How To Clear Creative Congestion
It’s the worst, and comes at the worst time. My ideas are garbage. I can’t do this. I'm terrible.
I’m equally likely to get blocked on summer break (when I need to be dreaming new structures) as the height of rehearsal (when I need to execute daily). There’s no quick fix, despite by best effort to invent one. If you’ve been there, you know keeping your cool through the storm is crazy hard.
Tons of factors creep in to craft the brick wall that is a creative block: fatigue, nutrition, and stress are high on the list. Media overload, chronic sleep deprivation, and excessive screen time rank up there, too. Then there’s other people’s opinions, other people’s bullshit, and generally low self-worth to contend with, along with the false stories we continually tell ourselves. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and very challenging to diagnose the primary culprits.
Though western medicine isn’t likely to help here, there is a science to creative blocks. We only use a small percentage of our brain at a time, and the section used can shift based on stimuli. I listed the major players, but there more to consider, trauma and mental health and hormones among them. For example, if your nutrition is terrible (it is, for most of us) your body isn’t functioning the way it needs to, so energy is pulled to places where it otherwise wouldn’t need to be. This is what’s happening when a person gets tired after a meal: the body needs to digest that food, and digestion requires energy. The harder to digest, the more energy required.
Are you regularly maneuvering blocks? At any given time, about two thirds of my students are in some form of creative tunnel, fighting off physical, mental, and energetic blocks. I’d fix it myself if I could, but that’s not how it works. Instead, I’ve been offering up roadmaps and rituals for years to keep them clear, clean, and processing as fully as possible, and I’ve watched them return to their highest, most magical creative selves, in full color, tuned in and turned up.
Is this something you need? I thought you might, so I hooked it up in an actionable, accessible workbook you can print and complete on your own time.
Oh, and just in case you need permission: it's totally ok to spend the rest of the day wallowing in the blocked state, however it's presenting (vices, Netflix, chocolate, chippy snacks, shitty behavior, general self-pity). LET. IT. OUT. Purge, print the clearing kit, proceed. It's alright. You got this.