Struggling to come with up your next great idea?by
Often, to achieve amazing opportunities in the creative industries, you’ve got to be ready to impress with really great ideas. You might be asked to submit a proposal, or respond to briefs, you might have to pitch an idea or enter a competition. Whilst this a great way to impress potential employers you can come up with a problem: the deadline is in a week and you have no ideas! The juices just aren’t flowing.
You set down to work and there’s a blank page staring back at you. You embark on a lengthy stint of procrastination. Your DVDs have been arranged by colour, your underpants have been ironed and folded and you’re attempting to watch everything currently screening on Netflix.
Never fear. All creative people have had this problem. The Creative Block. So Create Jobs is here to help with a few tips to wing open the ideas flood gates.
1. Start by shutting down all devices
Turn off the TV, radio, laptop and phone and sit in a quiet room for 10 -30 mins staring at the wall. Stimulus is great but sometimes you need to channel those images into an actual, useful idea, and you often need time for your brain to breathe. How often do we actually do this? Push yourself to do it long after it feels boring - it will pay off.
2. Go out for a walk
Many exceptional creative people are advocates of this. It’s said that Steve Jobs, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and Goethe were all avid walkers. It’s not possible (or not advised!) to stare at a screen while walking so it’s a great way to avoid distractions and concentrate on the matter at hand; coming up with that idea. Get some air to the brain and blood to the extremities. If you’re collaborating with someone why not try a walking meeting? Otherwise known as a Walk and Talk.
3. Roll out a huge piece of paper and cover it with notes and drawings
Plot out connecting ideas. Include stuff that seems abstract and random. Keep it going for days, reviewing it as you go. Head to an art shop for the biggest piece of paper that they have. (P.S. going to art shops can also often fill you with ideas!)
4. Get out and attend events or talks, Pecha Kucha, or debates
Do this rather than just staying in and watching TED Talks on YouTube. If you’re in the room, you’re part of the conversation. You can empathise, understand, ask questions and provoke. You’re among other people who are actively interested in the same stuff as you. London has so many opportunities like this. Try the RSA, ICA, LRB, School of Life, Facebook or just browse on Eventbrite. There are endless possible happenings. Many of them are also free to attend.
5. Ask around for things to do that take you out of your comfort zone
Whilst you might be pretty well clued up in your own creative sphere, take a recommendation to try something you’re not normally into. Go to that Comic-Con convention; go to that exhibition of surgical models; attend that hack event full of techy types. Do something that feels odd and it may just make you think differently. If you only watch films by your favourite film director, how will you ever come up with a new idea?
6. Technology can be your friend
There’s a range of apps you can download that can help you focus. Some shut down the internet for a fixed amount of time and bar your access. Some are way scarier and will delete your work if you pause for more than a second! Try writeordie for example – see how productive it makes you!
Right! Enough working. I’m off for a coffee in Shoreditch….. What?... It’s for my productivity!