I just came across THIS great article by Dr. Robert Schwarz on overcoming creative blocks:
The normal creative process includes fits and starts. If you are attempting to create or innovate anything, you need to expect that there will be times of great apparent productivity and times when it appears that not much is happening. You need to accept that this is the nature of things, not unlike the seasons of the year. But there are some things you can do to work with this natural process so that you maximize your own creativity.
1. Recognize that creativity cannot be commanded to appear.
Any attempt to do so is likely to have an opposite effect… Negative states of mind such as anger or fear also block the creative flow. So the first thing to do is to take an inventory of your state of mind… do whatever you know how to do to stop engaging in those thought patterns. At the very least, leave wherever you are and go to another chair or another room…
2. Get up and do movement of any kind.
I am not necessarily talking about exercise, although that is good, too. I am talking about walking around, swinging your arms, kicking your feet, bending, and twisting. In fact, the more unusual the movement, the better. After all, you are trying to activate your creativity, so the more you move in novel ways, the more likely you will activate your own muse of novelty.
3. Another thinking block to creativity is the need to avoid being wrong or the need to do things perfectly.
Creativity is a process that includes many “wrong” turns… Some things take a while to percolate.. No one has a thirty-minute delivery guarantee on creative thought.
4. You cannot command creativity, but you can activate it.
If you are stuck in one area, access creativity from a different area. Take a break from the project you are working on and do something else that is creative… Do that activity for at least an hour or until ideas start to flow. Allow yourself to get involved in it. Then go back to your project.
5. Ask your unconscious mind for help.
There are a number of variations to activate the creativity of the unconscious mind. The most basic is to a three–step process:
- Review the situation as you understand it.
- Literally ask your unconscious mind for help to solve the problem by revealing something new or putting something together that you had not thought of or by giving you a new perspective or by letting go of your assumptions.
- Let it all go and do something else for a while (i.e., step 3 or 4) or for even longer periods such as a day or two… The trick is to completely distract your conscious mind from your usual way of thinking that may be blocking you. Then allow yourself to be open to whatever shows up… After a period of time, go back to your original problem and start back in on it. Most of the time, something new actually does show up.