Creative work is a fickle mistress. Sometimes it feels like you've been visited by the Muse, everything just seems to flow and all the work is almost effortless. Other times you feel like you're just beating your head against a wall, everything sounds terrible and you just can't seem to push through it.

How do you deal with creative block when it happens? How do you pull yourself out of that stagnation and become productive again?


1 Answer 1


It's actually a lot simpler than you might think, take out your opinion for a bit. Just keep on trucking! :)

Seriously, the best advice I've ever gotten was something like this: 'postpone your judgement'.

Procrastinate for a bit, do some dishes, fold your laundry, go outside. Get back in the studio and work on a different part of your project, come back to the 'difficult' part a day later, you'll see it wasn't a problem after all. Most of the time.

Oh and google: Oblique Strategies. Great stuff from Brian Eno an Peter Schmidt.

Or read some Edward de Bono, he has some great insights into these matters.

UPDATE: Ok, I just experienced a very simple example of why focusing on other stuff tends to help.

Yesterday I was working on an animation and I couldn't get the sound of trash can to fit the image. It was a library effect and it just didn't fit in. I stalled and got a bit pissed of. I considered pitching it, but then decided that would be too much of hassle. I know from experience that you can fiddle with such things for ever.... So I stopped working on it and went ahead on with other events on the timeline.

Today I answered this question and when I was thinking about my answer an hour later in the bathroom (just doing the laundry ;) I noticed that I actually own a little metal trashcan. Totally forgot about that! And you know what, it has the perfect squeak and resonance! Perfect fit!

Lesson learned= take a step back, focus on stuff that you can do!

  • Distilled down: context ;) Feb 12, 2014 at 3:16

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