Years ago I took some screenwriting courses at UCLA. I have had a lot of school, but one of the toughest assignments I ever had to do was to write a treatment for a movie script - without having any story in mind whatsoever. I had writer’s block before I had even started! Most writers know of a famous book called Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande (1893-1948). It is a classic, and deals with how to overcome writer’s block. Later, I learned that I also face the same problem when retouching photos.
Children have no trouble with creativity and having a vivid imagination. But as they mature, this is lost as a bunch of rules are learned. An adult will tell you a dot on a blackboard is exactly that. A child might tell you that is what a bird sees when flying over a telephone pole.
Back at UCLA, instructors talked about left brain versus right brain. Left-brain dominant people are logical, methodical and analytical, while creative and artistic types are right-brain dominant. This has since been shown to be a myth. See http://www.livescience.com/39373-left-brain-right-brain-myth.html.
Nonetheless, there are solutions to blocked creativity. For Brande, she scrubbed floors when she had writer’s block. The theory was that the part of her brain that said “No” to everything was the same part now busy with scrubbing floors. Thus occupied, her creative side was now free to spring forth, and writer’s block was a thing of the past.
For me, it is music. I am immensely more creative when listening to music. Dreamlike compositions, copied onto the iPod which is set to Repeat, work best for me. The “editor” part of my brain is occupied listening to music, and the child within me comes out. Currently, my favorite is Nouby Rapture by Mawglee. For those curious to listen to this beautiful piece, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYpZQYd3sNI.