Creative Block and the Seasoned Pro

I’ve talked about gumption traps a lot recently: gumption traps in general and in specific for artists and graphic designers. Gumption traps, or creative blocks as they’re more commonly called when applied to creative disciplines, are common to all, but they appear to crop up most often for beginners. The seasoned artist experiences blocks, too. Perhaps as often if not more often than the beginner. The thing is, the pro isn’t set back for very long, while the beginner may get stuck on something for a long time.

How the Professional Confronts Creative Blocks

When faced with a trap or a block, the seasoned professional:

  • Recognizes traps for what they are
    They’re setbacks that can get you stuck if you let them, but nothing that can’t be overcome.
  • Has dealt with them before
    He or she knows from experience what to do in those tricky situations that stump beginners. Not to imply that every problem has a ready-made solution out there, but an artist will encounter a lot of similar problems in his lifetime.

Does an experienced artist whine, gripe, and complain about a particular piece? You betcha. But he moves on and keeps doing his work, not letting a little setback keep him down. It’s part of “turning pro” as it’s explained in The War of Art. It’s all about attitude.

I’m not dead yet!

The bottom line is this: the dedicated professional knows he’ll survive no matter what blocks come his way. He’s lived through them before. So why get worked up over one little setback now, if the setbacks in the past were overcome at some point?