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How great artists have fought creative block

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How great artists have fought creative block

Many artists fear their creativity will dry up - and often it does. But, says Professor Robert Winston, great composers have come through creative blocks to produce outstanding works.

Creative block does not just afflict composers, writers, painters and poets... innovative scientists experience drought as well.

If you've ever suffered from writer's block then this is worth a read


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The creative block is one of the most fascinating subjects, not so much in trying to overcome it, but in understanding that creativity is a state of being, and not a possession to have or control.

Rollo May and Erich Fromm have both addressed the subject of freedom and creativity, and for those who wish to explore an understanding of creativity in the existential, humanist tradition, I recommend all their books, but in this matter the following are very helpful,

Man's Search for Himself,

The Courage to Create,

both by Rollo May

The Art of Loving,

To Have or to Be,

both by Erich Fromm.

These men and their books were illuminating guiding forces which revealed the nature of creativity as being an unconscious process of the mind that could be, indeed should be, encouraged to develop in every human being. Unfortunately cultures and societal forces limit our abilities to develop in many ways. In addition, we often find these limitations leave us in despair, and our creativity thus blocked from realising its natural expression in whatever are the fields of our interests and talents.

It was really no accident that both these men (and others) were inspirations to the creative years of the 1960s, but even more so, they were the among the vanguard of thinkers who saw the parallels between Eastern and Western philosophies, where before there was only an enigma of seeming paradoxes.

Think about the Zen idea of waiting till the arrow releases itself, and you may well come to understand the idea of allowing the 'block' to exist until the muse inspires you into creativity. We don't have to think it up, we just release what is already there. We need only absorb everything around us to feed our creative being.

And the result is the sharing of our lives in love for what we each create.

As The Beatles sang, "The love you take is equal to the love you make."

Practically speaking, we have elsewhere quoted people saying that we should write something everyday, and I have found that to be most helpful not so much in producing anything, but it certainly stops me procrastinating, and even at times unblocks the pathway for my creative unconscious (no I do not mean 'subconscious').

Thanks Camy, for the link to a most interesting article. :icon1:

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