October 9th, 2011 | by Greg Barker

Dan Brown’s Creative Secret

It’s new and it’s cheap: Hang-Upside-Down-Therapy (HUDT).

Did you know that Dan Brown (of Da Vinci fame) began his career as a singer-songwriter?

I’m not aspiring to be Mr. Brown – but I would love to have even 10% of his creative output.

Recently, he revealed a secret about this output that applies to anyone in the creative arts – including singers.

An interviewer asked Mr. Brown how he overcame his creative blocks.

He answered that he has a bar mounted in his writing room; when the ideas stop flowing he just hangs upside down until he gets his next idea.

In his own words: “You’ve got to hang upside down and think about it from a different point of view. And sometimes it works.”

That’s it.

This made me think about what I do when the ideas start to shrivel up and creative blocks emerge:

Eat more. Sit around feeling slightly depressed. Console myself with profound insights about the particularities of my existential condition. Re-read great books and listen to great music and while lamenting my lack of output…

I have all kinds of weighty ways of carrying (and nursing!) my creative blocks.

But Mr. Brown has got me thinking.

Maybe I can put that heavy block down, engage in some anti-grav techniques and keep pushing forward.

So, if you see me hanging around, you’ll know I’m moving ahead.

-Greg

Greg Barker is the commissioning editor of VoiceCouncil magazine, an author and lecturer. He also likes vocalists.

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