Note: The following is a guest post from Doron Hefeitz.
I’ve been a professional jeweler and a creative designer for many years. One of the things that are perhaps the most challenging about being a creative artist is having to constantly come up with new design ideas, sometimes on a daily basis. While there are a few lucky people who never run out of new ideas, most of us will have our good days and our bad days. When you have a tight schedule and you cannot think of a good idea, things can get pretty nerve wrecking.
Over the years, I’ve developed a few techniques to help me overcome such dry spells of creativity. The technique that I use the most is automatic writing.
About Automatic Writing
As far as I know, automatic writing was invented by the surrealists as a means to help them try to tap into the subconscious and use it in their writing and poetry.
The principle is very simple, you write continuously and without stopping, without conscious thought and without self censorship. While a lot of the outcome of automatic writing may be considered as drivel, it can sometimes produce gems in the form of ideas you have never suspected you may come up with.
How Automatic Writing can help you Overcome Creative Obstacles
Bear in mind that I am recommending a technique that works for me personally and you may need to develop your own variation in order to be successful.
When I do automatic writing, I write for about twenty to thirty minutes, trying to work continuously and without taking a break. Once I finish, I come up with about five hundred to one thousand words, depending on how fast and furious I was on that particular day. I like to do that in the mornings and then come back to the text only in the evening hours. Once I re-read what I have written in the morning, I erase the nonsensical parts, which normally are about thirty to sixty percent. The remaining text almost always contains interesting ideas, not necessarily visual ideas, but things that make me think about taking certain directions in my design, such as childhood memories, certain historical styles and so forth.
When I come back to the workshop on the next day, I always have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do next.
I’m sure you will be able to develop your own variation of automatic writing to help you keep your creative juices flowing. This is something that has worked for generations of writers and artists and it is also fun and almost always leads to unexpected results.