The Block Box: 102 things to do when you're creatively "blocked..."

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I’ve always believed if you’re feeling creatively blocked you have to change a rhythm. When we start to see things differently, we start to think differently, when we start to think differently we’re able to create…differently. Over a five years ago I made a list of ways to change it up when I was feeling stifled. I wrote each idea on a piece of paper and put them in a box called “The Block Box.” Anytime I found myself staring into the abyss of daunting artistic blocks, I’d pull from the box. Today…over five years later, I found the list again during a creative scavenger hunt for “new ways of thinking.”

I'm posting this to put energy of doing, making, and sharing into MOTION. Read them, use them, make your own….pass it on.

1. Plan a dream vacation, a year from now- every detail down to the restaurant. Start saving for it.

2. Watch an old film; Asphalt Jungle, Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve, and Annie Hall.

3. Remake a cover of “Dancing in the Dark”

4. Remake a cover of “Teenage Dream.”

5. Open the dictionary find 6 words at Random- write a song/poem using those words.

6. Go to an International Market, buy your entire week of dinners there.

7. Cook with Moroccan spices, invite friends over, share your food and write down the most memorable moment of the evening.

8. Pick your MANTRA for LIFE- Write it somewhere visible.

9. Write a song using only; C, D, E chords.

10. Write a song with a girls name in it.

11. Listen to something completely OUT of your preferred genre—-pop, country, soul.

12. Write a song using only blues progressions…that isn’t a blues song.

13. Make an Altar to your art form.

14. Watch “A Streetcar Named Desire” write a song about it.

15. Make something based off of a classic Disney film—— Cinderella, or The Little Mermaid.

16. Take pictures of 10 things you see on a walk—-use their inspiration. Don’t Instagram it.

17. Write a tragic love story. Mourn it. Throw it in the trash.

18. Read one of Shakespeare’s sonnets—-use it as inspiration for your next piece.

19. Start with Violin first.

20. No electricity today- use only that which is portable.

21. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson-

22. Visualize your future daughter.

23. Imagine how you’ll discipline your future son.


25. Write a letter to a corporation you disagree with, put it in the mail.

26. Write a letter to a corporation/charity you’re grateful for. Send it.

27. Pick 6 words that are “ILLEGAL” while creating; stuck, lost——-you pick the rest.

28. Write a song with the chorus FIRST.

29. Remake an Annie Lennox song—— “walking on broken glass.”

30. Learn a Fleetwood Mac song. Sing it to no one other than yourself. 

31. Write a song about a tourist.

32. The theme is UTOPIA. Your Shangri-Las.

33. Change your clothes. Take a walk. Come back to it.

34. You are a part of a REVOLUTION.

35. You only have one more day to live……

36. The things we’ll do for a dollar…..

37. Plan a date and courageously ask someone to attend it with you—-write a song about it afterwards.

38. Write about finding an old journal—-that wasn’t yours.

39. Pick an inspiring painting that reflects your mood, learn every detail about it.

40. Use the piano instead.

41. Write about women and food.

42. Keep it simple. Write a hook.

43. No flowery words- only that which doesn’t need an explanation.

44. Inspired by: the lights of the city.

45. Make a meal you’ve never made before. Give it away.

46. Draw a FLAME collage somewhere- a symbol of the light WITHIN.

47. Paris, at night time.

48. Write a letter to a friend, and use only words a kindergartner would understand.

49. Make a to-do list with only 6, simple things——do all of them before the sun comes up.

50. “The Secret to a Good Road Trip.”

51. Plan a theme party- invite your 7 favorite people.

52. Research a religion read about it——write down one thing that strikes you as interesting, then journal.

53. Watch a documentary about a foreign country.

54. Watch a documentary about a person you’ve never heard of.

55. Think about someone you like the least in your life—-list the reasons. Become empathetic about them, relate them to yourself.

56. A message in a bottle- what’s the message??

57. Draw a picture of the inside of your home. What do you notice that you hadn’t before??

58. Sketch a picture of your lovers face….and all their quirks.

59. Write a paragraph about meeting a lonely, wealthy woman.


61. Write about a person with (who is, or isn’t) wearing a lot of HATS.

62. Buy a plant- make a water can with positive affirmations, the plant being watered- is a symbol for YOU.

63. Bake a DECADENT dessert—- eat most of it.

64. Design a tattoo.

65. Make recycled art out of an old book, music—cd inserts, sheet music, etc. and a magazine.

66. Make something while visualizing dancers. Where is the peak—when they all dance in unison??


68. A children’s story—-with a very CLEAR moral at the end.

69. On 10 sheets of paper write the first 10 words that come to mind—-throw them in a hat, draw them at random—-in the order they’re drawn, make something with those 10 words, in that order.

70. Write a lullaby.

71. Put one of your creative projects from this box on YouTube- from start to finish, edit the video with the music.

72. Make a meal with puff pastry in it. Try not getting frustrated.

73. Make a 4 course dinner- with drink pairings. Do your research.

74. Work by candlelight.

75. Take a picture of your WORST physical attribute, write a love letter to it.

76. Plan an adventure one month from today.

77. Write about losing a button…..

78. Start with the lyrics FIRST.

79. Get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel all ooey gooey inside.

80. Go see belly dancers. Smoke hookah.

81. Sing along to karaoke, itunes, whatever- for 40 minutes.

82. Do only vocal exercises.

83. Read about Michaelangelo.

84. Leave a book on a park bench with a note…..say something that will inspire someone else.

85. Write a verse with the name of a city in it.

86. Write a chorus about what happened an hour ago.


88. Pick a phrase that means, FINITO!! FINISHED!! COMPLETE! PERFECCTTTT!

89. Consider Royalty——-……….write down the first phrase you think of.

90. RAW.

91. Plan an adventure for next weekend.

92. Write about not getting an ANSWER.

93. Go to an international bakery; Italian, French, Spanish.

94. Book a foodie walking tour. If you can’t afford it—-make your OWN foodie tour, try something new from 5 different places——even if it’s street food.

95. Write about a Fortune Teller.

96. Make a self portrait.

97. Go people watching for 2 hours- write down everything that strikes you.

98. Fortune favors the BRAVE.

99. Stand with your shoulders rolled back and your head held tall all day. Remind yourself that you’re PROUD of who you are when you start to slump.

100. Trade one vice for another. What creative rhythm is involved with HAVING that vice?

101. Write an outline of what “Community” means to you- how are you going to build yours?

…..102. Write 20 Original Ways to Remove a Creative Block…..CIRCULATE THE IDEAS, GO!