Changing Tools

We do get into grooves. Some might say ruts, if they’re feeling grumpy, or cruel. But while the advantage of a groove is feeling the flow or at least extra productive, the downside is feeling removed or shallow.

What might help is a trick that’s helped me in the past: change the tools you use for your creation. Different implements and even methods of making can kick you out of the same well-worn track.

Switch it up. Play guitar left-handed for a day if you’re a righty. Use a pencil and notepad if you usually write on a laptop. If you paint, do what an insightful professor made me do when he saw I was being way too careful and timid applying paint and brushstrokes: paint an entire portrait using only a 2-inch brush.

New ways of physical making can spark new insights and ideas. Stay out of the ruts.