It’s a puzzling conundrum when your livelihood and passion collide. We fantasize about getting paid boatloads of money for talents but never think about what makes it a passion. What happens when you take away the fluidity, spontaneity, and freedom from a hobby? What do you do knowing that you have to be creative or else the bills won’t get paid?
Everyone experiences this to some extent. The hour before work when you try to make up every excuse not to do X or handle Y. What do you do when there is no space for failure, no time for hesitation, but things just aren’t coming together? I call this Creative’s Block. I’ve mentioned it a few times before and it’s really not hard to understand. But, I don’t limit it to content producers but people in general.
This post was inspired by Jirard the Completionist and his post on Creative’s Block. If you like video games, he has a show called the Completionist where 100% completes a video game each week and reviews it. He edits, scripts, directs, and hosts this and multiple other channels producing no less than five videos a week. It’s pretty amazing the amount of content he puts out continuously.
What drew me to this video was him talking about his past way to get beyond a block was to play video games, but now that his job is video games, how do you stay creative? How do you stay fresh artistically when you used to be able to wait until the muse of creativity or will power struck? How do you break through the huge barrier in your mind?
You chip away at it. I still struggle with creative’s block with my writing, music, and even research. There are times when I don’t want to do a thing but I need to. Recently, I’ve been paralyzed by anxiety, depression, ADHD, self-doubt, and fear, but that’s one reason why I started writing this blog. To get used to writing about anything until writing about administration or development was not as bad or difficult. I write daily because it only takes one step to start the journey or process.
It takes a minimum of 18 days to a maximum of 254 days (average of 66 days/person) to create a new habit. Even in the midst of you 66 days, go for quantity over quality because the purpose isn’t to produce a masterpiece, it’s to produce PERIOD. Apparently, most masterpieces won’t occur until 10 years’ worth of working on a craft anyway, so you have time. Who knows, you might get lucky.
Another technique I use is challenging myself in the medium and then transferring that energy over to whatever I want to work on? What does that mean? Sometimes I’ll start working on the blog and then shift over to a PowerPoint because they tap into some of the same design elements. Sometimes I use other people’s energy to help me work. I really work well with someone working at the same time as me. We don’t necessarily need to work on the same things, but just having someone being productive near me makes me want to do the same.
If all else fails, get away for a while. Don’t write anything else. Don’t look at your computer. Get off social media. Go outside for a walk. Clear your mind of distractions so your thoughts can be free. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, it best to let it go and just try.
What are some of the mental blocks you face? How do you move past personal barriers? What are some common non-artistic blocks you’ve faced? Name a time where you truly overcame the big block? Leave some thoughts and comments in the section below.
An article on types of Creative Blocks and how do address them: 7 Types of Creative Block