Fused Creative Blocks
It’s raining outside.
You “just don’t feel like it”.
It’s easy to let our creative juices go astray or to set them aside for another day.
But if one day goes by and then the next, it can be hard to be doing the creative work we really want to. In a situation like that, not creating becomes the habit and creating starts to feel like the oddball out.
How do we continue to create, on a regular basis? How do we stay engaged and connected when those feelings of not feeling like doing it are so omnipresent?
We have to learn to trick our brains. One way to do that is to shift the thoughts out of the amorphous place they live in and into a new place. Making our thoughts visible or physical automatically means that we have a different relationship with them.
Here’s what to do:
First get a set of index cards. You might want to choose a multi-colored pack so that you have some choices to go along with your thoughts and moods!
Find about twenty minutes on a day when you think you have some perspective on what you have been struggling with lately. Then find a place that limits distractions. Spend the first few minutes reconnecting with yourself. Then begin to try to name the feelings you want to step out of. It could be as simple as one word describing an emotion, or a phrase that tends to jump into your thoughts when you aren’t able to create. Write each thought pattern that you identify on a separate index card.
When you are finished with that, move onto a new pile. (Remember, you can choose a new color of index card!) For the new set, write descriptions of how amazing it feels to connect to your work, to produce something, or to spend your time with what you love.
After completing both piles — and do try to have close to an equal number of cards in each pile — you want to find a place for the index cards to live. Some people pin them up on a poster board near their desk, or in the kitchen creating a display of the two states, juxtaposed: the chaos we fall into as compared to how we feel when we are creating regularly. It’s a visual prompt that gets us out of our circling thoughts, forcing us to look at how we could feel. Grab one of those affirming cards now, hold onto it, the physicality of that feeling in your hand. Now start.
Midori Evans is the founder of Midori Creativity, a coaching and consulting business in Westport, MA that helps artists and business people manifest their creative visions. She is fascinated by how we both create meaning and become our true selves. An experienced teacher and coach, she explores the world through writing, photography, and solo travel. She has traveled to places as far flung as Tunisia, Finland, and Japan and walked the Camino Frances through Spain. Midori Creativity offers private coaching, workshops, artist critique groups, and Creativity Abloom conversation series. Visit midoricreativity.com, cedarlightimages.com, or email email@example.com.