Thursday, June 21, 2012

Artist's Block

 I've been reading a lot about Artist's Block lately, and I realized I haven't had anything that I'd call a real block in at least a few years.  Lucky me!  But I can certainly remember very frustrating times when I could not seem to get into the creative flow no matter what.  Maybe some artists never get blocked and always have a well of inspiration at the ready.  But I doubt it.
Do you sometimes feel like this?

When you'd rather feel like this?

Have you had artist's block?  What is it?  How is artist's block different from fallow periods in the normal ebb and flow of creativity?  What do you do about artists's block?  What causes it? I created a survey about artist's block to see what the common threads are.

Take this survey.

I will compile the results and post a summary.  I expect that the shared information will shed light on this phenomenon and help us all ride the creativity waves of inspiration and non-inspiration. 


  1. I love your illustration of the concept. Awesome visual. Off to the survey now...

  2. Great illustration of this (almost) universal problem. I used to have times when the muse deserted me but, since retired and having the chance to 'play' each day, I find I am rarely without ideas. I think that the more you do, the more you want to do. I can't bear to be away from my toys for too long, even a day.

  3. I can't really address artist's block, but I do get indexer's block, sometimes at the beginning of a new project, sometimes half-way through. I think when we get a block, it is in part at least a confirmation of how passionately we care about whatever it is we do. We want to do everything in that realm splendidly. To get through indexer's block, I do one of two things: 1. research a little on the topic of the book; or 2. just start reading and indexing one sentence at a time, going slowly and steadily until I get back in the groove.

  4. Dear Jane, As a photographer, I definitely go through low energy periods, but later I'll see things again. This shows that the process or the inspiration is somewhat beyond our own control. I came to see your pretty blog through Joel Fletcher's. Just wanted to let you know that I gave your blog an award yesterday and a recommendation to whoever might see mine. best always, sp

  5. I write and whenever I think that there's nothing to say, or I can't continue with the story because I'm stymied, I look up and read the card posted over my computer.

    It's a Flannery O'Connor quote—she basically says that your job is to show up at your typewriter ( today that's a computer) and stare if you must, but stay there ready for the words.


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