Writers block attacks the best of us and usually at the worst times, it seems to occur when you’re an hour out from deadline. Having been a part of the writing industry for seven years, I’ve had my fair share of writers block and consider it to be my greatest enemy. Through trial and error, I’ve mastered the following steps for overcoming this hault in progress and executing (in my eyes) excellent work.
Some people think of journaling as a device to bestow your deepest darkest secrets, these journals have locks and tiny little keys, that’s not what I’m talking about. At all times, I have a journal with me. In my purse, my car, my bedside table, etc. The amount of fascinating people and exotic places that cross our paths are stories waiting to be written. It could be a sign I passed while biking, an amusing statement from a conversation, an excerpt from a book or knowledge from a show. These items are encouraging and offer brilliance in times of need. If you’re ever reading through my work and notice a tinge of british slang, know that I’ve been watching Downton Abbey.
When your mind is feeling lazy, your body is feeling lazy. Embarking on a jog around the neighborhood or calming yoga will restart your creative engines. An hour-long Bikram yoga class or 10 mile run isn’t necessary, even five minutes of simple movement will do. It’s proven that those who exercise while working have a higher productivity rate than others, a more cheerful outlook, and produce stronger products. This seems like a win / win to me. I’ve got a quick 5 minute yoga sequence that interferes beautifully with writer’s block, I encourage you to find your form of workout and incorporate it into your day. You’ll be amazed at how free your mind becomes after a bit of movement.
It’s customary for me to read 3-4 books at one time. I have my beach side literature, industry related books (yoga and writing inspired) and self help readings. It’s paramount to remain educated; those who don’t learn, don’t succeed. It’s the books I’ve read that have influenced some of my greatest writings and it’s the moments I’ve experienced between the flaps that pull me out of heinous writer’s block. My friends from Deliverance Dane, will forever live in my yoga journal and the experiences those folks were challenged with, will be shared with my students. Take the time to respect your peers; you’re a writer, see what other writer’s are up to, allow them to strengthen your work.
Well this sounds fun, right? Tending to your surroundings leads to the purification of your atmosphere as well as your mind, it’s amazing how the two correlate. Stuck in that writers rut? Grab some cleaning products and gloves and pay some respect to your desk. Go ahead, take everything off of your desk and give it a good scrubbing, clear out the junk and start over with a fresh slate. It’s difficult to work in the presence of chaos, as physical turmoil causes personal turmoil. Writers tend to work in the midst of mess, and that’s ok, just not all the time.
Are none of the above working for you? Maybe it’s time to practice meditation. My meditation sessions last no longer than 30 minutes and it’s a beautiful anti-venom to the little laptops that run our lives. Here’s what you do, find a tranquil spot in your house, one that’s preferably not tainted with kid toys, laundry and daunting to do lists. Sit in a comfortable position with eyes either open or closed and set an intention for your meditation. Often times, mine is to clear my head, be in the present and love myself. Take some deep and calming breaths and enjoy this moment you’ve given yourself. You’ll come out revived and in a completely different state of mind, which is what we need after a treacherous case of writers block.