Every now and then I hit a creative block. I feel like I’ve hit a solid wall and like I’m incapable of doing the things I want to do. I want to sit down and write, or make art, or make music. But even though I sit down and I’m in the headspace I just can’t get the thing I’m making to feel the way I want it to feel or look the way I want it to look. It’s frustrating, it’s annoying and quite frankly, it’s a little scary. I feel inferior.
Feeling this way is good I have to remind myself. It means I know what I want, I’m just falling short. And if I’m falling short that means I just need to learn how to do better. Failure can often feel like a waste. I won’t paint because it would be a waste of paint and canvas. I won’t write because it would be a waste of time and energy. But failure isn’t a waste. It’s learning.
Of course, it doesn’t help to keep failing with no improvement. Sometimes blocks last longer than a few days.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So, there’s a clear answer here right? And it’s not just “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” and keeping at it, slamming your forehead into the project until you make progress. That’s how to develop a hatred for what you love to do.
The secret is to stop doing it.
Come back around another time. It doesn’t matter how long of a break, as long as you come back. Could be a few hours, could be a few years. Watch videos about the thing you’re trying to do. Consume other people's media. Read dumb articles, watch videos about movies and screenplays. Watch a bad movie. Watch a good movie.
If you’re in the mood to actively participate but find yourself unable to put the effort into what you want to do, just actively participate in the things you can do. Learn from the world around you. There is an artistic message in the simplest aspects of life if you look for one.
Find the story beats of the music you listen to. Go on a walk and pretend you’re taking the hero's journey.
Obviously, this isn’t a one size fits all solution, but it’s a nice way to start falling back in love with the world around you and your personal passions.
It has certainly helped me out of more than a few depressive funks caused by writer's block.