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Inspiring Creativity with Rick Benzel

Rick Benzel, M.A., is a creativity coach, writer, and editor in Los Angeles with a passion for helping all types of artists get unstuck. He enjoys brainstorming with creators to help them develop, articulate and organize their ideas. His coaching practice has helped writers, screenwriters, and visual artists. He offers various workshops in the Los Angeles area, a one-day brainstorming Inspiration Tour, and 7- or 10-day retreats in France. He is the creator of this Anthology and the founder and Publisher of Creativity Coaching Association Press, the publisher of this book. He can be contacted at his website,

9 Ways to Escape from Creativity-Halting Goo Introduction

Every artist gets stuck from time to time in creativity-halting goo. It can happen at any phase of your work: when you're beginning a project, in the middle, or close to completion. The goo can overcome you in many different ways — it can prevent you from finding an idea, or cloud your mind when choosing among many ideas, or pull you downwards into a creative void.

The Reframing Approach to Getting Creatively Unstuck

Using Psychology to reframe your problem and learning how to change your view of the problem. Reframing is based on the concept that you can abandon negative self-talk, replacing it with positive statements and attitudes that lead you to a more fruitful interpretation of the moment.

The Marcel Proust Approach to Getting Creatively Unstuck

Tapping into the stream of consciousness. The great French writer Marcel Proust is known for a style of writing called stream of consciousness, in which he poured his feelings out onto the page like water over a dam.

The Pottery Approach to Getting Creatively Unstuck

Using the potter's wheel as a life metaphor. When you try pottery, you quickly learn that if you do not center the clay on the wheel, it is nearly impossible to pull the clay up into a balanced object.

The Buddy Approach to Getting Creatively Unstuck

Partnering with fellow creatives or community. Creativity-halting goo can sometimes be thick and viscous, and getting out of it on your own is just not possible. Your inner artist is going nowhere, spinning its wheels, like a car stuck in mud or snow. Sometimes you need a buddy to get unstuck, a colleague who can push or pull you out, by listening to you and perhaps by sharing some ideas.

The Matrix Approach to Getting Creatively Unstuck

Using rows and columns to move through gridlock. When 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 Spiritual Approach to Getting Creatively Unstuck

Cocreating with your Higher Power. More artists are turning themselves over to a higher power to direct their work. For some people, the higher power is embedded in a religious tradition, while for others, their spiritual approach is rooted in a profound respect and appreciation for human creativity within a mystical cosmos.

The Reward Approach to Getting Creatively Unstuck

Reflecting in personal truth and honesty. The Reward Approach can be an effective method to get out of stuckness when the creativity-halting goo is thin and leaves you with a sense of power over your situation. This approach requires you to be brutally honest with yourself in evaluating whether your stuckness reflects factors that you can control — if you truly wanted to.

The Hero Approach to Getting Creatively Unstuck

Finding a luminary in your field; working with a creativity coach. One of the most intriguing ways to learn how to get unstuck is to find yourself a hero, that is, a luminary in your field after whom you might model yourself.