This is the moment you breathe. In. Out. Lift the pen and try again to realize the deep secrets of your mind. The thing that makes it tick when your fingers move seamlessly over the keyboard or paper. Maybe that’s it…you just have to change what you’re writing on. Too much screen time isn’t good for you now is it? It blocks the flow and flow is everything when it comes to creativity. Breathe again…and soon have five crumpled up pieces of paper by the bin. They look destitute, they are not rejects in the common creative sense. Usually those are full of ideas that you perceive to be ludicrous in a fit of rage but these papers mock you. They’re empty save for a few frustrated scribbles and rips where the force of the pen ripped through. This isn’t like you. Aren’t you supposed to be creative? Breathe again.
This happens to the best of us. That annoying demon called “Writer’s Block” that seems to kill our muse. Often times coming up at moments when we need it the least (as if we ever need it at all). The most frustrating thing about this is that even though it happens to the best of us, one can never really pinpoint what causes it. And due to that one can never truly have a solution for all to how to deal with it ans resurrect the muse.
But there are some basic mental aspects we can look into that may help us during these dire times of mental strain. Here are a few steps one can take when dealing with “Writer’s Block”.
- Identify The Times When Writer’s Block Happens the Most
We are creatures of habit meaning that in most situations we react similarly to certain triggers. If one does not like spiders then one will scream or squash the spider when they see regardless of whether the spider is a spider monkey, tarantula etc. Do you experience writer’s block after a fight with a loved one? When you’re hungry? When you’re writing instead of binge-watching an entire season of Netflix? There may be many triggers to writer’s block and some(especially Netflix) will have to consciously be eliminated to keep the writer brain inspired.
- Are You In Your Writer’s Position?
Many YouTubers such as “bestdressed” have been releasing videos about how to remain productive while working at home. Many of them commented that some of the ways that they remain inspired is through waking up, doing their bed, taking a bath and not working from the bed. But let’s be honest, creatives often rebel against such basic forms of creative expression. What we need to do is to find our sweet spot. The place and routine that makes us most productive. I realized that working from a desk for me ruined my attention span and made me blank out multiple times a day. I found that I became much more productive in bed after taking a bath and making myself up which was my sweet spot. I also worked in short 15-30 minute productive bursts instead of trying to force myself to concentrate for hours on end.
- Are You In Writer Land?
The reason why there are so many writing residencies is because we can universally acknowledge that certain places breed more creativity than others and proximity to other creatives inspired one to work as well. One of the biggest fresh bursts of breath I ever had was taking a Life Righting (yes, not Life Writing) retreat with Dawn Garisch in Cape Town, South Africa. The place was near the beach and many quaint restaurants. There community was vibrant and flowing with life and I wrote some of my deepest pieces there. The idea of just going to a different place puts your brain in a different model and makes you see things in a different way. Perhaps the only thing that you need to change is the photo on your cellphone keypad.
Breathe again. Now we’ve read through that and we can try again on our laptop or paper. That wasn’t so bad. One doesn’t need a thousand life tips to get them in the mood for some work. Perhaps now we’ll get some ideas flowing.