Create: Day 60
The 60 second creative reboot; The 60 minute creative reset.
If it never happens to you…believe me, it will. It happens to all creatives. You get stuck. Whether you’re staring at a blank page to be written or a music staff needing notes or a canvas you’ve not yet covered in color, every once in a while you’ll draw a blank.
Don’t worry. It’s only temporary. But this is when you need a quick creative reboot. Here are your habithacking options. Keep them on file.
Fifteen 60 second creative reboots:
- Put on music to change your mood. Or change the CD that’s already in.
- Pick up your stuff and move to a different place in your house or studio to finish your work.
- Work on an alternate part of your project. For instance, chapter 20 instead of chapter 23, or the sleeve of the sweater instead of the body.
- Do some eye movement exercises. I’m not joking. Read about it: Scientific American.
- Change your tools: switch from ballpoint to fountain pen, from watercolor to colored pencil, from keyboard to guitar.
- Set your timer for 11 minutes and promise yourself you can stop when it goes off. And do stop, even if things have started to go well. It’s better to end feeling good about what you’ve accomplished.
- Change your clothes.
- Doodle mindlessly.
- Lie on the floor with your dog or parrot and look up at the ceiling.
- Give up for the day. Tell yourself you do NOT have to produce and don’t force it. (That just might be the moment you suddenly get a great idea.)
- Put limits on your project. For instance, restrict your color choice. Or subject matter.
- Do a quick and simple chore, then go back to your creative work.
- Practice the creative ritual you came up with in your first month of creative habithacking.
- Add something new and meaningful to the creativity altar you made in your first month of habithacking.
- Spend 60 seconds breathing deeply and thinking about each breath.
Fifteen 60 minute creative resets:
- Take a walk. This is perhaps the best solution of all. Most gurus recommend it and some, like Julia Cameron, consider walking essential to creativity.
- Revisit some of your previous best work. Look at it, read it, reassure yourself that what you had then…you still have now.
- Go moodle instead of working. Perhaps you need to fill the well.
- Be inspired by others who have accomplished what you wish to accomplish. Reread your favorite short story; look at a well-executed painting; listen to the kind of music you want to perform.
- Take a shower or soak in the tub.
- Force yourself to watch boring, mindless television for an hour. And tell yourself how much you’d rather be creating.
- Do some hard labor: dig in the garden, mop the floor, wash the windows.
- Do your day’s exercise right now instead of later. If you’re treadmilling or doing something similar, carry pen and pencil with you in case your brain lights up.
- Brainstorm, make a mind map, make a collage.
- Start working on a different, non-creative project that you’ve been putting off. Allow yourself to switch back to creative work after an hour.
- Make a list of qualities you don’t want to see in your work of art.
- Call a supportive friend and describe how you envision your project.
- Spent an hour on the internet assembling a list of inspirational quotes to read when you’re stuck.
- Casually page through magazines or newspapers or books, not looking for anything in particular, but with a notebook and pen at your side. You’ll be surprised by what happens.
Keep tracking your nonessentials time. We’re going to use that data later.
Create Month 2
What to do so far:
In case you missed a day, the reminders below are clickable.
Don’t put off creativity.
Use your limited experience with unlimited imagination.
Don’t worry about the destination.
If you’re stuck, lower your standards and go on.
Take a creativity vacation.
Value your creative visions.
Moodle every other week.
Fill out Creative Project Completion Plan I.
Fill out Creative Project Completion Plan II.
Fill out Creative Project Completion Plan III.
Track project reality versus guesstimates.
Practice seeing creatively.
Keep a creative project box.
On the Ides, I’d rather be…
Your materials don’t make the masterpiece…you do.
Be creative 7 days a week.
Get happy…and more creative.
Don’t envy fellow creatives.
Protect your creative time and space.
Track nonessential time.
Don’t swallow myths about creativity.
Get happy. Be creative.
Join a creative tribe.
Make another creative collage.
Don’t give up or worry about age, do innovate.
Steal the inspiration; make the transformation.
Let your art cross-pollinate.
Visit TED online.
Try one of these 30 methods for getting unstuck.