What Keeps You From Writing?
It seems like ages since I’ve written a blog post. Life has intervened with a great big virtual brick wall. I’ve been busy writing workshop proposals, workshop handouts, urgent e-mails, Life Writers Forum postings, Morning Pages — everything but a blog post.
Other things have also gotten in the way. I urgently needed to clean my desk off and that led to rearranging my office, trashing some files, that sort of thing. Plus, there’s yard work to be done, preparation for a visit from a grandson, you know how all that goes.
You may think it odd that I let other writing get in the way of writing for my blog. Yes, that does seem strange. But it would be no different for someone who wrote reports at work all day to have trouble getting around to writing a lifestory in the evening.
So, what does a person do when it’s been longer than intended between writing sessions? I could wallow in guilt, but (correct me if I'm wrong) I don't believe I have any readers who feel cheated or resentful if I take a couple of extra days off. I do have a personal commitment to maintaining this blog for some time to come, but I’m flexible enough to realize that sometimes a break allows me to return refreshed, and that sometimes life intervenes.
So, what I do is simply sit down and start moving my fingers again. Let the words flow and a blog will take shape, as it’s doing now. If you have been away from your writing, don’t waste time feeling guilty, berating yourself, or moaning. Pick up that pen or get those fingers on the keyboard! Do some free writing to get the pump primed, check your story idea list for a starting point, and get those fingers moving. Words and stories will happen.
What I’m referring to here is not writer’s block, though writer’s block may be a cause. I’m referring to loss of momentum. If it’s that simple, then simply starting to write again will probably be enough to get you back up to speed. If not, check this list of posts about writer’s block, or take a look at these five exercises.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by a stressful schedule that leaves no room for indulging passions like writing, perhaps you need to find ten minutes a day, perhaps in the bathroom, on the bus to work, or some other “sandwich time” and journal some thoughts about your lifestyle and priorities. The thing you are avoiding may be the very thing that can help fit the pieces of your life puzzle together.
Write now: about an experience you have had with blocks to writing and how you overcame them. Or write about the blocks that are keeping you from writing and explore ways of working around them. You are bound to find this experience enlightening and rewarding.