We hope your workplace isn’t like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, but when you are having trouble with a creative block, Lewis Carroll’s famous tale may have some good advice for you:

  • “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Of course, it turned out there was no answer to this riddle, but setting yourself a nonsense question to ponder can get your mind out of a rut and into a more creative place.
  • “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” There’s a lot to be said for doing something—anything—to get your process started. Finishing has a lot to be said for it, too. Remember your first draft doesn’t have to be good; it’s always easier to edit than to write the first draft.
  • “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Setting short-term goals, even just for the next hour or two, can break your project up into manageable pieces that are easy to complete.
  • “Yes, that’s it! It’s always tea time.” Take breaks. Counterintuitive as they seem, even fifteen or twenty minutes of doing something different can give you a great idea of what to do next.
  • “It was much pleasanter at home.” A change of scene can do you a world of good, especially if your office walls are closing in. If you have the option, go work outside, at a coffee shop, or even in your living room.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” It will if you let your mind and your body make a new path.

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative