Any of us who labor in Literary vineyards know that writing isn’t always easy. We may love what we do, but sometimes, getting our motors going just isn’t that easy. daily distractions, low energy, a plot problem, lack of confidence — any of these can slow us down and make us question the sanity and success of the work we do. Expending tons of mental energy can make us feel unequal to the task at hand. Hillary Hutchinson is a change coach and professional organizer (www.transitioning your life). Recently, she wrote a short online article for the site Where Writers Win in which she gave five simple suggestions for jump starting your writing if you’re feeling stuck:
1. Write: Tackle the blank-page syndrome head-on by getting something, anything down on paper. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t worry about whether it’s or even good, just get something down. Forget about getting it perfect, just get it on the page.
2. Have Fun: Sometimes we need to rekindle our sense of play and enjoyment about the writing game. One way to do this is mind mapping: creating a free-form, stream-of-consciousness visual the captures key ideas in a loose, creative format. Hillary also suggests playing with different writing vehicles. lassoing your thoughts in a poem or screenplay — a format that you don’t generally use — can also have energizing and perhaps even surprising results.
3. Care for yourself: Don’t isolate yourself. Since writing is a solo discipline, balance your work sessions with social activities that you enjoy. Don’t skimp on sleep, healthy food, or exercise — these aren’t luxuries says Hillary, they’re “writing aids.” Daydreaming when you’re not at your desk is a great way to re-energize and boost your alpha waves.
4. Can the Critic: Take the high road and make it a point to give yourself positive feedback for the work you’ve accomplished rather than focusing on what still needs to be done. Instead of berating yourself or worrying about what you’ve left hanging, just remind yourself that you’ll be back at your desk soon and you can pick up anything that’s unfinished then.
5. Keep regular hours: instead of thinking of writing as an occupation apart, treat it like any other kind of work. Write for a set period of time each day, then stop. says Hillary: “Having a regular writing schedule will let you relax the ‘I have to get this done’ voice. By stopping, you give your brain chemicals a chance to rebuild so it will be easier when you do go back to work.”
And write on!