Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mental block? Then change your scenery!

As creatives, we have all had it at one time or another—the dreaded mental block. And it always tends to happen when you're juggling a multiple of projects or have a very tight deadline. Why is that?

What is a mental block? Dictionary.com defines it as an inability to remember or think of something you normally can do; often caused by emotional tension. If you have been staring at your monitor for over an hour and repeatedly move the same text box around, then I have to tell you that you are in midst of a really bad one!

Here are five things I do when I'm in the midst of a mental block:

  1. Take a walk—there is nothing like fresh air to clear your senses. I always return from a walk ready to conquer anything!
  2. Escape from your computer! Go outdoors with your sketchbook or someplace quiet where you can get to the root of the problem by just sketching and getting your thoughts down on paper.
  3. Treat yourself to your favorite beverage (mine is Caffe Mocha) at Starbucks or a favorite hangout in town. Take your sketchbook or computer with you too. Our Starbucks happens to be noisy so I really can't concentrate there but a trip to one really helps.
  4. Take a trip to your local library or book store (Borders is my favorite) and mingle among books for awhile. Looking at art books or design publications definitely will help boost your creativity when in a slump.
  5. If you can spare half a day, then take a trip to a museum or art gallery. Just walking among the masters and looking at all the wonderful artwork and colors are always an inspiration!


  1. Does taking a walk to Starbucks count? LOL!
    Nice post Maryanne! It will help to get us all through the winter doldrums, stop staring at our monitors and stay creative!

  2. Maryanne,

    Good post, some helpful tips to recharge. I seem to find #3 Starbucks helpful to focus even with all the "cappuccino chaos" going on in the background.