Monday, November 5, 2012

"Block" Buster: Get out of the rut, and feed the card catalog.

"Imagination muscles have to be developed the same as physical muscles. I believe very strongly that just as wagon wheels once carved ruts by traveling over the same road too many times, we make ruts in our minds and then lose the ability to leave them. Life gets to be a pattern, and it's too easy to follow the old trails."
~James C. Christensen, American artist.

Last week I didn't leave the house for the equivalent of three days. That's right, 72 hours. I came home from church around noon that Sunday and remained indoors until lunch-time Wednesday. By Tuesday night I had a nervous twitch in my mood and knew I needed a change of scenery, but still didn't leave the house. By the time I stepped out the door on Wednesday, it took me awhile to adjust to "life on the outside."  

Sometimes it's easy for me to stay cooped up, and even though I accomplished a lot of writing, it's still important to break free and force my mental wheels onto another path. I need to get out and experience or learn something new.

Which brings me to another quote by the same artist:

"...creativity is not making something from nothing. Creativity is taking information that we already have and putting it together in a new way. Our brain can be compared to a card catalog in a library. When we're born we've got millions of blank cards. In mortality we fill in the cards. And every card is a single perception. Creativity is simply taking the cards and putting them together in a new order or new combination."

Sometimes creative blocks occur when I see the same-o, same-o things. It's important when I break away from the desk, that I learn or experience something new to add to my cards. If the information in my card catalog is meager, it reflects on my creativity. The more cards I fill, the more I can create.

To break through a creative block, get the wheels out of the rut and go feed the card catalog.

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