Frustrated By Writer's Block? Jumpstart Your Creativity With This Post (Plus Some Words from MF DOOM)

Wax melting on the eyelids of a dreamer, waning in sleep, quiet in youth, the seal of approval on his lips in a hammock loose in wind near ocean's sands where crabs roam. Mountain men in flannels clutching chickens on horseback across a vast plain where high winds roam. Strings tune. Clouds drift.

Automatic Writing is an exercise pioneered by André Breton & the surrealists who felt that spontaneous writing without self editing more directly expresses the unconscious & subconscious mind in turn leading to creative breakthroughs. 

 "Galatea of the Spheres," 1952, Salvador Dali. Image courtesy of For more info, please visit:

"Galatea of the Spheres," 1952, Salvador Dali. Image courtesy of For more info, please visit:

It tunes us into the rhythmic & musical patterns of language while most importantly unclogging our creative perceptions -- the beauty of a vision can be blurred in a grasping attempt to realize such a vision. Frustration abounds and the creative act becomes riddled with "I should do this" or "A painting must be ____ because of ___ principle with ___ in mind....." ad infinitum. The reasons we create art, and the art we create, may be complex in style or form or symbol or whatever else but the actual act of creation doesn't have to be a puzzle or painful.

Wu wei, or, "not forcing," (go with the flow), is a key idea of Taoism that aptly applies to creative pursuits. Drawing. Beat mixing. Choreographing a dance. To create something is to be both creator and observer leaving the self 'split' between two perceptions. The energies of wu wei and the spirit of the surrealist Automatic Writing exercise both work towards the dissolving of the aforementioned schism in creativity between creator and observer. This Automatic Writing exercise makes for a fun afternoon & is informative whether you are a writer or simply looking for an imaginative charge.

For a few other surrealist exercises for jumpstarting creativity (such as The Exquisite Corpse) check out this article from a website dedicated to understanding the art of creativity:

The way the creativity works for me, it comes like an energy stream or something it comes in waves. You just gotta be ready for the wave when it comes. When it subsides & goes back, that’s when you step back for a second.... there’s no way to really make it happen, you’ve just gotta be ready.
— MF Doom

Recording-artist MF Doom talks about how he deals with writers block at the Red Bull Music Academy Madrid 2011. See more at


Andrew Cheek

Andrew Cheek is the Head Writer and Content Coordinator at Beaumonde. With a background in literature and film, and a taste for half-marathons and Kandinsky, Andrew’s inspirations range from Virginia Woolf to Wes Anderson to Adidas running shoes. You can find Andrew on Twitter and LinkedIn