Leo Babauta's Zen Habits is a book that saved me. At least creatively it saved me.
The book teaches to take one simple action a day, and develop that action over a month until it becomes a habit. By practicing one habit at a time, Leo lost a ton of weight, stopped smoking, got out of debt, and changed his entire universe.
While navigating through a 6 month editing process on a documentary where I felt that my creativity could not be expressed, I sat in my local starbucks and read Zen Habits daily.
I found a way out of the stagnation.
I picked up a marker, I drew an alien. I posted it on a Tumblr. I told no one.
The drawing itself was crap, but it unleashed a floodgate of creative expression. I posted another. And another.
I posted a crude doodle while sitting in an editing suite cutting a doc that was under constant review. Sketching out dinosaur aliens and UFO cats became a welcome activity, and I couldn't give a rip what others thought.
My doodles grew, and grew, and all that blocked child-like creativity that was in me spewed onto the page. I ended up teaching workshops on doodling, I befriended other doodle artists, and we produced a festival of doodles.
And that process-- doing one simple action a day, not caring what others think, and doing it for a month-- helped me to eek out some life into a dying documentary, informed my filmmaking, and is helping me to write this very blog post now.