Look at nonfiction like it’s fiction. This is a great way to generate real life ideas.
Having a multitude of idea’s can be a gift and a curse. As creative people, we get to think beyond the initial idea. We get to build upon that idea until it evolves into a finished creative product.
These ideas can stack up, taking up space in your head and/or a file on your desktop. So after awhile of all these ideas stacking up, the exhausting effect of having too many things to work on leads to a mental paralysis. And according to research experts, it’s an actual form of paralysis called Decision Paralysis.
Decision Paralysis: A condition of not being able to decide on a matter when there is no clear cut best option. It leads to an ever longer period of gather more information in the hope that more information will guide the decision maker to an option that is clearly better.
So, as you can see, Decision Paralysis is a cognitive death trap. It stems from the abundance of ideas, and curiosity. You’re faced with too many decisions with only yourself to blame. You’re feeling helpless. What if you make the wrong decision?
Being a destructively curious creative type myself, I always have more than one project going on at once and this quite often leads to days of working on absolutely none of it. If this behavior becomes consistent it can eventually lead to your list of “things to work on” to fall apart. Jut a glance at that list can send a rush of anxiety through your mind and body.
So, what can you do?
Well, the answer is pretty simple. It is this: Make the decision of what exactly to work on and commit to it 100%.
This is obviously easier said than done, but there are techniques to achieve this. It comes down to prioritizing. You must prioritize your ideas into tasks to help influence your decision making. Have confidence in your decision and follow through. Which task is most important to you? If you can decide on this, then it’s good to get that one out of the way first. Which task needs to be completed the soonest? This one’s a bit obvious. If you have a close deadline on something, then execute that first to make room for your personal creative endeavors. Which task will be the most difficult? I follow this rule with the most dedication. If you buckle up and work on the most difficult task first, then that will exercise and relax your brain for the other task. Leaving you less anxious, and in a creative groove.
The core of all of this is commitment. You must commit yourself 100% to one task, rather than going from one to the other, to the other, leaving them unfinished. I promise this will truncate any anxieties you’re feeling.
You can also read this article, other articles, and check out other creative products over at the Indelible Niche Collective site.
It’s universal amongst all whom pursue a creative endeavor. Whether it’s writing, drawing, or making music – there is that illusive brick wall that you hit every now and then that stops all new ideas in their tracks from reaching your consciousness.
So how do you climb over that brick wall and get yourself back on the creative route? There are plenty of well known methods that have been written about extensively, but I still believe that this is a subject that even many creative types haven’t given much thought. Many look at it as a mystical feat. “There are some times where I’m just more inspired than others”. Although there is some truth to this, I believe that it’s a bit of a lazy judgement. Inspiration can be something harnessed whenever you want it.
Time management is essential to creative productivity. Without managing your time well, your creative process can be a jumbled undertaking that is the foundation of any anxieties you may feel about your work. One popular time management technique is The Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique is simple, easy, and highly effective – Work in 25 minute intervals with 5 minute breaks in between. I’ve been utilizing this technique while writing for about a year now and I’ve seen a huge improvement in my productivity and output, as well as a significant lessening of anxiety. Although I believe in the 25 – 5 method ofThe Pomodoro Technique, that doesn’t mean that It can’t be transformed to be suitable for your personal preference. Do 45 – 10, 50 – 15, 60 – 20, whatever you want! The important matter is that you work in regimented intervals and give yourself a break in between.
Goal setting is shockingly powerful, and there are various tiers of it. There are long term goals and short term goals, but there are goals within those goals that are key to getting over the brick wall. These goals are usually daily goals. For example: If you’re a short story writer and today you are going to begin writing a new short story – set a goal for the day to finish at least one page. If you exceed one page, extend it to two, and so on. These daily goals are within the larger goal of finishing this short story, which is within the even larger goal of submitting this short story into publications. An organized itinerary is a big stress reliever and can make a highly significant difference in your daily output. “If your goals don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”.
