Tip #478: Break Out of a Creative Rut

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #478: Break Out of a Creative Rut

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Creativity can’t be forced – but it can be encouraged.

Creativity is seeing the same things in a different way.

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by photographer Jamie Windsor, first appeared in PetaPlxel.com. This is a summary of what he wrote. (This link also includes an interesting 8-minute video discussing this problem.)

“I worked out that creative block happens for me when my conscious mind falls out of sync with my intuition. What I mean by this is that when I’m creating something, my intuition (or my subconscious mind) is coming up with ideas and my conscious mind is forming it into something coherent.

“But when I get into a creative rut, it’s like my subconscious mind’s engine has stalled and my conscious mind is left trying to run things. The problem with this is [that] my conscious mind can only see what it can immediately access and that can impact my creativity and my motivation.””

Here are five tips Jamie Windsor uses to restart his creative engine:

  1. Stop Trying
  2. Change Location
  3. See Other People
  4. Stop Worrying
  5. Give Up on Bad Ideas

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4 replies
  1. Christopher Meurer
    Christopher Meurer says:

    While there is no book or guide for how to come up with ideas, there is one book that has come close with it’s evaluation of how ideas might be realized. This book (and it’s barely a book at 36 pages) is the best attempt at a “method” I’ve ever read and I’ve read many a book on this topic. Takes about 20-30 min to read and is $5 on Amazon. For anyone who is tasked with coming up with ideas in any field it’s worth a look. While written probably 50 years ago, it’s still completely relevant today. And yes it covers how to get out of a “creative rut.”

    Anyway just thought I’d share here as anytime I get stuck I just default to this book and things start to flow again usually within a few days. The book is called:
    “A Technique for Producing Ideas” by James Webb Young.

  2. Christopher Sanderson
    Christopher Sanderson says:

    All of the above points give sound advice. For me, a rut can easily mean doing little or nothing. At that point one has two choices, enjoy doing nothing (as #4 above), or decide on a simple project that requires only concentration and a good measure of techincal finesse and well-honed technique. Often the very execution of a simple project in one’s chosen field can lead back to the birth of ideas.


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