How To Avoid Creative Blocks

Courtesy of  moniquewingard/Creative Commons License

There is nothing worst than sitting in front of a screen with no idea what to type.  When writer’s block hits it’s frustrating and disheartening.  When this happens we have a few options.  We can work through it or take a step away.  I tend to find something that relaxes me like running or cooking.

Unfortunately, there isn’t always the time to put down the laptop and whip something up in the kitchen or go out for a jog.  And while working through the block is an option it’s still very frustrating.  In the end the best option is to prepare for these creative blocks by taking the following steps:

  • Capturing All Your Ideas: The reason you are short of ideas is because you can’t remember them all.  Whether you use a tablet, moleskin or whiteboard, write down any thought that comes to mind.  Put your ideas in places that you can come back to use them.  At first it might not make sense; however, by revisiting it later you’ll have a new perspective.  Don’t kill an idea too early.
  • Reading Outside Your Realm: If you are in the trenches of youth ministry for too long you’ll only develop tunnel vision for your ideas.  To expand your mind it’s important to read books from outside your industry, especially fiction.  The crazier the adventure the more it will challenge your mind.  Leaders are learners and learners read books.
  • Taking Seasons Off: It’s important to schedule breaks, even if you aren’t in “need” of one.  By taking time off here and there you are creating a healthy pace.  Too many times we fill our schedules with to-dos when we should have times when just don’t do anything.  Take a technology fast once a week, create a bed time, or really embrace the Sabbath.  Whatever you do don’t max out your calendar.

The ideas won’t always come and in the end you might have to just bust through it.  However, to increase our capacity and to cut down on these moments it’s important to prepare.  It’s through proper preparation that we can build margin, so that we aren’t staring anxiously at the computer.

How do you prepare for creative blocks?