As a writer, sometimes the hardest thing to do or the biggest fear to overcome is uncovering that big creative idea. No matter how long you’ve done it, that little voice in the back of your mind otherwise known as doubt seems to be there taunting you. Daring you to squash it. And so you fight through it. Sometimes with the help of others. Sometimes with the help of dangerous amounts of coffee. But in the end, usually, that other voice inside you otherwise known as confidence wins out. And all is good.
Well hopefully these few rituals can help bust through that block. They are pretty useful when used together or individually.
1. Keep tear sheets to get inspired. When you are stuck on a project, it can be good to refer back to things you have done to get over the hump. Tear sheets or digital ads from magazines, beautiful packaging or anything that inspires you. Keep your past work whether produced or not. Flip through them for idea starters.
2. Step away from the computer. Remove yourself from the setting you work in regularly and get away from the business of the day and your workstation. Even if it’s for 10, 20 or 60 minutes. When you rest your mind, ideas will come easier.
3. Exercise. Sometimes either exercise or meditation can be strong tools for smashing down these annoying walls that block creative thought. You feel more alert and focused and ideas streamline through that energy.
4. Write, write and write. Jot down key words that you associate with the project. As many as you can. It doesn’t matter how weird or inappropriate they are. They’re for your eyes only so no one but yourself will ever know how demented you may be. All kidding aside, it helps. Even write down the opposite of those words. You may find a hidden gem.
5. Hit the bar. Or a restaurant if you don’t want to come back to the office smelling like Maker’s Mark. Or go after work. Either way, go, sit and relax. Start scribbling stuff on napkins. I know, the old” it came to me in a bar and I jotted it down on a napkin” cliché. But just remember this: the cliché started somewhere. Of course, you can also just go sit in the park, or a coffee shop, or yes, even your car. But have fun explaining all the steamed up windows to the police.
Anyway, these are just a few ways that we find helpful. Everyone will have their own quirky ones and those are fantastic too. So we hope these assist you in placing your foot on the neck of your “doubt” and stamping it out like an old cigarette.