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By Rick Benzel | Updated September 1, 2018
When your getting stuck involves indecision or an inability to choose from among what seem to be too many good ideas, the best solution may be the Matrix Approach. This solution is based on resorting to logic to evaluate your ideas and choose the best one according to a set of criteria you develop. The name of the approach refers to the fact that you construct a "matrix" or grid, with rows and columns in table format. In each column, you write one of the ideas you have, and in each row, you list one of the criteria that will help you decide the best choice. For example, if you are writing a non-fiction book and you are trying to decide whether to write a book based on, for example, 7 steps to better health, 30 days to better health, or 10 secrets to better health, you would need a matrix consisting of 3 columns. Then in the rows, you would list criteria such as names of competing books in Row 1, spin-off opportunities for each title in Row 2, the editor's preference in Row 3, and so on.
The Matrix Approach, in theory, can help you get unstuck by simply checking off which column and row intersection makes the most logical sense. Then you can count up the X's and see which decision wins. However, given that art is not science, the Matrix Approach often requires a level of subjective analysis and feeling that might lead you back toward your quagmire. You could end up with a grid that has X's everywhere and you're back at indecision.
Nevertheless, the Matrix Approach can prove useful when you have a large number of choices because, at the very least, it can help you eliminate a few lesser choices from the crowd so you can focus on just the one or two best ones. In this way, the Matrix Approach can help you get out the quicksand a little faster and without as much pain as you might have experienced.
Next: The Spiritual Approach
©2005 Rick Benzel. All rights reserved.
This collection of insights for successful creating is based on Inspiring Creativity: Powerful Insights and Practical Ideas to Guide You to Successful Creating and published with permission.
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5 Eroding Notions to Resist
5 Nurturing Practices to Embrace
Feeling You Don't Have Permission to Create
How Society Tells Us Not to Create
How Friends May Convince Us Not to Create
How We Convince Ourselves Not to Create
Suggestions for Giving Yourself Permission
Every Artist Gets Stuck
Reframing Approach to Getting Unstuck
Marcel Proust Approach to Getting Unstuck
Pottery Approach to Getting Unstuck
Buddy Approach to Getting Unstuck
Matrix Approach to Getting Unstuck
Spiritual Approach to Getting Unstuck
Reward Approach to Getting Unstuck
Hero Approach to Getting Unstuck