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Defeating Creative Block With Internet Memes
Vintage photos of Carla Bruni might get your creative juices flowing...
Art Stuff 15 Aug 2018

You’ve been here before; the scene is familiar. You’ve been staring at a blank screen (or canvas, or sheet of paper) for longer than you care to admit, praying for inspiration to strike, feeling more desperate than a medieval wife waiting for her husband to return from war. Conjuring up a half-decent idea feels like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube that should have been replaced about a week ago.
It might be tempting to go for a walk across the country, Forrest Gump style, set up your Ikea furniture, figure out how to use your cold brew maker, write a letter to that estranged friend from summer camp when you were 12, finally call your grandparents, pull the trigger on that vintage Dior wrap dress you’ve been watching on eBay… anything to escape the void of the white page.
giphy (2)
No matter what your calling is, creative block, a misleadingly mild term for what might be one of life’s greatest agonies, up there with root canals and breaking up at the start of a long road trip, strikes us all. Personally, my go-to move to slither out of its chokehold is scrolling through my saved posts on Instagram. At best, the vintage photos of Carla Bruni and obscure movie quotes get my creative juices flowing, and at worst, the endless stream of memes soothes me into oblivion. So, to help you out on those days when you feel like seeing the cursor blink one more time might get you institutionalized, we’ve put together a guide to beating creative block, illustrations courtesy of the internet.
1. Don’t let yourself drown in self-pity!
You are a beautiful, kind and capable creative genius whose muse just decided to take a little holiday and is blithely sunning herself in Bali while you beat your head against the wall. Would you want her to see you this way? No. Even when the font of inspiration runs dry, be gentle with yourself, unlike Nick Smith in Metropolitan (and don’t even think about that trophy wife backup plan; it’s all you, babe!).
2. Champagne isn’t the answer, but it might make you rethink the question.
blair champagne
Speaking of flowing juices… some days calling up your friends can lift your spirits and breathe fresh ideas into your soul, and other days are for staying in and pouring yourself a nice goblet of your favorite wine. Ernest Hemingway may or may not have actually said, “Write drunk, edit sober,” but there’s something to be said for breaking down inhibitions when you feel yourself slamming up against a psychic wall.
3. Get out of your element. 
If some light intoxication doesn’t do the trick, try a little sensory disorientation. We’ve all had the importance of keeping a routine beaten into us (“be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work” and all that), but some of the best gems are hidden in the darkest corners of our mind—they just need a little shake to swim up to the surface. Try staying up a couple hours past your bedtime (or waking up a couple hours before) to hit that 4am mystery hour; who knows what ideas will come pouring out. And if sleep-deprived isn’t your style, find another way to switch up your routine, like working in a different room, with a different brush, in a pair of Tuesday undies on a Friday, whatever makes you feel free and adventurous.
4. More than anything, what you need right now is a little perspective
The worst that will realistically happen if you don’t produce your magnum opus in the next 3o minutes is you’ll miss a deadline and maybe have to grovel in front of your gallery for one more week to finish whatever you’re working on (we strongly advise against punching walls out of frustration—might be a bit awkward to explain to the handyman). With that in mind, let your stress-induced shoulder knots gently begin untying themselves and remember:
5. Pick yourself up and get back on the creative saddle
Yes, it may feel like the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your entire life, but it’s not. Really. The day might end with you producing nothing but a heap of garbage, but that’s a whole lot better than producing absolutely nothing—that’s why Robert Graves once said, “There’s no such thing as good writing. Only good rewriting.” And when all else fails, you can always…

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