Creative Brain Freeze


Dean SmashYou’re feeling good. You’re loose. You settle in to what will surely be another fantastic brainstorming session with your trusty notebook and lucky pencil. It’s magic time. Time to come up with an idea that makes the Earth move. Then, nothing. You try to refocus and get it together. Still, nothing. Next thing you know, you’re in a quiet brainstorming session that’s been zapped by creative brain freeze. Mmm. Not good.

Whatever your profession, everyone has to come up with ideas now and then. But for creatives, it’s the raison d’etre, well, that’s what it is if you’re a Raising Arizona fan. When a creative team member can’t generate ideas, he or she might as well hang it up.

When it happens to me, I get frustrated and think, “Maybe I’m not focusing hard enough.” Then, I get angry. “I’ll never come up with a good idea! Maybe I’m not as smart as I think I am. Maybe my work is mediocre. Ahhhh!! Dean SMASH!!!!”

Before resorting to wholesale office destruction, I now try the following:

  • I change my environment. Different place, different chair, anything different from the status quo.
  • I seek the opinions and thoughts of others.
  • I try 100 mph thinking (coming up with as many thoughts possible as fast as possible).
  • When all else fails, I try 180 degree thinking (coming up with ideas that are the exact opposite of my goal).

These are just a few tricks I try to overcome creative brain freeze. Tell me how you thaw your brain when the creativity gets all gummed up.

I could use a few new options for the days when my feet are exploding out of my shoes and my shirt is tearing across my back. The days I find myself screaming, “I don’t know how long I can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within!” Just kidding.

But seriously, how do you beat the freeze?

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2 Responses to “Creative Brain Freeze”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Angry Dean might be the best superhero since Mr. Teriffic!

  2. Julie Says:

    I am going to beat brain freeze by looking at this cartoon of you.

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