A friend of mine suggested a while back to try a different medium when I felt stuck with my writing. Try painting, or acting, or photography. And you know what? It worked.
There’s something about being creative, no matter the medium used, that ignites the brain and launches it into an even more creative space. Picking out the perfect shade of paint might help connect those disjointed plot points. Editing a photograph might give you the insight into your antagonist’s motivation that you needed to move on.
It’s amazing how the mind works like that. When we’re creative, we often want to continue creating. When we let doubt or fear stop us from our creative expression, it’s much harder to motivate ourselves and delve into the creative process.
For example, I’ve been playing with photography recently and, though I haven’t been consciously trying to, I’ve come up with about five ideas for brand new stories, quirks to pull a formerly flat character together, a solution to a major plot hole, and more.
Did all of these things come from taking and editing photographs? Probably not. But I think that continuing to be creative while I thought through these issues certainly helped.
So, the next time you’re feeling stuck or lost or frustrated with a creative project, I highly suggest stepping back and playing with another medium. Any other medium at all, just something different from the project you’re stuck on.
It’s just a matter of letting the creative mind continue to do its work. And, sometimes, that requires stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new.