Switching to “Input” mode

There’s a quote from author Stephen King that I love regarding the act of writing. It goes, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” He elaborates by adding, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

While this is specific to writers, the IDEA of the quote is true of anyone in any sort of creative venture. This applies to writers, illustrators, graphic designers, musicians, sculptors and… well… anyone who creates. And, as someone who regularly manages brands, writes blogs, designs and illustrates, this is true on multiple levels.

Whenever I am asked what I do when I am blocked on a project, no matter what it is, I always have a very simple answer: I switch from OUTput mode to INput mode. I step away from whatever it is that I’m doing and instead ingest things that inspire me, usually in a different direction.

What that means, is that I put the thing I am blocked on completely out of my mind and focus on something that pleases me in another capacity. I listen to music, read something relaxing or take in a movie or favorite show. I go for a drive in the country if possible or just a walk around the block. If I have the time, I play an old video game I’ve not played in years. Whatever it is, it’s something where my concern ISN’T in creating new content.

This, of course, requires a bit of time management. Our modern world rarely gives us ample time to unwind and step away from things like deadlines when we truly NEED it, so I try to schedule INPUT time in every week regardless of if I’m feeling creatively burnt-out.

If you, can, I highly recommend unplugging from the act of making a little bit every day and instead, take something IN. After all, no car can run forever without refilling the proverbial tank.

Written by Blog Contributor: Dee Fish