“I’m blocked”: Follow These Tips to Generate Ideas When You’re Blocked. If overcoming a creative block were as easy as jumping over a fence, you would live in a world brimming with creativity. see enhanced. Maybe even the lawyers would dare to try something new, like loosening their tie a bit, who knows!
This is a utopia comparable to Shangri-La, the mythical city of El Dorado and the Navigable Mapocho. The creative block, especially feared by artists, but which also affects anyone who works in an environment where ideas are valued, is within those strange phenomena that lodge in the depths of our brains and, it seems, far from the reach of any tool.
“Writing about writer’s block is always better than not writing” was a phrase that writer Charles Bukowski immortalized in his book Poems of Earth’s Last Night. Yes, Bukowski was a drunkard and a womanizer, but his alcoholic irony contains a great truth: The creative block is never totally insurmountable, especially with the right tools.
In this article, you will get the best tips to generate ideas when you’re blocked. From it, you thus can generate ideas to achieve success in your work.
The best tips to generate ideas when you’re blocked
1. Meet your basic needs first
That may sound obvious is not so obvious when we are obstinate in finding a solution that does not arrive, and we forget that we have not had a shower in a week and that the flies that surround us are not a coincidence.
Mike Brown, an expert in creativity, strategy, and innovation and founder of the consultancy The Brainzooming Group, recommends “taking charge of the necessities of life and then returning to your creative efforts.” Having ideas requires your undivided attention, and being sleepy, hungry, or wanting to go to the bathroom isn’t going to make it any easier.
2. Get to the why of the blockade, tips to generate ideas
The creative block can be disarmed if we direct our efforts to its weak point: rationalization. As mystical and metaphysical as this wall may seem, everything has a reason, and reaching this is a much easier process than demolishing the wall with mental head butting.
One way to do this is through “the five whys,” a technique developed by Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda. Although it was born to get to the origin of a technical problem, its usefulness is much broader. The exercise consists of starting with a problem and undressing it through successive whys until reaching the root.
Example: I am unmotivated. Why? I have no ideas? I don’t like the formal tone we’re giving it, why? Because it is not aligned with the strategy, why? Because the strategy indicates that this is aimed at young people, why? Because our studies indicate that they are 90% of the universe of consumers. Solution: Talk to the team and propose a change of tone.
You don’t need to come up with five whys. Some simpler problems may unravel in fewer steps.
3. Redefine it
One of the main problems that creative blocking entails is the word itself because we visualize an insurmountable wall that is difficult to overcome.
4. Get outside and get inspired, tips to generate ideas
When stopping forcing ideas is not enough, there is nothing better than a walk outside for inspiration. Well-known Jack Kerouac, who was considering abandoning his writing career before touring the United States with his friend Neal Cassady. The trip served as inspiration for his masterpiece, “En el Camino” (On the Road).
In most cases, you do not need a whirlwind of places and hedonistic excesses as in the case of Kerouac, but a simple panorama to distract yourself and at the same time inspire yourself. Walking through a park, exhibition, movie, or play is all valid alternatives to feed our subconscious and stimulate the creative muscle.
5. Come up with many solutions
On many occasions, the blockage arises because we look for the idea, the perfect one that will solve all our problems. Illustrator Marc Johns suggests turning off perfectionism and writing down all the ideas we have, ten, twenty, thirty, which are enough to “let go of the mind.” In the purest brainstorming style.
A variant for those professionals related to design is what the artist Martha Rich proposes: choose an object and draw it, paint it, or represent it in 100 (or many) ways. For example, a ring can be represented as one of the diamonds, like the one that surrounds a planet, and thus, different interpretations are added. “It gets interesting when you run out of ideas and are forced to be ridiculous and stop thinking so much!” He says.
6. Write down your inspirations previously, tips to generate ideas
“They say an elephant never forgets. Well, you’re not an elephant. Take notes constantly,” says Aaron Koblin, a digital artist considered one of the most creative minds in the industry.
Koblin’s advice is to write down absolutely everything that inspires you: thoughts, movie quotes, songs, articles, technologies; these will compose your arsenal of inspiration. “When you have no ideas, go to your notes like a magician to his spellbook,” he adds. It’s time to use that cell phone notepad or buy the indispensable notebook.
7. Inspiration from the masses
Another tip that Mike Brown proposes is to seek inspiration in people, what he calls crowdspiration. “Go where there is a crowd of people and use the stares, conversations, and murmur of the crowd to catalyze your creativity,” he says.
In the digital age, the crowd can also be found on platforms like Twitter or Facebook. Please take advantage of them!
8. Change “canvas” and focus, tips to generate ideas
Brown also proposes changing the “canvas” if we have difficulty coming up with new ideas. For example, if the computer does not turn on the light bulb, switch to “old school” pencil and notebook. The idea is to move to a blank “canvas” that allows you to see things differently.
Something similar says the artist Marc Johns when talking about pretending to be someone else: “Stop thinking like a designer, writer or whatever for a minute. Pretend you’re a pastry chef. Pretend you’re an elevator repair contractor. A pilot. A complete seller, how do these people see the world? “.
9. Open a book, tips to generate ideas
Artist Jessica Hagy, a winner of the Webby Award for her blog Indexed, suggests opening a random book to a random page and looking at a specific phrase. “Each book has the seed of thousands of stories. Each sentence can produce a flood of ideas. Mix ideas between books: a thought from Aesop and a line from Chomsky, or a fragment of an IKEA catalog fused with a piece of dialogue from Kerouac.”
Hagy proposes that this continual remix of ideas forces the mind to make connections and fill the mental blanks. If nothing happens, keep doing it, says the artist, “and keep connecting ideas out of context until your mind wanders and you end up in a new place, a place that no one has ever visited before.”
The best way to overcome a block is to follow these amazing tips to generate ideas when you’re blocked from generating the most creative ideas and achieving success in your work.