A Three-Step Process to Building Your Writing Routine
How do you get things done during the pandemic? Here are three things that can help.
We read about it, discuss it and experience it every single ground-hogging, jaw-clenching, paper-wasting day. The effect of the pandemic is in the back of our minds when we create. It is the forefront when we don’t. The love we feel in letting go and giving in to our creative self is fading. So, what can we do about it?
Here are three simple ways to get your writing mojo back.
1. Find a Cosy Nook
Create an area in the house just for you. Be it a bookshelf, a window sill or a favourite armchair. Treat yourself to a unique cushion cover, a warm throw or a small vase to put in wildflowers.
By giving yourself a place to turn up when you feel the urge to write, you are gifting your mind a space to warm up. Anything you do in that space is work.
As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Julia Cameron
What an opportunity to look after your writerly heart. Your creativity will flourish when it is treated like a child who’s had a tough time. Look after your inner child by looking out for ways to nourish your soul.
Make sure you have a favourite device or notebook and pen close by. Using tools that make you feel looked after will give you an overwhelming sense of wellbeing.
Being in touch with the joys of childhood can be an excellent way of dealing with challenging times.
Pretending that pain doesn’t exist, that everything is OK isn’t going to work. To get through, we have to admit that life has become challenging. Looking after our inner child will soothe us. Look for ways to encourage, coax and treat your inner artist. Understand that it needs love and time and won’t be forced out of hiding by raw anguish or rage!
2. Let Go of Expectations
I know, I know, setting goals is what focuses you. You set goals, write checklists and visualise your end goal. You think about the opportunities you have ahead of you, the networking and social media posts that you schedule to work for you and then you write. Striving towards achieving your end-goal is what keeps you going.
Except it doesn’t. Because in this climate, expectations are paralysing. Previous goals become a mountainous climb. The plans that got you jumping out of bed a mere year ago (were things ