I drew this chart Friday night to attempt to figure out how to beat my creative doldrums. As depicted in the chart, I was definitely suffering “creative apathy” vs. creative block. I had plenty of creative ideas, but was struggling with generating sufficient interest in any of the ideas to do something about the ideas I had.
One thing I did in trying to get something going creatively was to share an early version of the chart on Google+ to see what reactions others had to it. Amy (Dixon) Drouin asked about an “implementation block” option.
My response was that when drawing the chart initially, the “Creative Apathy” quadrant represented where implementation blocks would fit. Using the word “apathy” may suggest “interest level” too strongly, but the upper left basically represents having ideas, yet being frustrated by the inability to turn them into productive output.
Another motivation for creating this chart is being in the midst of putting together a compilation book on dealing with creative blocks. As I’ve been wading through the material and various recommendations to beat creative blocks, it seems there are other types of blocks at work as well. While creative thinking exercises can help you move out of the lower left “creative block” quadrant, they aren’t necessarily the answer when it’s “creative apathy” or an “implementation block.” In these cases, it’s more about effective use of convergent thinking, project management, or shoring up implementation capabilities.
What do you think?
I’m always curious about your reaction to these quickly drawn charts. Does this one fit with your experiences? Do you have specific approaches you take to move yourself toward “creative nirvana”? If this chart doesn’t correspond with your experience, how would you recommending changing it? - Mike Brown
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