Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Blast Past Your Creative Block, Remedy #1

Clearly Zinnia © 2012 Amy Hillenbrand
8 x 8 oil on board
What to do when you're stuck. You know those times when you just can't do the thing you have to do or want to do. It goes by many names: writer's block, painters block, procrastination, even fear. For me the word stuck feels the truest and the stickiest. I feel like a piece of gum that got stuck on the bottom of a table (yea, I know, eeuu) and I just can't get it off the table.  I can even imagine myself inside the piece of gum trying to slug it or kick it to break free of it's hold, but to no avail, there is just no forcing it. It is so sticky that I end up getting it all over myself and then I'm really stuck and now it's in my hair. Ugh! Very frustrating. Can you feel my pain, have you been there yourself?

Over the next several post I'm going to give you several remedies for the dreaded 'stuckness'. (oops spellchecker doesn't like that word, but it's a good word, don't ya think?)  A lot of the tools I will share will involve your imagination, but this first one is more in the  physical plane and a great place to start.

The first remedy is doing, what I call, the Mind Dump.  I bet at one time or another you have heard people talk about how physical clutter can really be a big block to  productivity,abundance and even weight loss. I think mind clutter is one of the big cahoonas  to creative blocks and being in the flow. Here is an easy tool to use for helping you get out of your 'stuckness'.  This one involves some supplies.  1.) A pen that writes really smooth. You want one that the ink comes out really smooth because you will be writing fast and you don't want any resistance from the paper. 2.) Several sheets of paper.  3.) A timer.

Label your paper 1-100, set your timer for 10 minutes. Then just dump every little "to do" that ever popped into your mind, however small, unimportant and insignificant it is. Just dump them all and write as fast as you can. Write without filtering or negotiating with your brain if you should write it down or not. Don't stop to think about categorizing them or stop to beat yourself up because you  had creating a will on a list for 10 years, just dump dump dump.  If you already are a list writer do this anyway, you will be surprised at home many things you don't write down.  Now GO!

Dump complete. Whew!  Don't you feel better, kinda like you just got a enema.   You don't need to do a thing with this list, you could even just throw it away.  You might have gotten a few nuggets of good things to put on your "real life" to do list since it just a stream of consciousnesses being unleashed. Okay, now go directly to the easel and let yourself flow. Stayed tuned, same blog address, same bat channel for more tools and exercises to get your self moving. Hey, don't just read this try it!


  1. Love this painting and your new potted plant series! Your blog is beautiful - a lovely place to visit!

  2. I love this painting too.. it's hard to believe you EVER get stuck! But... where's the paypal button for these little gems of exercises???

  3. Amy, great post! Love the painting, and your thoughts about clearing the brain! I will have to try this!

  4. Thanks...I think this will be help me :)