Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Unlocking the block
When I wrote for a living, writers' block was inevitable. The way to get out of it? Write. Just write. It didn't matter if it was drivel, because writing anything is better than writing nothing when faced with a blank computer screen. Sure, the first few paragraphs, even pages, were awful. Soon enough though, the words would once again start to flow and the previous paragraphs of tripe could simply be erased.
A creative block isn't solely the domain of those who write. Yesterday, for example, I was so uninspired. I'd browse my photos; nothing interested me. I'd open up Photoshop and then stare at the grey screen. Phooey. I had just purchased a load of goodies on the weekend and yet, yesterday, I wasn't interested in using any of them. I finally worked on a sign photograph and uploaded it to my Flickr account, but it was a minor accomplishment. There simply was no creative spark.
So today I hesitantly started looking at my photographs again, hoping inspiration would find me. I spied a photo -- the lion, above -- I captured at the Guild Inn back in April and decided I would just fool around with it, whatever the outcome. And as I expected, I really disliked what I was doing to the image. But did I give up? Nope. Filter experiments were tossed, actions were attempted (I think I tried every single one from the Pioneer Woman), textures were tested and eliminated, brushes were browsed and then, finally, it started to come together. Soon I was moving on to another photo, also taken at the Guild Inn. This time, I was more focused on my work, leading to the black-and-white image above.
My message here? Don't let a creative block freeze you in your spot. Be patient and trust your instincts. Just keep going. Creativity will never really desert you.