How To Deal With Creative Blocks

39c - Creativity

Have you ever felt stuck in a rut? Jazz is all about expressing oneself creatively. But sometimes that liberating state of mind kind of feels closer to a rat in the cage than a lion out in the wild.

Unleashing creativity is all about thinking outside of the box. Exposing to new ideas and different concepts can really have the power to unleash a “Ah-Ha” moment!

There’s a creativity test consisting in finding multiple uses for the combination of a clip and an elastic rubber. Think about it… What ideas can you come up with? Check my list at the bottom and add yours in the comment section bellow.

Meanwhile, here’s some great insights on dealing with creative blocks:

1 – Creative Pairs: Find creative people to work with and brainstorm ideas.

Do you remember Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Simon & Garfunkle… John Stockton and Karl Malone? That’s the spirit 🙂

2 – Movement: Get up, take a walk, breathe fresh air, exercise… Just get that butt off the sofa!

3 – Creative Batching: Turn on your Pomodoro for a predetermined period of time and give yourself the opportunity to focus exclusively on creating something new.

4 – Sleep: Take a rest, turn your mind off, disengage from work, take a nap, go on holidays.

5 – Travel: Get out of town, go to a different unfamiliar place, experience something new, get out of your comfort zone, take new inputs and influences and break patterns.

6 – Copying: Play “in the style of”… Django, Metheny, Scofield, Frissell? You choose 😉

7 – Streaming: Let your pen flow directly to the paper. What did it come up with? Weird crazy stuff? Good, keep going!

8 – Media Diet: Cut off your online connections and stop absorbing all the incomes… stop the newsletters, the emails, the advertisements, the papers and the articles. Pace yourself and stop taking in new information all the time. Let your mind rest a bit. Unplug from constant new data. Allow a slight void and let your mind to do the work with great ideas.

9 – Switch Mediums: Work on other art forms beyond your own. If you’re a guitarist, play the drums or the piano, paint, do some poetry.

10 – Relax: Take a breath. Creativity is not always around the corner. Creativity is like a bird: sometimes it shows up at your door, sometimes it doesn’t. Don’t let stress disrupt your peace of mind. Creativity will show to the patient ones.

For more of the subject check James Taylor’s research at

About my list, here are some ideas for a clip and an elastic rubber:

  • Sling Shot
  • Ring
  • Piece of Art
  • Tools to fix a house problem
  • Lock opener
  • Table shim
  • Tab book
  • Scratcher
  • Puncture tool
  • Toothpick
  • Buckle
  • Earring
  • Prank tools!

Now’s your turn! Give it a go 🙂

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