Battle Creative Block and Spend More Creating
Creative block is the worst, especially when you forget that great idea you had when driving on the highway. How awesome would it be if you never had a shortage of ideas to draw from so you can spend more time creating? (that’s a drawing pun)
I can safely say that I rarely deal with creative block because I collect practically every idea that comes my way.
Someone on my newsletter recently asked me how I went about this and I felt my reply could make a helpful episode in case you struggle with a lack of ideas.
Having a gold reserve of ideas has helped me battle creative block with:
- episode artwork
- client work
- personal work
I’m going to give you 4 ways to collect and build up your idea gold reserve so you can spend more time creating. This will help you easily come back to that idea you had when waiting in line at Chik-Fil-A.
1. A Pocket Sized Sketchbook Glued to Your Hip
I keep a handy little sketchbook with me wherever I go so I can jot down a thumbnail sketch or write an idea on the fly. Usually, I’ll roll with Field Notes brand or with something my friends produced like my friends Tinlun Studio or Cuttink Studio.
Keeping it beside my bed at night is crucial as my head is constantly swimming with ideas when I try to sleep. I’m not taking any chances of forgetting it in the morning.
This has been the most productive way of collecting ideas and I can’t recommend it enough if you struggle generating ideas on the spot.
The gold reserve I’ve built up to battle creative block is buried in all these sketchbooks–perfect for referencing when I need inspiration to punch me in the face.
2. Use a Task Manager / Note App
Sometimes you need to be a bit more thorough with your idea through writing and lists–especially if you have shitty handwriting.
In this case, I love using Wunderlist which is a task manager app for desktop and mobile. There are plenty of other things out there like iOS Notes app, Evernote, Omnifocus, etc.
Right now, the free version of Wunderlist is suitable for what I need.
For example, I have a Perspective Podcast category. Here I’ll store an ongoing list with subtasks that contain episode ideas which I can also add notes and dates to. I love that I can add to it on the go when I’m not on my laptop.
Other ways I use Wunderlist are to track a list of maintenance tasks I need to do on my website. I even have a shared list with my wife for things to get at the store because I’m always forgetting shit and lose everything I put on Post-Its.
It’s too easy to forget these things but a Task Manager App never forgets.
3. Use Siri (or alternative mobile assistant)
If I’m on the go and I can’t draw or write my idea, I turn to my homegirl Siri on my iPhone.
I tell her to “set reminder in X hours for me to write down or draw this specific idea.”
Sometimes she will butcher my idea but gets it close enough to spark the memory for me to collect it.
An example I recently had was, “Remind me in an hour to draw pizza on a skull.”
She came back with, “Remind me in an hour to drop pizza in schools.”
Why the hell would I intentionally drop my pizza? She obviously doesn’t know me that well.
Regardless, she is pretty helpful most of the time so I’ll give her a break.
4. Aqua Notes
Finally, I get some of my best ideas in the shower….
I’m usually listening to a podcast or audiobook through my Bluetooth Speaker when inspiration strikes.
It just so happens that I have Aqua Notes in my shower to “never let another idea go down the drain.”
Cheesy tagline but damn it’s the truth. I’m able to make a quick sketch or write a note and then transfer it to my sketchbook or Wunderlist.
Collect & Build Your Gold Reserve
To be honest, there’s really no excuse to why you can’t battle creative block by collecting your ideas and building a gold reserve.
In episode 26, Efdot gave some great ways to stay inspired, and now you have practical ways to collect and store those ideas for a rainy day.
If you’re taking your work seriously, I would recommend utilizing these 4 tactics in your game asap. Especially carrying a sketchbook with you at all times, that’s mandatory.
Collecting your ideas and building a reserve will help you spend less time thinking and more time creating when it’s time to throw down.
- A pocket-sized sketchbook lets you jot down a thumbnail sketch or write an idea on the fly.
- A task manager app can help you track more thorough lists of ideas through desktop or mobile.
- Use Siri or other mobile assistance for when you’re on the go and can’t use a sketchbook or task manager app.
- Use aqua notes for when inspiration strikes in the shower.
- Collecting your ideas and building a reserve will help you spend less time thinking and more time creating.