I struggled today. I struggled in a big way.
I sat at my computer for over an hour wishing for something to blog about and nothing was happening. I checked my blog post ideas list, but there was nothing there that interested me. I checked some of my favorite blogs to read, but there was nothing there that inspired me.
As the minutes clicked by my eyes started getting heavy. Before long I was yawning and my eyes were watering. I was sleepy. Still, there were no ideas for a new blog post.
It’s in these times that my frustrated mind turns on me. It starts reminding me that I used to be pretty creative. There was a time when ideas were swirling around me. After all, as I’ve said over and over again, creativity is a choice. But that post seemed like hogwash today.
I had made the choice to be creative and I was boring myself to sleep. I asked my wife to turn out the light so I could take a nap. She reminded me it’s 10pm and a horrible time to try to take a nap. Thinking I was going to outsmart her, I wrapped a neck tie around my eyes, turned on some music, and leaned back in my chair.
Then it hit me. I was trying to force it. My mind was locked up tight with one thing message, “I can’t do it.” Instead of releasing creativity, my brain cells were being used to try to remember how to be creative. All of my Mind Juice was being gulped by the despairing thought that I am losing the ability I once had. I was giving myself excuses like being too old or too tired.
As I decided to stop trying to think of something to write, my mind began to kick into gear. I got out of my chair and let our little Yorkie outside to take care of his “business.” I made myself a cup of coffee. I sat back down at the computer and stopped thinking about what to write and just decided to write what was coming to me.
Creativity is a choice. It’s just one you have to make as you take the leash off of your mind. As long as you have yourself locked into this tiny, little box you won’t find creativity. It’s found outside of the box, always.
I remember as a little kid, I didn’t need anything but a small stick in my hand to make my mind rush off to an exotic place. In that place the stick in my hand was the coolest gun ever invented. And the bad guys couldn’t dodge it, ever.
- My swing set became a stagecoach.
- The trees in my yard became my jungle.
- A water hose tied between two trees became a rope that was my last chance of escape. (Too bad my little imaginary Rambo self was too weak to hand over hand it from tree to tree. As I decided to give up the try, someone always shot me or something so I could fall to the ground and allow my arms some rest.)
- Our sofa became my cop car.
- A football tee tied to my face with shoe strings became my fighter pilot oxygen mask.
The thing missing in my childhood self and my grown-up, blogging self was the lack of my brain standing behind me with a whip.
When you fear the lack of creativity too much it can literally destroy and chance at creativity.
I Overcame the Mental Block!
I Stopped Trying So Hard!
Do yourself a favor and take a break. Don’t take the kind of break that is going to put your mind to sleep like: watching Mr. Bean YouTube clips, reading the funny papers, or eating junk food. Take a productive break.
Get up and move around. Get a little exercise. Learn the things that relax you and spur creativity and do those over and over.
Read a book.
Read a blog. ( recommend my personal blog. Don’t judge, it’s new!
Turn on some music. (which is what I did)
Hang a picture frame for your wife. (Okay, this might not always help but she asked me to while i was taking a break… I thought I would mention it. It might have been just what unleashed my brain.)
Guess what, I took a break. I let my mind relax. I got my blood pumping and I let myself daydream a little.
I wrote this blog post and now have the idea for 2-3 more!
I’m not frustrated.
I’m not sleepy.
I haven’t even drank half of my coffee because it got cold while I was typing.
You Know What It’s Like!
I know you do or you wouldn’t be reading this post. Try it out. Take a break and allow your mind to relax. Can you think of any other ways to spawn creativity? Let us know!
Photo Credits: Creative Commons