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How to End Your Writer’s Block (& Other Creative Inhibitions) NOW

23 June 2011 No Comment

african american woman writing

I put a status quote up on facebook last night that read: “All work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and NO work is creative if done by a blank in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others.” (Ayn Rand)

…so in that spirit, let’s talk for a second about overcoming writer’s block (and other creative problems) because, if you’re checking out this blog, chances are that you have some pretty great ideas yourself, you just haven’t found the right method to get it all out of you yet…

Step 1: Learn from Old-School Rhyme Geniuses

…like Prodigy of Mobb Deep fame.

I came across this dope song a while back called “Self-Conscience” by him and Nas. Take a second to listen to it (excuse the language):

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prodigy of mobb deep in the song self-conscienceIn Prodigy’s verse, he explains how he uses his own internal voice to help navigate him through writer’s block and other forms of self-doubt:

“Trust me Dun – I’d never leave you astray: take my word, n___s want to hear how you think…

Speak your thoughts, put your all in it. Whatever’s in your mind, spit it. Place your angle on the page; release tension on the tape.

A stressed verse seem to be what they most thirst: (it) makes fake n__s disperse and never challenge your works…”
~ Prodigy

What makes it so brilliant is how he crafted the rhyme: peep how it’s actually a conversation with his own awareness itself, and how his internal warrior is his ally, NOT his enemy (which is where most of us are, unfortunately).

Step 2: Push It Out of You

Think about writing – or any creative work – like delivering a baby: you just have to keep pushing that life out of you regardless of the psychological pain.

African American mother giving birth

The way I see it, my creative flow is like water, so even if it comes out unformed, I can bottle it up in any container I want after the fact, and then put a dope label on it just to let people know how fly it is before they get their first taste.

In other words, I know ahead of time that the first draft IS NOT what people will see, and that there’s an editing process to help refine what first comes out as nonsense.

Here’s more from another writer about “pushing the baby out”:

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Step 3: Take the Artist’s Way

the artist's way by Julia CameronThere’s also this cool book that came out a while ago called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Way to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron.

I think you should check out the audio version, because this woman’s kind of deep, and it’s nice hearing her actually speak since it gives you a better feel for her state of mind.

Here’s two techniques she mentions (and keeps returning to) throughout the book:

1) Artist’s Dates: Take your inner-artist out on an actual date. Technically you’re going by yourself, but if you can learn to see your creative side as another person you carry inside of you (like an inner child), you’ll begin to see ways to cultivate it and make it grow.

For me, this includes things like museums, parks and libraries, but it should be wherever works for you. Dedicate yourself to taking yourself somewhere that’ll spark your creativity once a week.

2) Morning Pages, or essentially fast-paced journaling, done first thing in the morning (as in, the VERY first thing immediately as you wake up).

The idea here is to grasp the most you can out of your subconscious: by journaling immediately when you wake up, you can clear away all of the deep subliminal stuff that’s blocking you.

young african american girl writing in journal

So that’s it. Leave me a comment below letting me know YOUR favorite methods for un-blocking creativity, or your favorite technique out of everything mentioned above, and then get to work, NOW…


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