How Not to Create More

by Barbara Martin

in Creativity, How to Tips, Motivation & Inspiration

Creating in the middle of things is admittedly not easy and often difficult, fraught with all kinds of risks and fears and do-ability issues. If “Just do it NOW!” doesn’t push you to take action, then you may need to work on some strategies to help yourself get moving. In Coaching the Artist Within, creativity expert Eric Maisel describes several constructive approaches creative people could use in their attempts to be more consistently engaged and productive.

Some approaches of course are more effective than others. First off, let’s dispense with some of the less effective but fairly typical methods of dealing with stalled creativity.

Move to a Dark Cave
Some of us will run away and hide from the world and or as Maisel puts it, “violently withdraw from life” so that the necessary creative solitude morphs into a destructive and unhealthy situation, a dark place. This is a particularly bad answer because it leaves you stuck smack dab in the middle of your own mind – still waiting to create instead of doing it now.

Hapless Wishing for Inspiration
Another poor option is to create “sporadically and accidentally” when those rare clear flashes of brilliance bowl us over so hard we can’t help but create. This means we spend waste a lot of time waiting around for elusive adrenaline-arousing “Eureka!” moments.

Ignore and Suppress
Yet another undesirable tack is to dither vaguely and make excuses and not create anything at all and not do anything to figure out why not. This last one is, to my mind, like dying a slow withering death. It’s also one of the most common ways we tend to deal with being stalled or blocked.

All of these leave us in a sort of limbo, wanting to create but blocked, not being able to work smoothly and effectively, regularly and with a healthy rhythm. Do you recognize yourself in these patterns? What do you think you could do to move through to the other side where you are able to create regularly?

Coming soon: a couple of specific unblocking suggestions you might consider trying.

Click here for 20+ Additional Posts All About Coaching the Artist Within!

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Tara June 19, 2009 at 12:10 pm

To get through the rough creative patches, I try to go OUT into the world. Not just to fritter away my time avoid the creative work, but as a way of gathering inspiration. I take my camera, my pen and journal and go looking for something really beautiful or silly to capture.
Much more fun than a cave :)

Barbara Martin June 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm

@Tara You bet! That almost sounds like an Artist’s Date a la Julia Cameron’s Artists Way. :) Fun!!

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