There has not been a single project that I have worked on where I have not been overcome by a heavy sense of ennui. This barrier of boredom with my project can prevent me from continuing due to sheer creative apathy. I hate these blocks that raise their ugly heads at the most inopportune times, so I have decided to share my favorite means of dispelling them.
Zoom Out: Where am I Going?
What’s the big picture? Where is your mountain that you want to head towards? Oftentimes by taking a macro view of the situation I can see elements in my current project which need to be adjusted or added to get me back on track toward my dreams.
Defining your mountain and getting intense clarification can reignite the motivation that you need to push past the mucky moment for the current creative clod.
Zoom In: What’s the Next Step?
After thinking about the larger picture, take it to a micro view. What goes on the next page? What needs to be created today? What is the most important thing I can be doing right now? Now that you have an idea of what the complete project will look like, focus on getting that messy first draft out. Breathe and let the final result evolve naturally from here. It will take care of itself, you’re just in charge of the next step.
While I was trying to think of a fitting art theme for my next game, instead of trying to parse every possibility, I began to take action. I needed new ideas so I began looking through independent artists and graphic designers’ portfolios for inspiration. This got me back on track as an actionable first step toward thinking about what I wanted.
Create a deadline.
Sometimes the best inspiration is a last-minute inspiration during a time crunch, where an ambitious deadline serves as a motivator to get that shit accomplished! Deadlines are nothing if we don’t enforce them, so I tell myself things like: If I finish my two priorities for today by dinner, I’ll reward myself with something great afterward like dessert, a fat joint, or a glass of delicious whiskey. Using a carrot/stick approach can be extremely motivating.
Look at my task from an outside perspective.
The most fun way I have found to bypass the block is to just pretend to be someone else looking at it. Gather your top fictional or historical advisors and tap into their potential. Really put their mind into yours, what do they think of your predicament? What do they think of what you have done so far? It may seem hard to think up someone else’s thoughts on the fly so I recommend keeping a few pictures of your favorite on hand. Two people I use regularly are George Washington and Thomas Edison.
Bring in an Actual Second Brain!
Tell friends or family the situation and ask them for ideas over a beer or glass of warm hot cocoa. Even if they know nothing about the situation, sometimes you merely verbalizing the idea can breathe new life into it.
If all else fails, you can always hire a business coach! They are a cheerleader, advisor and idea machine with the experience and kick in the pants which you need. Give them a call when you’re stuck and that will usually do the trick.
If you’ve picked the right one, you can tell them your worries/fears and current issues and let them swing the bat at the problem. That’s why you hired them, right?
It’s time to get to work! Don’t settle for less than the best when you make something. These are all things that work for me, what are some quirky thing that works for you? How do you keep your mind on a project? Comment below.
About our company:
Brotato Games is a new innovative game-creation company dedicated to making games for you and your friends to enjoy. We create fun, unique products like 420 – The Card Game that makes you laugh, think, and stretch your comfort zones. Drop us a line at [email protected] for any questions, comments, or love-notes.
Eric Deegear is an entrepreneur, author, therapist, motivational speaker & business coach. He holds a psychology degree and several therapeutic licenses. After creating and applying successful principles in his personal life, he began to utilize his skills professionally to help those looking to change their lives for the better.
Eric Deegear is also the creator of New Man Revolution, a community-oriented men’s grooming company and Brotato Games, a new innovative game-creation company. He is the creator of 420 – The Card Game and monkey bikinis. Drop him a line for any questions, comments or love-notes.