We all have probably experienced that “click”, a moment when things suddenly fall into place and the big picture finally becomes clear. These “clicks” tend to happen randomly and it may seem like no real method is behind the convoluted internal workings of the mind — but as with everything in life, our cognition does follow a certain mode of operation.
When I write this daily blog for example, 9 out of 10 times I have no idea about what I am going to write. The fact is, in the last 90 days probably only 5 posts were planned, everything else just kinda happened. But the way it happened was by me sitting down in front of my computer and staring at it intently and doing so every day, usually around 6:00 in the morning for as long as it took to finish my blog.
No matter how empty my mind was, how devoid of any real ideas I seemed to be, eventually I was able to create a (hopefully) coherent narrative and deliver every day. Sometimes it took 30 minutes, sometimes 2 hours, but the only real reason it happened was because I didn’t stop typing and just kept my focus.
Truth be told, our ability to focus on one particular thing is incredibly powerful but our hurried lives don’t really give us time to practice it a lot. But when we do, the results can be a miracle.
And while it may sound easy to just do one thing everyday, in reality I am sure most of you will agree that it’s one of the hardest things to do; we may not feel like it, our schedules may be full already and sometimes life itself gets in our way with us getting sick, running out of coffee in the morning or just not getting enough sleep the other day.
While all of the reasons above are surely valid and true, the only way to overcome a creative block is to force it. To make yourselves to do it everyday, for as long as you are mentally able to focus on the task at hand — I think about 4 hours is the maximum for a lot of people, after that you just get as restless as a 2 year-old on a sugar craze.
And to be honest, working everyday isn’t going to make the end product magically become better — truth be told, a lot of the times the end product of any daily creative labour will be a load of garbage.
The amount of paragraphs I delete could create two extra entries a day on my blog, but the crucial thing is not to give a damn about how good or how bad the end result is — the important thing is to do it everyday, because quality only comes after all the crap has left the system.