Overcoming Creative Blocks - Creative Mood

For most of my creative life, I needed to be in the mood to create.  My state of mind or emotional state dictated if and when I could do what I loved.

Not being able to do something creative would make me feel extremely frustrated and discouraged, which would then continue the mood that would keep me from creating.

So much prescious time was lost.  So, I thought.

Here's where a Doodle Journal can help transform your negative mood or low energy into a positive, flowing, energetic state.

All you have to do is get out your pad and pencil.  Give yourself a moment to clear your thoughts, meditate or state your intentions.  Put on paper whatever it is you are feeling.  Even if it is a lonely, little dot in the middle of the page - do it!  Consider this a warm-up exercise; not a work of art.  If you have that expectation, it may only make it more difficult to transform your mood.

The idea is to acknowledge your current state and transition to a more receptive, creative state.

Suppose after several minutes, you can only manage a few weak, squiggly lines drooping downward on the page.  Or maybe your page is filled with a lot of jagged lines bouncing back and forth across the page.  Now what? 

You may not realize it, but you did create something!  You now know what your inner state looks like.  Keep going - do additional pages!

There are a few ways you can approach the next step.

You can continue to draw, following what you feel until there is a natural shift in the flow.  Or you can consciously start to draw or doodle in a way that is familiar to you - more or less forcing a shift.  That can be a little more difficult if you're just not in a creative state, and may not always be that effective.  But it may be a good idea if you just need to shift from a logical, left brain state to a creative, right brain state or if you're working on a project with a deadline. 

I prefer to let the the process take its own natural path.  It becomes my self-reflection.  Many things are resolved and revealed to me during these, what I used to refer to as, dry spells.  I now consider these moments to be full of surprises that allow me to release any stress or negative energy.

The most important thing is that you now have a way to bring yourself back into a flowing, creative state.  You don't have to wait for the creative mood to miraculously appear.  You can bring it out natually.  Just allow your inner voice to reveal itself.  Respect and acknowledge what comes out on the page.

And don't limit this technique to artistic persuits - this works just as well when trying to overcome a writer's block or trying to come up with ideas.  Doodling can clear your mind of all the mental clutter.  Use it as a tool to transform your mood and state of mind to a fountain of creativity.

If you are a creative soul like me, you know the deep sense of frustration when creativity stops flowing.  While I no longer want to waste any more time staying in a state of "stuckness", I also believe that creative droughts appear for a reason and are very valuable to the whole process.  Possibly, something needs to be cleared away to make room for something new.  Or maybe, an issue needs to be resolved before going forward.

In her truly inspirational book, Making Pearls, Living the Creative Life, Jeanne Carbonetti, writes about the stages of creation.  She explains, "You may have felt blocked at times, uninspired at others, or perhaps frustrated and self-critical.  All of these experiences come from not honoring where you are in the creative cycle."

In her chapters on waiting, opening, closing, holding, releasing, emptying and sitting, she describes the purpose and gifts of each stage.  Her book is filled with inspiration and is a profoundly different way to look at the creative process.  And while it's filled with art, it is a great book for anyone interested in developing creativity of any kind.

So, the questions to contemplate are:
  • Instead of facing an obstacle as if it were a brick wall, can it be envisioned as a door that can be opened to transport you through to a new level of being?
  • Can you learn to appreciate and even welcome obstacles and uncertainty as opportunities for self-reflection?
The Daily Doodle Journal can put you on that path, help you transform your mood and take you further on your creative journey.

Doodle On!