How to Fight Photographer’s Block

"Leaf skeleton with back light "

During my holidays I allowed myself to succumb to ease rather than take hold of the opportunities before me. It forced me to face myself and ask: Why do I do photography at all? I believe that everyone has a creative side, and photography is my means of expressing that creativity. Within that, photography is the visual outlet that binds all my other interests. But how to find that drive for creation when the mind is muddled with all the dealings of daily life?

An article at Scientific American gives us some clues, which I have adapted:

  • Try spending a few minutes doing a morning mind-dump: write down everything that affects your thoughts: your frustrations, your expectations – everything that comes to mind until you have filled two or three pages of paper.
  • Go for a walk to help focus any creative ideas that may have arisen from the mind-dump
  • Give yourself a day in the week to go on a creative adventure, in which you surround yourself with an inspiring and supportive creative atmosphere. This can be an art gallery, a trip to the woods, a course or seminar – anything that speaks to you and supports your creativity.
  • Give yourself a creative challenge, in which you force yourself to explore a subject that your would not normally do.
  • And perhaps the most difficult – learn to deal with rejection and criticism as stepping stones to improving and presenting your ideas:

There’s also a stereotype that creativity is just involved in the generation of ideas. But after the ideas are generated, you then have to evaluate them, sift through them, embellish them, repair them, revise them and get them tested, which all means that the creative process is actually quite complex. John Houtz¹


(This is an edited repost from my previous blog, then entitled How to Find a Breeze in the Doldrums. 15 October, 2008)

¹John Houtz is a psychologist and professor at Fordham University. The article is based on the book, The Educational Psychology of Creativity.

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One Comment

  1. Ms S 22 January, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Lovely, textural stained glass window… 🙂

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