Full disclosure: this a brain dump. Raw, and minimally processed.
I want to begin by saying I’m eternally thankful for the ability to write, and to write for The Hot Mess Press is extremely gratifying and a blessing.
But, today, I just don’t feel like writing.
Actually, I’ve been struggling for a few weeks. For more times than I care to count, I’ve sat down at my laptop to write, and nothing of substance came out.
Instead of words flowing from my brain and onto the screen, I’ve sat for hours and stared at a blinking cursor.
I’m stuck. My mind feels like a bowl of jello.
And it’s nothing new. We all go through droughts.
For scribes, there are few things as frustrating as the dreaded writer’s block. It rears its ugly head at the most inopportune times.
There are times when I go into a zone, words come easy, and I wake up to 3,000 words before I realize what’s going on.
It’s the elusive and unpredictable state of flow. A magical and blissful zone where creation happens effortlessly. Unfortunately, once it’s gone, you never really know when it will re-emerge.
I’ve been trying to find my flow state. I’ve been waiting patiently, but it’s just not happening.
For me, I’ve noticed my writing struggles often correlate to uncertainty popping up in some aspect of my life.
With all the recent turmoil in our world, I find myself consuming more news and social media content than usual. In turn, my mind has become stagnant and seemingly void of thought or imagination.
Without a doubt, it’s a consequence of plugging into the 24/7 cycle of news that we are bombarded with these days. It’s got me all out of whack.
How can you create when you just feel so….off?
Action cures anxiety
One of my all-time favorite quotes is “action cures anxiety”. In my experience, it’s 100% true.
When doubt or anxiety pops up in my life, I immediately get moving.
Those who know me know how much I love running. Running is my medicine. But, lately I haven’t even felt like running.
This morning, I woke up with purpose. I vaulted out of bed determined to finish at least one piece of content, no matter what it took.
Again, I sat at my desk for hours with a blank canvas. My frustrations only compounded.
I shut my laptop, laced up my kicks, and hit the pavement.
And, man, I did NOT feel like running. Physically and mentally, I was tired and had zero energy.
However, I knew getting started is usually the hardest part. So I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other.
And guess what happened.
Just half a mile in to my run, I noticed my stress had melted away. Instead of straining for new source material, I thought maybe I’ll just write about not being able to write.
And here we are.
What you resist persists
Not gonna lie, it’s tough coming up with informative and thought-provoking content while dealing with the responsibilities of adulthood, not to mention all the insanity in the world at the moment.
But this sort of thing happens in all walks of life.
Some days, just a single thought of doing work will set off a chain reaction of procrastination. We see a task in front of us that we know we need to complete, but the more we think about it, the more resistance we create.
Willpower can only take you so far.
We tell ourselves things like “I don’t feel like doing this” or “now’s not really a good time”. We find other easy things to do to make us feel like we’re getting stuff done, when all we’re really doing is procrastinating.
What started out as an easily accomplished task eventually transforms into something challenging and formidable. You feel stuck.
For me, whether it be writing, running, or my infinitely-long honey-do list (that somehow continues to grow), I’ve learned that if I can just get started, things usually fall in to place.
You don’t have to feel like doing something in order to do it. I mean, do you ever feel like doing laundry?
No. But it gets done…………….eventually.
If you’ve got a task that you know you need to complete, just start. Whether you feel like it or not.
Just begin. Put one foot in front of the other.
More often than not, once you get moving you’ll find the motivation and energy you need.
You’ll find a formidable task will soon become easy. You’ll get unstuck.
Your to-do list that once looked like a NASA pre-launch checklist will morph into something resembling your old high school algebra test littered with X’s and strike-through’s.
I’d love to keep you here longer. It’s my job to keep you reading the wonderful articles here at The Hot Mess Press. But not now. Right now, you need to go do that thing you’re avoiding.
As for me, I think my writer’s block has been cured.