Quick Tip:
Busting Through Creativity Roadblocks

We all get them – those frightening periods of time when the idea well feels empty. When it feels like you'll never get another creative thought.

How do you handle these dry periods? Pace the floor? Stare at the computer screen?

A university study that National Public Radio reported on recently shows that if you're trying to make a breakthrough this way, you're going about it all wrong.

The researchers paired two groups of study subjects. The first group was given a problem to solve, a number of "starter ideas," and specific exercises for getting started. The second group was presented with nothing but the problem – and they did significantly better than the first one.

This study demonstrates that the most effective way to come up with creative ideas is to let your subconscious do your creative work.

In other words, don't try to force creativity.

Arm yourself with a ton of research. Study your swipe file … not just for specific ideas, but to add ideas and images to your subconscious.

Then let those ideas percolate for several days. Think about the entire project while you're driving, having coffee, or showering. But do NOT try to think about a solution to any particular problem.

When you least expect it, a great idea will pop into your mind and end your creativity roadblock!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


Click to Rate:
No ratings yet
Published: December 20, 2004

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)