How do you break up your creative log-jams?

10 replies
Just a few short words.

That's what has me hung up.

I'm putting together a series of postcards, and on one design I'm stuck trying to come up with a hook phrase for the front side. The other postcards have just flowed, but for some reason this one card has me stumped.

I've tried using a scatter diagram. I've walked away for almost a week. Still nothing.

What do you do when you hit a creative wall?
#break #creative #logjams
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Ramsey
    Hey Kelly,

    I believe it was Joe Sugarman (could be wrong) who talked about a tool he used to bring to his seminars. He talked about it in terms of pricing things... but that's not why I'm mentioning it - obviously.

    It gave three random words, which you then took and wrote a story about. You obviously don't have room for a story on a postcard, but when I'm stuck in a rut, I use this tool to help me get out of it.

    Random Word Generator (Plus)

    Might help for you too.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Meditation. Not your classic Transcendental Meditation... I just go 'inside' for a few seconds and ask Spirit for the desired outcome. I don't attach a timeline to it, I simply know it will come when it's supposed to. Then I give thanks. And when I least expect it, there it is. And it's almost always exactly what's needed.

    I think some people call it prayer. Whatever...
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  • Stay educated! Watch a marketing webinar on postcard advertising to get some ideas. When I get a creative block from video marketing I go over my past training webinars and sites... it really helps break down that wall!

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author TheKeys
    I work out.. or go for a short road trip.

    Help fund a trip to California
    Please donate to help fund my trip to California.
    Please share or tweet this

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    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      The best book I've read on creative process in copywriting
      is Christian Godefroy's "How To Write Letters That Sell",
      Joe Vitale mostly drew his inspiration for his stuff on
      hypnotic writing from it - so if you don't want to track
      down the Godefroy book the Vitale books have some
      related material.

      There's no short answer. I play a lot of guitar while
      I'm working on stuff. I dunno - I think it helps to
      get both sides of your brain working. Thus pattern
      interrupting behaviors can help. I'm familiar with
      a lot of yoga techniques I use to tweak my mental
      state and build up creative energy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicky Papers
    I usually go to the gym and work out. Motion creates emotion. A good music play list can also inspire you and bring the creative fire back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jag82
    Originally Posted by Kelly Verge View Post

    What do you do when you hit a creative wall?
    My 2 fave methods:

    1. Stay away from work!!!

    Think about it. Where do you often get your best ideas?

    I'm willing to bet - most of the time - it's not in front
    of the computer starting hard at it.

    Stay away from the computer. Stay away from work.

    Go for a long Whatever workout
    that gets your heart rate moving.

    I find that I get my best ideas and inspirations for
    my daily jogs. Hugely effective for me.

    And as I know...for many people as well.

    2. Study my swipe files

    I've a huge swipe file collection of copy,
    banner ads and newspaper advertisement.

    Never fails to stir up my creative juices.

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  • Profile picture of the author ImportEyedea
    I wholeheartedly understand your frustration. As a writer, nothing's worse than the phrase or copy that just escapes you no matter what you do.

    Try reading, particularly if you're someone that can stomach poetry/prose. Sometimes being able to fall into the rhythm of someone else's writing relaxes my brain into remembering how to create a rhythm of my own.

    Also writing in a stream of consciousness. Set an egg timer or a watch and force yourself to write(or type) consistently for say 2 and a half minutes. If you can't write in complete sentences, write things you see in the room. If you can't think at all write can't think over and over again until more words pop into your head.

    Its an old exercise my writing workshop professor used to have us do and despite the initial strangeness it tends to be very effective at clearing your head.

    Best of luck. Just keep at it.
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  • I just write crap. I mean it. If I don't have the creative spark I just write whatever crap comes out. I don't even try to evaluate whether it is crap or not. I just write it.

    Then, once it's done, crap though it is, I find my problem is gone. Often when I go back to it in a day it isn't as bad as maybe I thought it was at the time. Sure, there are too many "that"s and "I"s, but it's better than 90% of the copy out that that is ALREADY MAKING MONEY.

    I've got a WSO running right now. The sales letter is crap. Monday morning I needed a sales letter and I didn't have one. Not one word. So I wrote it. About an hour. It's crap, it's too long for the offer, but it will sell out anyway.

    That's what works for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    I finished it.

    It was MUCH harder to come up with the right 3-5 words than it would have been to write a paragraph or even a page.

    It's probably a "B." That's OK, because another of the postcards is an A+++.

    It would be more of an issue if I were mailing out a million of them, but my numbers are statistically insignificant, so who's to say?

    Thanks for all of the advice!


    P.S. The random word generator tossed out a word that I then plugged into a thesaurus. That was the key (well... that plus a week away from the project).
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