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