Do you remember when your writing was going well?
Thoughts were pouring out of your head so fast your fingers could hardly keep up. You were in the zone. Your fingers were flying across the keyboard—words, sentences, paragraphs, pages upon pages of inspiration was falling out and you’d caught it all. And then, came that beautiful moment after the flood, tired hands resting on the keyboard and you thought…WOW! Where did that come from? That was awesome. I am BRILLIANT.
As a writer, there is nothing more exhilarating when inspiration is flowing. The brain adrenaline high is fantastic. But, unfortunately, much like after eating copious amounts of sugar, it can followed by a crash; when future sessions at your desk are a little light on the brilliance and heavy on the crap.
Bring Back the Brilliance
When you find yourself smack in the middle of a creative drought, there are days when you are ‘tasked,’ and I do mean tasked with writing—it becomes a chore to pull out the words. So, what do you do? You venture online…check the weather 4 times an hour, peruse Lainey Gossip for the latest update on Baby Sussex and then you pop on YouTube to find yourself some chakra cleansing, meditative, stress relieving music to put yourself back in the zone. Does it work?
I’d love to say yes! every time I’m in a rut all it takes is a weather update, some inspirational music and a hit of pop culture, but I’d be lying. The reality is more of a two-part answer.
Tackling the Big Stuff
Sometimes, these writing ruts will last a few hours, days or longer. Regardless, of the duration they are painful. To help pull yourself out of these biggie droughts the most important thing is to…BE KIND TO YOURSELF. We are not kind to ourselves. We kick ourselves when we’re already down. We curse our lack of brain power. We heap on the pressure to try and get the creative flow going. These cruel knocks aimed at our resting creative spirit do nothing for productivity in fact, they hamper it.
Three Steps to Get Out of that Rut
OMG…thanks for that?!!!??? (not). How the heck am I supposed to be kind to myself? My response is this...may I recommend the following 3 steps to self-kindness:
Step#1: Add a little sunshine. To create a little joy and reduce the stress in your life try to incorporate as many of the following elements—spend time outdoors, pretty-up your work space with flowers or something that makes you smile, exercise, eat well, free write, listen to music, dance, read, talk with other artists, attend a community theatre performance, host an artist talk, join a book club, listen to other artist’s podcasts and TED talks. This step should be ongoing. The key is to feed your happiness which in turn fuels your creativity.
Step#2: Give yourself a mantra. Mine is…I am. I can and I will. Place your mantra on your desk. It doesn’t have to be framed; it can be as simple as a yellow post-it-note—as long as this little reminder is located somewhere you can see it everyday. Kick start your day by saying your mantra out loud firmly 3 times. Still not feeling it? Write out your mantra 10 times. Frequency of saying/writing will help you believe in yourself and your abilities.
Step #3 Shut down that pesky little voice that’s dragging you down. Catch your negative thoughts as they fall out and reframe them as an affirmation. For example, turn This writing is terrible, why do I even bother? into Everything I write will not be brilliant but this is great practice. The brilliance will come. The more you do this the easier it gets. Reframing your mindset injects positivity which in turn lifts you up.
The art of practicing self-kindness is a process and once you dig in your writing mojo will come back. You will be in the zone and your fingers will once again be flying across the keyboard.
What helps you get out of a creative funk?
Activist, World traveller. Fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.