A USEFUL READ FOR ALL WRITERS
Yesterday I had a ponder about where I am at, eight months into my writing life. I was listening to the inner gremlins and believing what they said and was feeling very down about the lack of commitment and writing I have managed this August.
What we have to realise is failures are just set backs and they happen to every writer. We are unlikely to experience a writing life without rejection, we can change the way we respond to such things to keep our motivation high and to guarantee we don’t tread water or give up.
I spent Friday researching (my way of feeling better about not writing), I watched some TED talks and video clips of famous best selling authors talking about their craft. Many mentioned set backs. Something familiar to all of us.
Instead of allowing the inner gremlins to get a hold of me any further I concentrated on turning my thoughts around.
I am not writing this month, however I stepped back to January and mentally logged all the success and writing that wouldn’t even exist if I hadn’t woken up and fed my starving creative spirit to begin with.
INNER THOUGHTS I WILL SHARE WITH YOU
Where there is bad there is always good, for every gremlin that calls out retorts there is a writing warrior to combat them. With thoughts alone I hushed them. (At this point I feel it necessary to point out I am not actually hearing voices, I refer to the thoughts we all have during writing or resting from writing. The monsters inside us that try to kybosh whatever project or dream we have set our heart on.)
- Spend energy on writing instead of wallowing.
- Make the change. Be the change. Own it.
- Allow yourself time away from writing. Rest is important for creativity to thrive.
- I can make it happen and I will. BELIEVE.
- Give your overloaded mind a break.
JUGGLING WRITING AND LIFE
I read many articles yesterday which seemed to answer the questions I was thinking, including a scientific article about how our brains work. It is a neurological proven fact that we compartmentalise our thoughts. Normally we can manage 7 simultaneous thoughts – when we are stressed this is reduced to only 5… as most of my days are filled with at least this many thoughts about the house and my working future it is no small wonder that I am currently struggling to write anything down!
The advice is the same wherever I look, if you are tired ‘take a break!’ allow yourself permission to down tools.
Sometimes you can no longer juggle – you have to put the balls down to wipe your hands (and brow)!
MOVING FORWARD (without a pen in hand)
Consider all your successes.
Concentrate on these – they are positive and will hush your negative gremlins. Mine include;
writers I have met, friends I have made, websites I have found, opportunities for submission, expanding my knowledge, training in genres, participating in online courses, influences and inspiration I have discovered.
And here are some tips I have picked up for moving on from this BLOCK.
- Focus on the process of writing rather than the result. (This will take the pressure off.)
- Take a break, allocate some time away from writing, but make sure you return.
- Don’t give up!
- Declutter your writing space. (Cluttered space, cluttered mind.)
MY (GENTLE) RETURN TO WRITING PLAN
If you are suffering set backs, blocks or a lack of motivation – make a plan. ‘There is no beginning too small.’ Here’s mine.
- Cultivate my inspiring angel voice – the writing warrior inside me who can tell the writing gremlins to shut up. Dispel negative thoughts by turning them around (like a battery has a positive and negative end – so too do my thoughts!)
- Create a daily writing habit (something I have abandoned) this can be as simple as 10 minutes a day of journal/ freewriting in a notebook, you don’t even need to get out of bed!
- Start loving your writing and the process of writing again.
- Don’t give up! Giving up will only make you feel worse.
- Be gentle on yourself.