3 unconventional strategies to get out of a creative rut

When working on creative projects or designs, there are times when ideas just don't come to mind, or the work ends up looking ordinary, resulting in a stagnation in the concept or work. To help you get out of such a creative rut, Herbert Louis, an author and director of a writing and editing advisory firm, offers three tips.

Unconventional Strategies to Get Unstuck from a Creative Rut — Holloway


Many creators who are stuck in their creativity seek ``inspiration.'' However, Chuck Close , a painter who was active from the late 20th century to around 2020, said, ``Amateurs are the ones who seek inspiration. We just get to work. Through work, we just look for ideas and find inspiration.'' You can open new doors by bumping into other possibilities that you never thought of when you were looking for them,” he said in an interview. Pablo Picasso also said, ``Inspiration exists, but everything is found in the act of creation.''

Louis offers three tips for what to do if you're stuck creatively, other than looking for inspiration.

・1: Roll the dice
The first method Louis suggests for unlocking creativity is to 'let the dice do the work.' 'Relinquishing control and introducing chaos is one of the keys to creativity,' says Louis. 'If you've ever felt blocked or stuck in your decisions, try creative work. Please support us by rolling the dice and opening the door to opportunity.”

Specifically, when I can't write, I randomly open a dictionary or use a tool that generates random words to find words that would be hard to think of on my own. A similar literary technique is a writing method carried out by a literary group called

Uripo , which uses the `` lipogram '' method of writing sentences without using specific letters, replacing the words in a certain sentence with the seven letters following them in the dictionary. By doing things like ``S+7,'' we encourage students to increase their vocabulary and expressive skills.

Also, if you are unsure about a choice, you can roll the dice, toss a coin, or use other people's opinions. Chance plays a big role in creativity, and can not only help you make decisions when in doubt, but also expand the possibilities of your work.

・2: Don't care about the results
Most people aim for slightly better results by doing things better. They believe that if they don't, their situation will get worse, but according to Mr. Louis, all such beliefs are based on the false process that ``progress is linear.''

Louis cites Nobel Prize winner Richard

Feynman 's story as an example of a tip for creativity: 'Don't worry about the consequences.' Feynman often recalls being instructed in art class when he was a student to ``draw a picture without looking at the paper.'' It's impossible to draw beautiful lines or good pictures without looking at the paper, so I didn't think about trying to draw well, and as a result, I realized that my work had a strength similar to that of Picasso. . Feynman said, ``I thought that ``relaxing'' meant ``drawing a sloppy picture,'' but it actually meant relaxing without worrying about the finish of the picture.''

If you want to write a book, it is important to start by writing one sentence in a notebook. If you want to draw a picture, you must first draw the lines of the sketch. If you get too caught up in the image of the finished result, you may not be able to think of a suitable beginning for it, or you may end up despairing as you move away from your ideal. However, Louis says that it is important not to think too hard and just follow what comes to mind and try to do what you want to do. It is also important to not set your goal as ``finishing something,'' but rather ``starting with anything.''

・3: Draft, demo, sketch
In writing, a plot, draft, or writing at the planning stage is often called a 'draft.' A demo is the unfinished stage of music or software. Paintings and design-related works, including rough drawings and frameworks, are considered 'sketches,' and all of them support the creation of the final work.

These preliminary works are not just a bonus during the production process, but are extremely important for improving the work you are currently creating. Louis says that preliminary work 'keeps expectations low for the outcome,' and because it's unfinished and flawed, it 'reduces self-criticism,' and 'psychologically teaches that it's okay to still make mistakes.' It supports 'safety'.

Additionally, while each stage or version of a project can be considered complete and moved on to the next, there is no need to consider the entire work complete, even the final presentation or release. Pablo Picasso said, ``There is no such thing as a ``finished'' canvas, only the various states of a single painting.'' ``Awareness of drafts, demos, and sketches'' is a lesson that ``works are not always finished, so you don't have to be overwhelmed by a spirit of perfectionism,'' and conversely, ``awareness of drafts, demos, and sketches'' teaches that ``works are not always finished, so you don't have to be overwhelmed by a spirit of perfectionism.'' The lesson is that there is no need to be afraid to expose a work to the public eye, even if it is clearly a work that is still in its infancy. The work that resonates with the most people may not be the work that the author declares to be the ultimate work.

Louis' book, Creative Doing , includes these three tips, as well as guides, mental models, and real-life examples about the creative process.

in Note, Posted by log1e_dh