I believe that humans are the most unsatisfied animals on earth. It is because we as humans get bored and this brings opportunity to create something new, something different. I have always craved to do something new and creative all my life. I have tried my hand on music, poetry, writing, singing, film-making and few sports like basketball and football. When it comes to being creative – music and poetry is something I have always felt comfortable with. I remember when I was in 9th grade my eldest brother gifted me a guitar from his first salary. Holding guitar for the first time in my hands brought out a new energy in me. I started to learn new chords and eventually ended up composing my original pieces. There have been several songs and poetry on my book since then. But lately, I have been struggling to create something new. Be it a new tune, song, poetry or even few lines. I think I have been going through a fancy sounding word called a ‘creative block’.
“Creative blocks, or barriers to inspiration, can be described as the inability to access one’s internal creativity. Those in creative professions—writers, musicians, performers, artists—are often more likely to be affected by creative blocks, which can last for days, weeks, months, or even years.”– Good Therapy
Sometimes I ask myself the question why it is necessary to be creative? For me, it is fulfilling when I make a new tune or write a new poetry. It is directly related to my level of happiness and positive mental health. At such times of the “creative block” I feel incomplete and it reflects in me being confused and lethargic through out the day. Definitely, it is not something I want to continue having for months, or even weeks. So I am trying to look back at my life when I was able to write and create ‘rather easily’. There are few questions I noted down, hoping their answers would help me identify activities which could trigger the creativity. Answering these questions and reading more about creative block I identified activities which could help me unblock. Sharing them with you, so that you might find them helpful too at some point. Questions like:-
- When did I feel most creative?
- How was my mental condition at that time?
- What was my lifestyle at that time?
- What is different now?
- What is stopping me to write and create at present?
Physical Activity Is Important
I remember I used to be active in sports during my school and college days. Waking up early and going for run was a usual thing. Endorphin and Dopamine are two chemical released when we exercise. These chemicals help in feeling motivated and hence good. Exercise helps neurotransmitters function efficiently making our mind focus on our thoughts. Some ‘Rockstar’ fans would believe in the thought “Toote hue dil se sangeet nikalta hai” but then how feeling good can help in being creative? I do not completely disagree with the thought, but I also feel our minds need to stay focused to create something. Messed up thoughts may end up in scribbles on paper. One of the well known lyricist of Hindi Film Industry, Gulzar Sahab, has also regularly played tennis all his life. I feel my inactive lifestyle is blocking the thoughts in me to come out. My first new year resolution is to adapt an active lifestyle. At least one sports along with regular running in the morning.
Taking Up New Hobbies
I believe that my creative thoughts are limited to just music and poetry. Both of these need more of thinking skills to create. Various articles on creative block suggest that taking up new hobbies can help trigger creativity in you. I suppose taking up hobbies that need more physical skills than more thinking would help me. In Mangaon, Raigad where I am placed under my fellowship program with Centre For Social Action, I have found a very interesting thing to learn. There are couple of professional art studios which teach pottery. I am joining one of these studios to acquire skills in pottery. This art has always fascinated me and now the opportunity to learn during my free time in Mangaon is coming out to be a perfect plan. I am hoping to learn pottery and also hopeful that it helps me in unblocking my creative part of mind. Even If it does not help me write new song or poetry, I will still be happy to acquire one new skill this year.
The Power Of Habit
Recently I discovered a book called The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It talks about the science behind the habit creation and reformation. One thing Duhigg explains is the keystone habits. Keystone habits are those habits that cause other good habits to fall in line.
These are not necessarily more difficult to acquire. Indeed, a key feature of keystone habits is that they provide a sense of small, but consistent victories. I understand that keystone habits helps us become more regular and hence more organized. When one gets to plan the day better the time and space of mind for creativity automatically increases. School and college days had regular time table, which included timely and organized schedules. This helped me relax as well as focus on my creation during free time. My another resolution for this year is to develop a keystone habit that would help regularize my day hence proving space and time for creativity.
This are few activities I am trying to unblock my creative mind. I hope it works for me. If you too are going trough a creative block, you too may try on these activities. Also let me know if you have been through any creative block earlier in life and what helped you unblock. Along with adopting these activities I am also keeping my fingers crossed hoping, to again find my corner of creativity.