Student blog

Creative block: It happens to us all

We all know what feeling when you hit a brick wall and your mind refuses to partake in any kind of productivity. Over the degree I have managed to find a few ways of helping to ease the blockage. My main go-to form of combat is following some advice a musician friend gave me a few years ago, which is to think about the issue/project as much as you possibly can, flood your every waking thought with it (which to be honest is probably what you have already done to get to this point) then forget about it, don’t let yourself think about it at all. For an entire day every time a thought related to the block creeps back in to your mind BLOCK IT OUT. Don’t allow it. Trust me, it will be worth it.

What to do during that day – do something relaxing. Go to the cinema, you won’t get much thinking done while staring at a massive screen with the sound blaring out all around you, perfect. Meditate. This might not be your thing but something as simple as taking two deep slow breaths, first filling your belly then your chest, works wonders for the mind. It’s like a breath of fresh air! (Sorry). Maybe read some magazines or look at books relating to your project, but just for visual research - don’t do anything that requires your brain to make an output, only allow inputs at the moment.

Suzy Seed photography

My favourite way to spend a day like this is to go to Dungeness, it’s on the Kent coast and has quite a surreal landscape – if you haven’t heard of it, check it out. It’s been featured in many films and music videos and is stunning in its own special way. If you don’t have a car you can get the train, and there's a nice little pub for lunch. And film fans will know of director, Derek Jarmen, he lived in Dungeness. His house is very distinctive and has a John Donne poem written on the side wall.

Suzy Seed photography

After a period of absence, you should (will) find that suddenly new ideas start to pop into your head. I keep a pen and paper beside my bed because invariably this is when most brainwaves occur, and however much you tell yourself you will remember them in the morning, you won’t. So get them down straight away.