What To Do When You Hit A Wall

Every so often you’re going to hit the wall. No ideas. No hope. No motivation.

There are tons of reasons this happens.

Maybe you’ve worked for days with nothing to show for it…
Or you’ve been incredibly productive, but none of your ideas were accepted internally…
Or you’ve worked for weeks, but none of your ideas were accepted by the client…
Or you don’t believe the brief…
Or you don’t believe in the product…
Or you’re distracted by something else going on in your life.

Whatever the reason, when you hit the wall, you really have two options:

  1. Stop working.
  2. Keep working.

It’s as simple as that. And honestly, either one may be right.

If you’re not cracking it, you’re not cracking it. And sometimes it’s best to step back and let your subconscious hammer things out. Go on a walk. See a movie. Read a book. Just step away from the problem. This has worked for me a number of times.

On the other hand, Phil Dusenberry used to say that when it’s 10:00 PM, and you haven’t had any ideas all day, and you feel like you may as well go home, get some rest and start fresh tomorrow, that’s when you should keep working for just a half hour more. Because you never know. This has also worked for me a number of times.


One thought on “What To Do When You Hit A Wall

  1. Sometimes hitting a wall is just a matter of not taking the next step in the process. Sometimes I’ll force myself to jump ahead, even if I’m not ready–to write a script, even if I don’t really have an idea. Or I’ll make up a fake assignment, like “Write a story that takes place on a submarine with the product.” It’s really just to get me thinking in a different way and get stuff down on paper.


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