Well, I was just reminded of this via writer Cristian Mihai and his recent post about writer’s block, so I thought I’d share this great (albeit simple) problem solver with you: Brian Eno‘s Oblique Strategies! Originally released as a limited edition deck of cards created by Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1975, the idea was that whenever you were stuck (as an engineer or musician) during recording sessions you’d pull one card and follow whatever instructions was presented. Re-released over the years they have become quite a cult item to own, but these days it’s easily available online. I myself was introduced to the cards when The Plastiques were recording in a Copenhagen studio around 2004.
Now, even though they were intended for a specific setting I’ve found that most people busying themselves creatively and hitting the proverbial snag can find something useful here (even though some advice might sound a bit bizarre.) I myself have found that once I start following the instructions I soon find the creative spark ignite and new ideas start to flow – resulting in productivity.
There’s a nice selection of sites offering the cards online, you can try out one here, and lemme know what you think!