I’m stuck. Now what?



I had an assignment: create a one-sheet that a client can use to sell their product. No problem. As a designer and writer, I’ve created thousands of sell sheets over the span of my (very long) career.

Well, no problem until I sat down to actually do it. Uncharacteristically, I couldn’t even come up with the first word. So I placed their logo on a blank InDesign document – and while I would never start a project like this at design, I thought it would somehow jumpstart my brain into action. Yeah. Not so much.

More coffee. Maybe I just needed more morning coffee. This was clearly just a stall tactic. Next.

Inspiration. Yes, that was it. And what better place than my Twitter feed? Someone is always posting cool stuff there. I did find a few articles that I read with great interest. I retweeted several things that fall into the “inspirational” category. And tweeted this as a bit of an apology to my followers for the inspiration-overload so early in the morning:

Deep down, I knew the only thing that would help. But I have so many deadlines, how could I stop and go for a bike ride? The question really was: how could I not?

So, of course, I did.

I was immediately in my favorite spot: my bike saddle. Did you know that it’s a scientific fact that it takes exactly 63 pedal strokes to clear your mind of clutter?

Before long, I started to see words and images that while not exactly translatable to my current project, spark ideas. Type, color, people, impressions – all these city images that have helped me solve creative problems over the years – surrounded me.

The sign, posted above, caught my eye. There was a word there that I didn’t understand in this context: “drainage”?? But it must mean something to their customer. It’s not a fancy, professionally produced sign, but it must work for them. And as any good marketer knows, that’s exactly what matters.

There’s a stretch of Clark Street where small shops sell purses, jewelry, and really, really tight, stretchy, brightly colored pants. And there’s a woman who’s out there every day, selling refreshments from her cart. Why choose this location? She must know that these bargain-hunters will need something to quench their thirst after an intense shopping spree.


When I returned home, I discovered that a friend had brought me some old black-and-white film. Score! I quickly dug out my old Minolta from the back of my closet. I haven’t shot film in such a long time. I no longer have access to a dark room, so I’ll have to patiently wait to see what develops (pun intended).

I wonder how he knew I needed that film yesterday? The universe certainly works in mysterious ways.


– Suzanne

Enjoy Your Ride
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6 Responses to “ I’m stuck. Now what? ”

  1. Daniel on July 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I like it.

  2. raymond on July 28, 2014 at 3:02 am

    I’m stuck, I want to complete my blog “My Daily Banana”, but for the life of me I can’t get my thoughts together. “Thoughts” that’s the part that is crippling my mind, it’s a part of my blog where I write about what I’m up to, been to, going to, want to. I should try your method, but then reading about your blockage has picked me up already.
    Thanks Suzanne

  3. Eric Hutchins on July 24, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I do my very best thinking on my bike seat. Unfortunately I forget most of it as soon as I take off my bike shoes.

  4. Darryl (@lovingthebike) on July 18, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Yes, the universe works in amazing ways….and getting yourself into a positive vibration during your bike ride helped make it happen. Fantastic post as always, Suzanne.

  5. Bob on July 18, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Great post; sometimes just to get up and move around will help clear the mind.

  6. gswbike on July 18, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Great post as always. I didn’t understand what “Drainage” is/was either, but thought it was just me. I really did love that film, but like you no longer have access to a darkroom. My darkroom is packed in the away in the attic since we moved 3 years ago. No place to set up in this house. I agree with you, “The universe does work in mysterious ways”.


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