Saturday, 13 August 2011

Addressing Writer's Block

I've haven't been writing for very long. I've never experienced prolonged periods of writer's block. Of course I do doubt myself and my capabilities. I doubt whether what I'm saying is relevant to anyone. Is it original enough, is it good enough, is it worth taking up anyone's precious time to read my thoughts?  However I plod on. If anything, I write about not being able to write. Writing's a good way to externalise messed up thoughts and give them some form and order.

However there are the times when nothing comes, no ideas switch on the lightbulb, blank pages stare back at me, I nibble my pencil in frustration and try and wait patiently for the next big idea to arise from the depths. When nothings happens I get depressed, the more I give in to these feelings, the deeper my descent down the spiral staircase of vacuous mind. Nothingness replicates itself profusely and with determination.

Snap out of it. I tell myself this often.  I've got this set of cards that came with my design thinking course. They're simple solutions which nudge you in a different direction when you're feeling creatively stuck.  They actually work. I  usually just pick one out at random and follow what it says. 

Here are some examples:

- Let chance decide.
- Choose a different perspective.
- Go for a walk.
- Take a risk.
- Be playful.
- Sleep on it  (I do this one often :)
- Taste, smell, listen, touch, look.
- Rally your friends
- Act out your problem.
- Make a wish.
- Change the scale.
- Keep it simple.

No doubt we'll all go through this horrid phase of creative standstill, when words and ideas don't seem to co-operate at some point or other. I do hope my little contribution will help.


  1. I like the idea of the cards, sleeping on it is something I do very well :)

  2. Very good idea on the cards Miriam! I like the idea of the ideas rising from the depths, very nice imagery!

    I look forward to reading more of your work on the blog!