About a year ago I bought the notebook “Steal like an Artist” by Austin Kleon. After having done some exercises, I put it in a shelf and completely forgot about it -contrary to the explicit use instructions of the author-, who says, that you should always carry it around and do the exercises regularly. While searching for new inspiration and approaches for my work as a goldsmith, the book suddenly fell into my hands again and I was very surprised to see the exercises I had already done and couldn’t remember at all.
“OK. I’ll try again,” I said to myself and started the next exercise! Cross out the words, until you have written a poem, was the instruction for this new exercise. “I can not do that!”, flashed through my head! And certainly not in English! Somehow I then hang onto the words and took different approaches and went several times mentally in different thematic directions.
At some point, a special combination of words prevailed, and it is hard to believe, at the end of the exercise there was left kind of a poem. This was completely surprising for me, because I had never written poems, except maybe once in school when I was a teenager. Something had happened by staring at the words, as if the words had suddenly come out of the context and made up their own story. I was so excited about this exercise that I decided to carry the notebook around with me from now on.
On this day I went full of energy to my workbench and tried out a technique that I had had in mind a long time, but I had repeatedly postponed. The “playing” with words helped me in other ways to solve my blockage.