Ask the readers: unblocking creativity



Here on Dex Diva I am fascinated by creativity and it’s place in our lives, businesses and, of course, blogs. This week, the wonderful people at Behance featured a blog piece on the top 5 creativity killers, something I will be following up in more detail later right here on Dexterous Diva.

Releasing our imagination and creativity leads to innovation and new opportunities, and the creative process is something I walk through on my e course to help blog writers refresh their brain cells and come up with new ideas.

I asked some of the lovely alumni of Idea Generation and Creativity for Bloggers to let me know how they got on, and the answers have been lovely to read.

The #newdiva365 challenge is something I encourage course attendees to take part in, and it is all about doing something new every day, even just a tiny tweak to change your path and later your mindset.

Bob Brotchie, from Anglia Counselling writes:
#newdiva365: This idea fits in beautifully with my ideology of maintaining a ‘mindful’ approach to life and living. It is also something I ask many of my clients to consider also within a therapeutic or coaching process in order to avoid the dreaded mind-chatter, or ‘monkey-mind’.

I use a technique so simple, but perhaps less of a discipline embraced within #365. I consider the mundane ‘automatic’ actions we undertake each day and consider some of them in much greater detail, using all five senses. e.g. when brushing teeth, consider the taste, texture, smell, sounds and what the foam in the mouth looks like. Whilst considering these points alone, you cannot reasonably be anywhere else with your mindless chatter and ruminations. This can be used for getting dressed, driving, and number of things where we allow our minds to wander. When we have practised this for a while, we create quieter periods of thoughts…and this allows for creative thoughts to bubble up!

In my blog creativity, this had never been a problem until more recently when I appeared to have ’emptied’ my recollective repertoire! In looking at things in a new way, approaching the challenges in new ways as offered by your blogging and creativity course I was able to re-energise and overcome ‘blocks’ more reasonably.

Mindmeister, Evernote and  the book, recommended by you, “The Creative Habit” – Twyla Tharp, helped me along with this new approach enormously. I’m now considering how best to engage the creative image aspect you recently wrote and shared about! ”


Thanks Bob – I love this notion of mindfulness in everyday tasks leading to those illumination moments, and I have a post on that coming up soon.

Deirdre Thackray’s reply was also really exciting:
“As a first thought it certainly helped me achieve minor lift off of an idea I’ve had for quite a while – the resulting website/blog is still being put together but I’m managing a bit every few days so soon, soon… I did however manage to write a piece for my existing blog (, including pics (sounds like nothing, I know, but I’ve avoided much in the way of pics) that was quite different to my usual jottings.

And it occurs to me that your creativity advice also kickstarted something else in me, leading to me to apply for and be offered a place on the West Yorkshire Playhouse ‘So You Want To Be A Writer’ programme for fledgling playwrights. Tonight’s my first night on the course so nerves are jangling a tiny bit, but I’m proud of having got this far – now to try and actually write a play!”

I am so thrilled that the e course has led to some new opportunities of exploration for Deirdre, and can’t wait to hear how she gets on.

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people” – Leo Burnett

Emma Northcott says:

“First of all I would like to say a big thank you for creating this e blogging course, I am enjoying every moment of it.
In 2010 I started blogging because I thought it was the done thing when running your own business. And although it started off well after a few weeks I stopped enjoying it and it just felt like another thing I had to do on my ever growing list of jobs. Then I found I had could not think of any thing new to write about. So just left it go stale then picked it up a few months latter because I felt guilty for not writing any posts. Any way this went on for a few years and I even changed blogging host from blogger to word press thinking that would help but the same thing continued.
But then my brother introduced me to you on twitter just at the same time you started advertising the blogging e course. And I thought what the hell lets give this a go not thinking I would get much out of it. But from day one I have been hooked.I feel this is because you have started right back at the beginning with tips on how firstly to find your creativity but then on how to keep that creativity flowing so the river never dries up. I have also found it useful to draw a mind map about my self and dig deep at looking at what knowledge I already have and the interests that I am passionate about.

From doing the mindmap I changed my blog from a business blog to a blog about my journey as a parent and my design work all rolled into one, which makes me feel a lot more comfortable in my blog and now my blog feels like my home rather than a meeting I really don’t want to go too.

mommyemu blog

With all that I can not for get to mention how great the tips on organizing your blog is. For example having Google collect the information you are interested in and send it to your email box and creating a folder in your email box for all things blog related so in your 15 min of research bites you have all the information to hand and you are not wasting those precious minutes searching for light bulb moments. Let alone all the apps I can now use, so I can be more pro active when I am away from the laptop to jot down ideas or start writing a blog. (Which I must say takes me ages due to my dyslexia).

I must say as a women running a busy household, working from home it is hard to grab that little time for your self to find your inner flow. But I think you idea of creating a artist date is fantastic. I have decided to use my Wednesday morning when my youngest is at pre school s my for an extra hour as my artist date time. My husband laughed when he read the calendar yesterday and on every Wednesday morning under my name it say “Date with the inner artist” then the place I am going to go so either a gallery, cafe or a one morning workshop to learn a new craft.

I can not express how excited I am about everything and how that inner fire, which had totally been blown out is now light and burning brightly and will be for a long time to come.
This course is simple let effective, does not take up a huge amount of time and not only gives you the ground work skills but also enables you to keep going back to things if you feel at any time you need to reset and start again to build on the creativity we all have in side us.”

I am so thrilled that the course has had such great impacts on the blogs, and even lives, of the readers. 

So, your turn:
What blocks do you find that hinder your creativity?
I would love to feature you and your creative blocks in the form of suggestions in the blog post coming up. Let me know in the comments and lets have a group chat right here!

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso

Don’t forget, you can join these guys on their creative journey here.



Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!