Skip to main content

Getting stuck

Every now and then, I seem to get stuck on something. The creative juices just stop flowing.

Psychologists call this a block. There are specific blocks like writer's block (boy do I know that one!) and then there are more general categories like mental block. I have never heard of a specific woodworker's or an artist’s block but I am sure there has been a study done somewhere.

Sometimes my block comes right in the middle of a specific project. When that happens, the best thing is to put the project down for a bit. Since this is a very specific block, it can be circumvented by picking up a different project for a while. This might be a project that was put down due to a previous block or simply something that got sidelined for some other reason. And we must hope that the blocked project does not carry a heavy deadline!

There are times when my block is much more general. I can't get my mind to focus on any project at all. I feel like George McFly in "Back to the Future". In times like these, I simply have to go do something else totally unrelated to woodworking.

I learned long ago that you cannot force your way past a block. You just have to let it go and focus on some mindless task until your brain comes back on again. My neighbors always know when I am in the middle of a block because that's when my yard looks its best.


Related Articles

Where will they get the wood?

The recent disastrous fire that consumed most of the roof structure of the Notre Dame cathedral got me thinking once again about the fragile nature of our wood supply.

Can we get a ruling?

Webster’s defines industry as “economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories.”