential die untapped.” The purpose in you waits to be released and the world waits on you. It waits on your ideas and vision to be materialized. A vision is only as strong as the mind in which it incubates so decide today to liberate your vision and restore your hope. If you want what you’ve never had then you have to do what you’ve never done. Keep the dream alive and start living today!