We’ve all had moments when we’ve run short of ideas. While there is an ebb and flow to creativity there are things one can do to break loose the blockage. Reading is one.
Photographer Chase Jarvis has a list of six books he goes to when he feels blocked in his creativity. I’ve added one to the list, ‘Impro, Improvisation and the Theatre’ by Keith Johnstone. A playwright and theater director, Mr. Johnstone is a pioneer of improvisational theater. His book is a wonderful manual for inspiring originality and spontaneity. The biggest block to creativity is fear. We second guess ourselves, the voice in the head worrying that what ever we’ve come up with isn’t good enough.
Sometimes, it isn’t that we don’t like what we’ve come up with, it’s that we’ve come up with nothing at all. Tom Cruise on the Actors Studio was asked by an audience member what he did when he faced moments of ‘nothing’ regarding inspiration for character motivation. Rather than get tense about it, or worried, he just accepted that that was the place his ‘character’ was in and went from there. Relaxing and being receptive in the moment instead of pushing hard for results is key. For myself I ask “What if?” What if I did this? Or that? And I just start throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. One must be fearless. As Mr. Jarvis points out action is required. Do Something. However, don’t judge.