Until, as John Steinbeck says in Cannery Row, “the world is once again spinning in greased grooves,” I use a few tricks to move into the flow instead of flapping against it.
- Lock in at The Filling Station or Quay Coffee with headphones on, and Yo-Yo Ma on Pandora. The activity buzz is enough distraction to create focus, and the refreshments range from healthy to worth-every-cheatin’-bite.
- Create a first draft; it’s less demanding than a fully-executed assignment.
- Plan 15-minute breaks to reward progress. My rewards are time in my workshop to further a quilt or knitting project; dancing full out; a perfectly brewed pot of tea; or reading another chapter in my compelling book-du-jour.
- Warm up with some non-deadline work to ease creative muscles into the main event.
- Choose a completion reward. I might get to buy something on my running wishlist, meet a friend for lunch, go to the ranch for an unplanned ride, or even work on the thing I’d rather have been working on all along.
Homework: Besides real or artificially imposed deadlines, what’s your trick for unblocking a creative logjam? Share your ideas with your fellows below.