How I overcome creative block

photography How do you overcome creative block? Here is a trick that always works for me.

To start, I go for a walk while listening to music (the music can be Tracy Chapman, or Bob Dylan, or Lamb, or something classical. I don’t tend to choose anything else because for whatever reason, for me these artists/genres don't get in the WAY of other creativity - do you know what I mean? This is also the ONLY music I can stand listening to while I’m writing creatively).

Anyway, I let my walk take me to the art gallery. When I’m there, I wander around looking at the paintings and sculptures and thinking about them or not thinking about them as the mood takes me. I don’t force anything. But (and this is very important) I keep the music going. I have it turned up loud enough, inside my headphones, that the other sounds of the world and the gallery all but recede into nothing.

I don’t know what it is, something perhaps about the combination of music and art and exercise I imagine, that triggers the creative side of my brain. So far, this trick has never failed me. I always walk home creatively unblocked, and brimming with new ideas.

If I'm not close to an art gallery, I still go for a walk while listening to music, but instead I bring my camera and take photographs. I notice different things through the camera lens when I'm inside the soundtrack of my walk.

How about you? How do you combat creative block?

Image credit: photo by S Zolkin, licensed under Creative Commons