Friday, June 17, 2011

Creative Block

I was reading this morning from a blog by Jeff Groins, who is a writer. In it he talks about why our problem about creative blocks are all wrong.Creative Blocks, he says, come less from a lack of ideas, as it does from being paralyzed by too many ideas.

This rings very true to me and my own experience. Here's what I know about myself - I can do almost any kind of writing pretty well. At one time or another I have written almost everything you can write - ad copy, articles, scripts, a novel, stories, proposals, web copy - the list is staggering when I look at it. But I find I am the most productive when I focus on one or two kinds of work, because when there is too much going on, I tend to splinter, and my energy and creativity and productivity is spread too thin.

This is a real danger in our world today. We are bombarded with ideas and thoughts from everywhere, the web, TV, facebook, magazines. It is hard to escape, and creative people, who love ideas, are easily trapped by it all, their energy split and split and split again. until.... nothing happens. Creative block.

I have gone from being a pretty good multitasker to a more uni-tasker. And I have been surprised by the results - I am more productive and in general, my work is better.

I have had some help recently from a pair of books.

One is Do The Work, by Stephen Pressfield, which was introduced to me by Tina Su of the Think Simple Now blog (which, by the way, may be my single most favorite blog on the planet.). This small book says, among many other helpful things, that if we are looking to do something that we should read no more than two books on it, then get to work. His thought is that we get paralyzed by research, by too many ideas.

All I can say is AMEN. I have put this idea to work and it's working.

A second resource (that's right, it has to be the last one on this topic I can read for a while) is The Power of Less, by Loe Babauta. the focus here is not so much doing less, as it is on doing more by doing less at one time.

Focus. Not letting our minds get confused and overwhelmed to the point that we can't do at all. This works for me, and as I talk to people and clients, it works for them too, when it's applied. So take a deep breath. Turn off the TV a while. Shut down the computer for a while. Don't be trying to do everything. Just stop and do one thing for a while. Just create.


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