In the world of hypnosis there is a basic principle referred to as the Law of Reversed Effect. Everyone has had the experience of being told not to do something, only to have their desire to engage in the prohibited behavior increased. Parents are well aware of this phenomenon as it comes to wrangling toddlers.
When we are in a hypnotic trance we tend to think very simply and very concretely. If for instance I gave you the suggestion entrance that your nose does not itch, and reinforced this suggestion several times, your attention is drawn to the itch that doesn’t exist ( if you are feeling a little mischievous you might try this trick on a friend without any hypnotic techniques at all).
When you find yourself with a case of writer’s block you are very vulnerable to this natural paradox, telling yourself that you have to get back into your imagination––right now!, and it better be something really special! It’s very similar to the insomniac telling him or herself to go to sleep––now!
It just doesn’t work to force yourself to relax; to force yourself to be funny; or, to force yourself to be free and creative with your imagination. You need to let go of demand in order to be engaged in your creative process. Just let go!
The first thing to do when bumping into writer’s block is to move immediately into an exercise to engage your imagination. This may be through playing, taking a nap, or experimenting with a hypnosis tool. We encourage you to try some of the tools here to see how that works for you.