There is no shame in admitting that when you are going through hard times it can certainly hinder your motivation and ability to put your best work out there. It can make it hard to achieve anything, especially in writing. You can spend Sunday evening setting out a plan of action for the week ahead. Planning out each day and how you intend to use your time to maximise your levels of productivity and creativity. Then Monday comes around and life gets in the way. The hardships you are facing seem to command your full attention and inhibit your ability to get any work done.
When you are facing a stressful situation and feeling like you are not able to write it can lead us further into self-loathing. Society teaches us that in order to provide something of value you must be happy and joyful all of the time, which we all know just isn’t possible. Nevertheless, you start to think of yourself as lazy and the self-doubts start creeping in which only throws you further into the trap.
When you are dealing with a mental block it can be difficult to see a way out. I often find myself not having the energy to facilitate my perfectionism which can be an exhausting battle. Undoubtedly, it requires a lot of focus on the small steps rather than the end goal. I want to offer some tips based on my own experiences of how you can still contribute to your writing even when it doesn’t feel possible.
Make The Most of The Good Days
When you have a productive day and get into the flow of writing you remember why you started and why you keep coming back. You feel passion for your writing and anything seems possible. Words just fly off the page without much thought. Make these the days where you push yourself a little further or tick an extra few things off the to-do list. It will make you feel less guilty on the tougher days as you can look back on what you have already accomplished. As in the end, it all contributes to the final goal.
If you get to a point where you feel like you can’t face writing today it doesn’t mean you have to give up entirely. By using different resources such as reading, watching videos, starting an online course or listening to podcasts. You are enhancing your skills and finding ways to improve your writing. So much of bettering your writing is done by exposing yourself to the work of others not just through the practice of writing itself.
Write About It
Whether that’s in a journal or on your blog. On the days where everything feels heavy, you will likely do everything you can to resist again writing. Though for me, the main factor of being able to work through difficult times is to write my thoughts down. I recently learned about doing a ‘brain dump’ which I highly recommend everyone to try. It’s a process of writing down anything that comes to mind even if it doesn’t make sense. The practice of getting rid of any mental clutter can help get you back on track to writing sooner than you thought.
Have a Change of Scenery
The routine of writing from the same desk each day is enough to put a blocker on anyone’s creativity. By switching it up every now and again and working from a different location it will make everything feel fresh. A change in your environment can create a spark in your ideas and curiosity and provide you with new energy to bounce off from.
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Carry a Notepad Around
Carrying around a notepad can be beneficial for several reasons. As mentioned above you never know when you might need to journal your thoughts. Also, there is a lot of inspiration for writing to be drawn from our everyday experiences and encounters. By carrying around a notepad you can jot down your ideas and thoughts whenever they spring to mind and don’t have to worry about remembering them for when you next come to write. Often our best ideas come when we least expect them so it’s better to be prepared!
Sometimes you might find all that will help is to put everything down and take a break until a point where your mind is clearer. Let the feelings run their course, talk them out with a friend, journal. Do whatever it takes and be patient with yourself. The important thing is that you don’t force it.
How have you dealt with writer’s block or been able to write through hard times?