Writer’s Block, Creative Block, whatever you call it — it ain’t fun.
Eventually, it starts to feel hopeless. No photo you take matches your vision. No sentence you write feels, well, right.
So you look up the solution, hoping to come across the magic formula somewhere on the internet, and you come across millions of lists called “Guide to Overcome Writer’s Block” or something similar. They all contain tips of how to amp up your daily writing routine.
Write the opposite of what you normally would!
Do you write depressing stuff? Try writing something happy!
Or if you write happy stuff usually, write something sad!
Go to a cafe for a change of scenery!
Set a timer and do a conscious flow to see how many words you can write and, like reading tea leaves, if you might be able to interpret the verbal gobbledeegoop on the page after 5 minutes!
Before we get down and dirty, let me establish that:
- I have always been prone to Writer’s Block
- I have looked up (and followed) guides like these so many times it’s impossible to count
- None of the suggestions on the guides have ever worked for me.
In fact, these “tips” have anti-worked for me.
Cafes? Out of the question. The maximum I can get down is, like, 100 words. If I don’t have headphones, drop that number to zero. I’m way too sensory and there are too many distractions in public places (unless I’ve had enough alcoholic beverages to enhance the voice in my head and tone down the noises of other humans).
And timers? Forget it. All I can think about are the numbers ticking backward and it feels like a bomb’s about to go off.
People like me must be a lost cause, right?
Of course not!
On Patreon, we’ve already gone over how “productivity schedules” are generally gimmicks. They’re disastrous for my creative life, but with all of the readily-available “guides” claiming to help me overcome creative ruts not doing that at all, I’ve had to dig deeper to the root of the issue: why am I in a rut in the first place?
Here’s what I’ve learned.
We’ve talked a lot about this root reason in our Patreon Family: ruts happen when there’s a disconnect between our mind (or heart) and our body.
Job rut? Your physical job is totally unfulfilling to your mind.
Writer’s rut? Your fingers are typing something that isn’t aligned with what your mind really wants you to say.
So, how can we fix this disconnect?
A huge mistake I see so many writers making is sticking to only one medium. There’s virtually no experimentation with other forms of art.
It’s like wanting to get in shape but only working out your arms. Of course your legs aren’t getting stronger; you’re not exercising them!
Answer this with another question: how can you let your mind take control of your whole body for a while to switch things up; or, when was the last time you weren’t just a head, but you felt yourself inside your whole body?
- Shut yourself in your room and blast your favorite music. (Or use headphones if you’re scared of making a racket like I am.) Close your eyes and dance it out. It doesn’t matter if it’s in rhythm or if it looks good. Forget about the body. You’re not a body. You’re feeling the music. It’s moving you, literally.
- Walk. With no agenda. Focus on each breath. Each step. Do your best to keep your mind blank to everything except this second.
- Draw. Drawing and doodling work the “connection muscle” between your mind and body. Try a tutorial for whatever level of visual-art-making you’re at. In art school, I spent an entire week just learning about drawing circles, ellipses, and straight lines.
Is this it? Really?
Actually, this is just the beginning.
Getting back on track after being stuck in a creative rut isn’t as easy as following simple steps.
We’re talking about your mind, body, and emotions here, and if you want to make sure you never suffer from falling in a creative rut again, you need to follow along with this series!
In the next posts, which will be available only to members of our Videmus Family on Patreon, we’ll be talking about a few out-of-the-box writing techniques to help you get your page filled up with juicy words again.
We want you to see you there! Click here to join us.