When you are suffering from a creative block, almost any forward creative progress is positive, no matter how small. It is even better when your progress can be turned into something tangible, i.e. an artifact.

An artifact can take any of a variety of forms including a word, a sentence, an image, an outline, a chart or graph, a good article you’ve found, etc. Anything that provides you with a jumping off point for further creative block busting ideas is valuable.

One of my strategic mentors, Bill McDonald, taught me this concept when we'd get bogged down on a strategy project. Often the artifact was simply creating an outline for a business plan or completing a small section of a report. This piece of the ultimate creative output would be enough to provide a sense of progress and rally our enthusiasm to keep plugging away.

It was always surprising how simply have something to see was enough to trigger a second creative wind on project after project.

The next time you hit a creative block, try to lower your expectations, look for a small something that is more achievable than the whole creative project (maybe even something already sitting in the creative trash heap as trash), create it, and use it as your first step to bust your creative block and get to the next step! - Mike Brown

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