On Creativity Bottlenecks

A professor once told his class, "we don't get stuck from having no ideas, but from having too many." 

I realized, my mind churns and spins with ideas at an alarming rate. If I don't get them out fast enough, they build up and bottleneck the whole creative processes. I become overwhelmed at the sheer number of ideas and end up doing none of them, which then discourages me. 

The professor told the class the solution to this problem though, "pick something and go with it. Don't think about it. Just do it. Then go on to the next."

Can it really can be that simple? Yes.

By picking one idea and running with it, momentum is created. The idea will either take off and fly or crash into the ground and be dragged through the mud, but forward progress has been made either way. This is the key to break through bottlenecks.

What if it fails?

What if it falls flat?

What if it is lame?

We need to give ourselves permission to fail, to fall flat, and to be lame because it will give us confidence to create. We also need to give ourselves permission to succeed, to inspire, and to be authentic because it is possible. 

So I am giving myself permission to follow through, on one idea at a time, because in the end I need to create or I will explode.  

Do you ever experience creative bottlenecks?

The Desert of Editing

I am in the process of finishing a paper I have been working on for quite a while. I have come to the conclusion that, even though I don't like editing, it is worth it.

When I sit down to write, I feel a sense of wonder that I do not get when editing. When I sit down to edit, it is a slow drudge through the desert of thorns, broken bones, and molten rock.  

Yet, I know when I reach the end of the desert, my writing will be so much better. I will arrive at the shores of a crisp clear ocean of joy, splendor, and ice cream with a finished piece of writing that is worth reading. 

When you create, what is your desert? 

Deep Fried Strawberry Oreo

The following is one of the best ideas I have ever had:

  1. Cut the top off the strawberry
  2. Hollow the strawberry
  3. Crumble Oreo into said strawberry
  4. Cover in Abbitt's Sweet Hush Puppy Mix
  5. Fry in hot oil

I did not even take a picture because of the deliciousness. When I make these again, I will post pictures of the process; but for now, trust me when I say these are amazing. Enjoy!

Creative Spaces

Creative spaces are a very personal thing. It is where worlds are created and the abstract becomes something tangible. It can be the kitchen table or an entire room devoted to your craft. Here are a few things I prefer for my creative space:

• A large desk 
This gives me space to spread out papers and still have room for my keyboard and mouse.

• A book shelf
I enjoy having books at my fingertips and bookshelves are one of the most aesthetically pleasing ways to do this.

• Blank paper
I always go back and forth on whether to have lined paper or completely blank. I have found that I much prefer the blank. I like to draw and work organically and feel limited when I use lined paper.

• A Nerf gun
This is mainly to deter any interruptions and cats. 

• A computer
Writing and video editing requires me to use a desktop for most of my work. I currently work with four monitors.

• Sharp pointy objects
I have always liked knives and swords. My wife and I took a German longsword class and we both enjoyed it immensely. 

What does your creative space look like? What items do you find necessary?