Getting Passed Self Doubt
Self doubt is possibly the most crucial facet of the creative brick wall. Us creative types know exactly what it’s like to be stuck in the pit of self doubt, but at the end of the day there’s no excuses. Self doubt turns into self pity, then it just get’s destructive, counter-productive, and discouraging. A great way to get passed your self doubt is to give yourself reminders. I don’t just mean remind yourself in your head that everything will be fine, because we all know that doesn’t work. I mean write down on a piece of paper “Relax. Keep working. Stay focused” and stick it up on the wall right in front of you, so all you have to do is look up to get that reminder. That specific reminder is just an example – you can write anything that will get you back on track and boost your confidence. Also, remember that even the most successful creative types have self doubt. It’s an essential part of the human race that takes will to get passed.
Giving yourself some space from the project your working on is never a bad idea. Although this is a bit of a last resort tip, it still works very well. Stepping away could last a few hours, one day, one week, and maybe even longer. However long is most comfortable for you. The point is, giving yourself some breathing room from the project will give your brain and the creative muscles time to relax. Read a book, go on a walk, work out, take a nap, anything! Before you know it, new ideas will start sprouting like crazy.
Hopefully these tips help you out if your having trouble staying inspired. As mystical as it might seem, creativity isn’t magic. Creativity can be harnessed and controlled. It’s just a matter of utilizing relaxation and productivity into your creative projects.
Remember that in fiction there isn’t just a story arc. There are character arc’s, psychological arc’s and theme arc’s.
I’m going to ignore my lack of posting anything on this blog and just straight into this: I am now responsible for running and writing the website for Indelible Niche Collective. I assume most of you who have visited this blog have no idea what Indelible Niche Collective is, because I haven’t mentioned it on here. Well…
Indelible Niche Collective (or INC) is homebase for like minded artists to highlight and display their art. INC is mainly focused on music and acts as a sort of digital label for the artists. I was originally approached by INC’s founder, Stephen Perez, regarding my music. I produce experimental/hip hop beats under the moniker Mellow Bloke. I was extremely honored to become a part of Indelible Niche Collective, but had no idea yet what it would do for my true passion of writing. So, now we’re here, and I am honored to be responsible for writing for the site.
I wrote a short Facebook post regarding it that explains furthur:
Hey! I’m honored and very happy to be running the Indelible Niche Collective site. It’s still in limbo of being set up and designed, but I’ve already began posting and will continue to.
I see this as a great opportunity to hone my writing in this format, and to go towards building my portfolio.
I’ll be posting reviews, editorials, personal pieces, prose, etc.
My goal is to grow a new “branch” of INC, if you will. A branch that consists of writing in all formats. INC supported poets, bloggers, short story writers, etc.
I also hope to expand onto displaying pieces of art on the site (paintings, drawings, etc) as well as incorporating a video component, and maybe even podcasts!
If you read all of this, thank you and please stay tuned and spread the word.
“The Indelible Niche Collective is a collaborative home for like minded artists that focuses on creating and highlighting what we believe to be creative and enduring art. We do not limit ourselves to any certain musical genre or artistic style.”
Check out the Indelible Niche Collective site Here. And also, go down the rabbit hole of checking out the Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, BigCartel, and Tumblr.
Radiolab creator and host Jad Abumrad talks about the origins of Radiolab and how that “gut churn” feeling associated with creativity is essential.
I consider us (aspiring TV writers) to be extremely lucky to live in the time that we do, because of the power of the internet.
Not that film school was ever a necessity, but the internet has REALLY made film school even more insignificant. Many aspiring TV writers are doing what I do, which is letting the internet teach us. If you know where to go you can get all the information and resources that you’ll ever need to know how to make it in the business.
NOW… that doesn’t mean you will. You still have to have that ol’ fashioned ambition, motivation and discipline.
This ides just popped into my head as I was doing some research for the New Girl spec. that I’m writing. Just the Wikipedia page for the show alone gives basically enough information about each character, specific episodes, tropes etc. Although, to write a spec. you should definitely still watch the show.
The internet REALLY is just fantastic. I wouldn’t be where I am at today without the internet. It made me realize my dreams.