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Be Creative! : Tips on Breaking the Creative Block

Tips on Breaking the Creative Block

By Mary Baker, Contemporary Realist Painter

"Morning Glory and Road"
Oil on Paper, 17" x 7.5"
© Mary Baker 2004

There's no question that creating anything is hard to do. Here are some tips if you find yourself creatively blocked. Set a goal
Set a goal for yourself. For example, it could be to write one poem, one short story, to paint two small paintings or create three works of art. Don't make the goal too big.

Set a time table — Give yourself a time when you want your goal to be completed. There is nothing like a deadline to help you get things done. You can tell people about the deadline or keep the information to yourself. Don't make the time table too unrealistic.

One step at a time — Baby steps get you to the top of the mountain. If you manage to do one small thing towards your creative goal each day, you will be amazed at how fast you can accomplish it. Ask yourself what is the next step and then do it.

If it isn't working stop — If you are working on a creative project and you don't know what to do, stop and do something else; it can be anything — the laundry, mow the lawn, work in the garage. When you come back to the project, you will probably have the answer to what was blocking you.

Progress not perfection — If you don't expect to create the perfect project, it will take off a lot of pressure. It will make it easier to accomplish what you have set out to do and the process will be a lot more enjoyable.

Easy does it — If you don't create exactly what you've set out to do, don't worry. Ask yourself the question "how important is it?". It will help you get things in perspective.

Don't worry about the other guy — Don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Keep the focus on yourself and what you want to accomplish, it will help you to go forward instead of getting stuck.

Just do it — Don't talk about it, don't worry about it — just do it, one step at a time until whatever you have set out to do gets done. •

© Mary Baker 2005

Mary Baker is a professional contemporary realist painter whose studio is in Newburyport, Massachusetts. You can see Mary's paintings and read her commentary on the creative process, creative journey and creative space, as well as tips on breaking the creative block on her Web site,