Are You Afraid Of Blank Canvas?
A fun exercise in organ improvisation I teach my students is to take any 4 different pitches (like C-D-E-F or F-A-Bb-C# or any other combination) and create music on the spot for 2 to 10 minutes. There are no other rules than to play non-stop until the timer stops and make it interesting.
A student can play with or without pedals, use any order of those pitches in any octave, rhythm, meter, stop combination, dynamic level and texture. In fact, when you have so few resources (4 notes), it’s good to constantly change things to create interest.
I think this applies to any creative endeavor you are doing right now. You just have to limit your choices. Instead of drawing anything you want, draw using just 4 colors. Instead of writing anything, use just a theme from 4 words.
My organ improvisation students told me this technique saves them from the fear of not knowing what to play or not having a good technique because when you have only 4 notes to work with, it’s easy to control your playing environment.
I believe, this exercise will save you from writers block or a fear of facing a blank canvas.
Try it with your medium and let me know what you think.