There’s a feeling I know all too well. The one that happens when you put pen to paper or hands on keyboard and you’re just STUCK. You stare at the blank screen for second, minutes, hours and your head hurts because you know what you have to do but you just can’t do it.
People like to call that a creative block or creative stump.
I call it ‘break time.’
When that happens, you’re tempted to:
- Blame yourself because you feel you’re lazy and not productive
- Think your work is trash
- And worse, think you’re trash
Which you’re not, my friend. You are a creative person. And creative people use up a lot of creative energy (read: mental energy). And creativity doesn’t come from sitting at a desk or in front of your phone (even though they are tools we use to show our creativity).
What you need to do at that point is to take a break. Get up and step away.
Do something else. When I get stuck in a story, I close my laptop, pick up my pen and sketchbook, and begin to draw maps.
Talk a walk. Sometimes all you need is just to disconnect.
Do house chores. Do boring stuff. I learnt that when your hands move faster than your brain, your brain comes up with great ideas.
Don’t try to be productive, just be creative. They’re entirely different.
Stop trying to be productive and start being creative. When you sit at a desk trying to work, you’re aiming to be productive. Creativity is not the same as productivity. So put aside all thoughts of ‘work’ and go out and explore. Do something you won’t necessarily do like play with your little siblings (which I do all the time).
Just take a break. But remember to come back.