Occasionally, the Conscious Living practice dips into the whoop-de-doo, suggesting that we are all connected and that we are able to create literal miracles in our lives. For those – like me – of an atheist or agnostic persuasion, some of the discussions can veer a bit too close to religion. I try to avoid that, while also sharing concepts that I believe are helpful on a practical level.

While I may or may not believe that humanity is connected to one another at the cosmic level, I do believe that we benefit socially and emotionally when we find connection with other human beings.

In today’s practice exercise, Hendricks suggests turning over a personal problem to the universal intelligence, and trusting that its power will bring you an innovative solution.

See? Whoop-de-doo.

However, this concept has a practical application in writing and creative work.

Every creative person encounters roadblocks in their work. An artist struggles with design or color. A writer creates characters who feel flat or a plot that comes to a halt midway through the journey.

Sometimes, the answer is apparent when we take time to look. We reach into our bag of tricks to shore up a weak spot. Sometimes we overcome the problem with brute force, writing through while ignoring the challenge until a solution comes to mind.

Other times, though, the problem brings us to a halt. We can’t continue because the weakness reveals multiple problems that will arise in the later work. It nags at us. We can’t think of anything else.

When this happens, I have found it helpful to take a break. The problem doesn’t go away; I keep thinking about it, but I don’t try to solve it.

Instead, I let it linger in the back of my mind while I work on other things. I take a reading break, picking books that are not in the genre I’m writing. I’ll pick up some non-fiction, poetry, or plays, or catch up on some movies I’ve missed.

Often, the solution to my problem with come to me when I’m thus distracted. Something in my reading might trigger an idea. A film might suggest an answer. Sometimes, my brain simply needed time to make connections among the elements already existing in my story, which show me a way through the block I’ve created.

Try this approach when you come to a blocking point that you can’t fix. Step away from your current project and make connections with other creative work. Let you mind work on the problem without you. See what happens.