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10.7. Block Demolition


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 10. Getting Past the Blocks > 10.7. Block Demolition

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Think of a time when you felt blocked, when you felt unable to reach inside for ideas or when you had ideas but felt unable to let them out. How did you feel? Frustrated? Unworthy? Uncreative?

Here are a few techniques that can help to weaken or demolish internal creative blocks. Try them: they are easy and have worked for many other people. If they work for you they could be worth the price of this book.

1. Timeline review

Visualise time as along a physical line. It may be back and forward, side to side or any other shape and orientation. Now imagine floating up above it. Turn to face the past and float back along the line until you get to above and just to the future of the earliest time you can remember when you felt blocked. Look down at the blocked event. Then float just above it, looking down on it, then go down into the event and notice the feeling.

Now for the tricky bit. Float up back out of the event, and go to a position about 15 minutes before you felt blocked and look diagonally down towards the event. Notice how the blocked feelings just leak away. If any part of them remain, float up and backwards until they disappear. Then float forward back towards the present, noticing how events change as a result of the blocked feelings disappearing.

2. Negating

How do you ‘do uncreativity’? Think of a time when you were not as creative as you wanted to be. Slow it right down and consider the detail of what you did to be uncreative. What did you say to yourself? What visual images did you make or not make? How did your feelings change? In what order did things happen?

Now deliberately change some of those things. For example, if you told yourself that you were not good enough, imagine that you had told yourself that you were really creative. If you imagined people rejecting you, imagine them being really impressed by your ideas. With each modification, notice how things change, including the pictures, the sounds and your feelings, as well as the ideas that appeared.

3. Streaming

A way that writers get past 'writing blocks' is to write. Just anything that comes into their head, endlessly. They might write non-stop rubbish for hours or even days until the ideas and writing become more useful again. You can do the same with ideas. Just write down any ridiculous idea that comes into you head, then another and then another. Keep doing this without stopping until some useful ideas start appearing.

An alternative approach is to do the same thing, but verbally. Just say out loud the ideas, one after another, non-stop. It can be helpful to have a tape recorder running, so you can capture any useful ideas. It may seem simple, but this can be a very powerful way of unleashing your inner creativity. We do overcome classification. Have you ever used a screwdriver to open a tin of paint or a paintbrush to dust a delicate object? That is not their intended purpose, but you have learned to adapt the tool to other uses. The trick is to see the assumptions that you are making and to challenge them.

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