We’ve all been there: Hit those moments in our writing when we feel confused and upended, agitated and frustrated. When moments like this happen, we can plunge into them with both feet and find ourselves in hot water creatively — unable to find our way out of the darkness into the light because we’re feeling too stressed and negative.
Or, we can choose the other path — the one that sets us on the road back to where we want to be: the path of peace. How can we shift from agitation and confusion to being at peace with where we are in the moment? Here are a few approaches I’ve found helpful:
Note where you are: Name the feelings you’re experiencing — confusion, agitation, frustration — whatever they are. But instead of identifying with them, create a little distance by saying to yourself, “Agitation is being known,” or “Ah, agitation is like this.”
Allow yourself to be there: What you resist persists. Instead of resisting where you are, bring a spirit of relaxed awareness to your feelings of confusion or frustration. See them as clouds, not bricks: Don’t let them weigh you down, let them float through you.
Trust yourself: Have faith in your process and your efforts. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and just rest in the awareness that the answer you need is waiting for you. Gently say to yourself, “It will come to me” — and then just wait and listen. See what silence brings you.
Play around: Sometimes the best way to loosen things up is to play. Instead of feeling angsty, have some fun. Doodle or fill in the page of one of those intricate coloring books. Or opt for free writing: just sit and let words pour out of you without worrying about whether they have any connection to the project you’re working on. Keep going for fifteen minutes without stopping and see what you’ve come up with. Chances are there will be a kernel of something you can use.
Getting stuck happens to all of us. Being at peace with that reality can be one of the least stressful ways to get unstuck. How about you? any techniques you use to calm and refocus yourself? I’d love to hear about them. Write on!