Diaries Magazine

Secret Weapon to Stay Unblocked: 3 Simple Ways to Easily Break Creative Barriers

Posted on the 20 February 2015 by Juliejordanscott @juliejordanscot

Secret Weapon to Stay Unblocked
One of the secret weapon beliefs in my creative arsenal is, “When one gets stuck, the best remedy may be to take a break with a completely different approach.” I needed to use it again this week.

I was struggling with a class assignment that was all wrapped up in language.

I just didn’t seem to get the energetic barrier down with solely words, so I pulled out one of my “bits of paper” boxes and reached in without attachment. My hands fell upon a repurposed junk mail book I last worked on in December.

Breakthrough art journal

I opened the book-in-progress and impulsively made the outline for a face.

I added completely unpolished eyes and eyebrows and a mouth and suddenly the face had a name and a soft voice, urging me in my homework project. I knew I was onto something.

Sometimes I forget my love of paper and color and mixing up the goodies to make something different, especially when I have a lot of writing and theater circling about me. The last few days, though, the call to layer “stuff” became much stronger than my call to stay stuck.

Staying stuck is never comfortable, but when your heart and your thought process stay open to different possibilities, extraordinary results will come.

  1. Don’t fuss over being stuck, just set your struggle aside and be ready to work on something else. That working on something else may be a simple as singing along with a video or curling your hair in a different way and it may be starting a painting rather than writing another headline.
  2. Keep a “five minute box” (or envelope or journal or sewing kit.) These hold projects you ccan work on for five minutes at a time and make a real difference as well as glean insights.
  3. Approach any creative block as a preschooler might: with playful curiosity. We only learn as we get older that there are “right ways” and “wrong ways’. Once you begin to de-program yourself to play rather than get plugged up, you may not even need articles like these anymore!


Canyon writingJulie Jordan Scott is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist  whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in Spring, 2015 and beyond.

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