Writer’s block, a way back

It’s been three days.

The deadline you’ve made for yourself has come and gone.

The emergency deadline too.writer's block

And you’re still dry. Nothing. Not a word. A blank slate.

Sound familiar? You have a proposal to write, a blog post or a podcast but you can’t think of a thing.

Well, that’s where I was.

I’d done all the usual tricks to find ideas. Spoken to people, done some ‘research’ on social media, aka wasted more time. Read a few articles, listened a podcast, watched a webinar…screamed, yelled…nearly cried.

Still nothing.

Now I’m not a person who gets lost for words often. I always seem to have something to say. And yet there I was struggling to find anything meaningful to put on the page.

That’s it, I said. I’m out of here. Packed up my laptop and headed for the coffee shop. The regulars were there. We started chatting. Another half hour gone.

Then I put my headphones on and some background music. Still nothing.

And that’s when it happened. And I was shocked, to the core.

The song ended on the headphones and the sounds around me were sufficiently blurred so that I couldn’t really hear anything. Except myself. My thoughts. My head.

It was so busy. Flitting around from thoughts of what I needed to get done, to the people I wanted to connect with, to the projects I want to move forward, to the bills I need to pay and the payments that need to come in.

Then I noticed a shift in gear. Thought about home, the message I needed to send to a tutor, the shoes that needed to be bought, the house work left undone, the conversation with my son about getting organized, the teacher/parent meeting.

No wonder I couldn’t write. I could barely breathe.

So that’s where I stared.

I took a deep breathe. I closed my eyes. I began to notice my body. I was so stressed, so tense. My shoulders were aching, my neck stiff. My legs were fidgeting up and down with pent-up energy, my heart raced.

I took some more deep breathes. I scanned every part of my body and told myself to relax; with love, with compassion, with gentle care. My breathing deepened. I moved my head from side to side, stretching my neck and gently massaging my shoulders. I stood and stretched.

I yawned and allowed myself to breathe even more deeply. Then I found a song that I love and I closed my eyes and did nothing but listen to the song all the way through. Then I ordered and ate a bowl of delicious vegetable soup.

When I finished eating (without reading or writing or listening while I ate) I felt more nourished than I had felt in days.

I sat back down at my computer. I had a tiny idea. I began to write. I thought of nothing else. The words came slowly at first. I remained relaxed and focused. After some time, the work was complete.

What a revelation. Presence, quietening my mind. Slowing down the pace. Treating myself well. Becoming aware of my body and releasing the tension.

Not so complicated. Yet so effective.

What about you? How do you get back into creativity?

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