by Michelle Mazur, Ph.D.
The blinking cursor on the blank page taunts you.
You know you’ve got to create. A blog post needs to go out. A sales page needs to get written. A presentation needs to be crafted.
But you just stare at that flashing cursor while your brain says to you “What should we write about?” over and over again like a song you can’t get out of your head.
It’s happened. You’ve hit a creative block and no amount of staring at that blank page is going to help you get around, so here are three ways to bust through a creative block.
1. Step away from the computer & get active
Shutdown your Macbook and step away from your computer. When your creative muse is “mums the word” about what you should be creating, it’s useless to stare at the screen.
It’s much better to step away and be among the world. Go for a walking and notice the beautiful flowers that you see in your neighborhood. Go hit the gym and get the endorphins flowing with a good workout. Get busy gardening.
Getting physical is a great way to refresh yourself and get your creative juices flowing again. You never know what epiphanies you’ll have while your body is moving.
2. Sleep on it
Speaking of epiphanies, have you ever noticed that your BEST ideas come in the middle of the night while you’re headed to the bathroom? (Or is that just me?)
A problem that you’ve been struggling with is solved. or what you need to write about strikes you while you’re groggy, or a new business venture becomes crystal clear – all in the dark of the night.
Our subconscious mind needs time to percolate and process, and when we are getting our zzz’s it has the space to do its best work.
Sleep on your creative block to bust through it. The breakthrough will be waiting for you in the morning.
3. Pile on the constraints
When going for a walk and sleeping on it hasn’t given me all the clarity that I need, I start to have fun with my creative project by piling on the constraints.
The blank page is far less intimidating when you create your own rules for what you can’t do with that page. For instance, Dr. Seuss’s publisher challenged him to only use 50 words in one of his books and that’s how “Green Eggs and Ham” was born.
I love challenging myself to write for 30-minutes and not correct any of mistake or to try to use 3 metaphors in a speech I am writing or to keep a blog post to less than 450 words.
When you operate within the constraints, there’s less choices to be made and you become more creative and able to breakthrough that block.
What do you do bust through your creative block? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.
Michelle Mazur, Ph.D. is the CEO of Communication RebelTM, a boutique communication consultancy specializing in the content development of presentations. To steal a lyric from a terrible Bryan Adams song, she firmly believes “Everything you do. You do it for the audience.” Armed with a Ph.D. in Communication, she has helped hundreds of business leaders and entrepreneurs design and deliver presentations from the audience’s point of view. Her speakers have spoken in front of world leaders, First Ladies, and have raised three times the amount of money than expected for charities.
She believes every presentation should leave a lasting impression and the last words of your presentation are the most important real estate in your speech.
She is also author of the Amazon best-selling book, Speak Up for Your Business: Presentation Secrets for Entrepreneurs Ready to Tell, Sell, and Compel and 3 Word Rebellion.
Michelle lives in Seattle with her adoring husband, 2 obsessive felines, and huge collection of Duran Duran memorabilia. You don’t have to fly to Seattle to hang out with Michelle. Come visit her on the blog for all things public speaking, hit her up twitter @drmichellemazur.