When our creative work grinds to a halt, how do we know if our subconscious is quietly at work or if we've hit a creative block?
“Looking at it from afar like this, it’s easy to recognize that you’ve got a monolith blocking your way but sometimes, up close, this mass is strangely difficult to recognize.”
I’m sure you’ve had the experience of incubating an idea — when you just allow your subconscious to mull over what might be best to do with a project, confident that pretty soon a flash of inspiration will hit and you’ll be back on track.
The problem is that incubation and creative block look very similar on the surface: We reach a hiatus with our work and we are unable to move on. So what’s the difference? And how can we know which we’re experiencing?
What Idea Incubation Feels Like
I don't know about you, when I am incubating, I can sense that my subconscious mind is at work. I don’t feel anxious; I trust that a solution will present itself soon.
Take this week for example: I worked on lots of creative projects this week and I could feel my energy building. Then yesterday I enthusiastically got stuck back into my latest piece, Out of the Box. Incubation had done it’s job and the ideas were flowing.
The Horrible Empty Feeling of Being Blocked
But when we start to slip into a state of creative block, the feeling is different.
We don’t sense anything moving below the surface. There’s just a feeling of horrible emptiness which manifests itself in a myriad of ways from shoulder-shrugging, devil-may-care to plate-hurling frustration.
So Which Is It? Blocked or Incubating?
So next time you feel blocked, take a little time to analyse whether you really are stuck or whether you simply need a bit of time for your incubation process to do its magic. That way you can take the appropriate action!
GET UNBLOCKED DOUBLE-QUICK!
Fortunately these days my creative block is pretty much non-existent as I've developed a host of tools to nip it in the bud.
Since I live to share a good thing, here's a FREE Quick Unblocking Workbook to, nip incipient creative blocks in the bud, and get you speeding along on your creative highway without delay!