10 Ways To Clear Up Creative Constipation


We’ve all been there. At the moment when you and your team need to be the most creative…NOTHING COMES OUT! You’re stalled, stopped up, CONSTIPATED! For me, it happens 3 or 4 times a year and never at an opportune time. There’s nothing worse than trying to force art and certainly nothing less satisfying than seeing a project roll out that’s well below expectations. So I thought I’d lay out 10 creative laxatives that have done the trick for me and my team.

– Don’t be Afraid to Wipe – Sometimes the best remedy is to wipe the canvas clean and start over. If dumping a weeks worth of work will finally bring a project to fruition…go for it!

– Move Your Tush – Sometimes it’s a change of venue that unclogs the pipes. Grab your computer, lift your butt off your chair and go somewhere else…anywhere but your office!

– Read the Paper – Okay, you’ll have to forgive the bathroom analogies…but work with me here. Grab a good creative magazine (for me it’s Live Design) and start reading. Or, go to flickr and enter a search term like “Stage Design” and see what comes up. You’d be amazing how inspiring others creativity can be.

– How About a Courtesy Flush? – Chances are you have a ton of things on your plate. It may be time to flush some of it and delegate it to someone else. It’s hard to be creative when you have your mind wrapped around a million things at once.

– Renuzit Duzit – Sometimes all you need is a little fresh air, a walk around the building or a quick jaunt to Starbucks. After all…nothing stinks worse than stopped up creativity.

– Maybe You Should Take Something – Yep I said it…Sometimes you need something to soften the flow of creativity. Maybe it’s adding a new person to your team or asking someone to take a break. You’d be amazed what can happen if you just shake things up a bit.

– PUSH! – I hate to say it, but there ARE moments when you just need to push harder. Order a pizza, bring in the coffee, lock your team in the room and start working through the blockage.

– Give it a Rest – Don’t be afraid to sleep on it for a night. Creativity flows best when we’re rested, focussed and not so stressed out. Sometimes the panic of being creatively blocked can be your worst enemy.

Warm Up the Seat First – Have your team search for random things they find inspiring and bring them to your next meeting. Spend a few moments warming up the creative process by talking about what they found.

Work Through the Discomfort – Unfortunately, there are times when the creative process is just simply uncomfortable. Sometimes you have to create through the pain. Just because you’re creatively constipated doesn’t mean you can’t create…it just means the process will be longer and more difficult than normal. You can do it!



One Response

  1. Holy moly Jim, that is hilarious. How creative and true. Love your metaphor!

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