How a deck of cards can save your writing.

17 Dec


There is nothing worse then being in your studio and your in the gutter, unmotivated.

Your mind is blank with feelings of panic because you don’t know what to do.

The creative block is the meanest kid on the block and its bad reputation exists for a reason.

Being stuck in the middle of a project can feel like your driving to the most important destination of your life.  Your lost in a vast, white, featureless dessert and your tire goes flat.

You can do two things:stay in the car in bewilderment or  walk.

In my series, creative hacks, I will arm you with enough TNT to blow right through any kind of hold up.

One of my favorite hacks is a deck of cards called “ Oblique Strategies,” published in 1975 by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Oblique strategies are designed to create a new problem for you to impose on your  project.

They are one-liners, pick up lines for your imagination. Each card has its own seductive, brain-teaser that will throw a wrench in your “I don’t know what to do” machine.

Take a sabbatical from your current problem, vacation to a new one. You’ll return to your old rut refreshed and ready or you might have found a whole new direction.

Pick a card, any card- but commit yourself to doing it and your muse will come back. In fact, she’ll show up with a spare tire and a GPS. Keep on truckin’ on.

Read it. Try it.

  • Cut a vital connection
  • Work against your better judgement
  • Work at a different speed
  • Move towards the unimportant
  • Mute and continue
  • Emphasize repetitions
  • Bridges -build -burn
  • Not building a wall but making a brick
  • Magnify the most difficult details
  • Call your mother and ask her what to do

Get some Twitter love with my Sweet Tweet creative hacks.

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