Getting stuck

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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.

D.D.

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