Breaking through creative blocks: How to draw inspiration from a stone - WARNING: strong language and a playful representation of Jesus

Danielle Vincent

Posted on June 20 2015


Or maybe not a stone… maybe that metaphor doesn’t work. I don’t know. It’s 4pm and I’m working on this doomed piece of blank screen so I can make my deadline for the blog post and publish it by 6am tomorrow.

The irony: It is punching me in the face like a mighty fist piston.

Lori asked about what I do when I have creative blocks. Here I am, at nearly the 11th hour, showing you exactly where it’s at:

I’m working anyway.

My creative window is between 6am and 10am (ahem, usually when Mr. Vincent is asleep), and the rest of the day I’m shuffling around like a zombie on amphetamines: getting stuff done, but not necessarily doing anything very smart or creative. So if I can, I schedule my creative work during my creative window.Here is an example of a thing that generally takes priority over writing

But if I’m running late, or I’m super busy, or I had a little too much wine the night before, or I have to figure out why a package got back to me (see picture, left) and somehow I miss my creative window… well, I have to do the creative work anyways.

It might not be the best work I’ve ever done and I might have to change it a lot later, but I have to get the damn thing done.

Not to sound too prideful, but even my shittiest work usually isn’t that bad if I give it a couple days and re-read it. Heck, I banged out the description for The Sidewinder under heavy deadline, only to go back to edit and find that it was possibly among my favorite descriptions. Here’s an excerpt:

“And if I talked about our Whiskey Shaving Soap, the shaving experience so fantastic my friend invented a commercial for us, you might find yourself intrigued. How did it make him feel? He wanted to step out of his loft in his bathrobe and walk down the streets of Oakland like whiskey Jesus. That's how. It made him feel like Whiskey Jesus.”

Whiskey. Jesus.

Whether it’s writing product descriptions, newsletters, or blog entries, I pride myself in my -- if not entirely factual representation -- at least a highly accurate representation of the product. For example, though Fire in the Hole campfire soap may not actually be the most awesome soap in the history of ever, it certainly feels like the most awesome soap in the history of ever when you’re using it.

Sometimes, though, I have to write these things under duress. Sometimes I’m feeling moody. Sometimes I’m reeling from a customer complaint or just received news that a potential wholesale customer is passing on our products this time around. Sometimes a check is late in coming and I’m not sure we’re going to make rent.

(yeah, these are all things that happen)

And, like now, I just have to work anyway. The work has to get done. I have to do it.

Let’s get back to Whiskey Jesus because that’s a good example… I wrote that under duress. I had to get it written so I could get it up on the site so I could get it in a newsletter and send it to press. You know, just The Awesomer and Gear Haiku reading this stuff… no stress, right? If I wasn’t shitting my pants trying to crank out something -- ANYTHING -- remotely funny, I probably wouldn’t have struck the nugget of Whiskey Jesus.

Am I the only person who thinks Whiskey Jesus is a funny visual? Yeah?

Here, I’ll make a graphic. Now… isn’t that comedy gold?

Eh, it’s late on a Friday and this TINY blog post has taken me an hour to write. I have to get back to other work.

How do you get through your creative blocks? I mean, assuming you don't just pray to Whiskey Jesus.

 

UPDATE: On a whim, I did a search for Whiskey Jesus last night and found that indeed, someone before me had come up with the name Whiskey Jesus... AND THAT BAND IS CALLED WHISKEY BUSINESS (coincidentally the name of our lip balm). My mind has seriously been blown. It convinced me of the unity of the human consciousness. I am one with all lovers of whiskey. Namaslur.

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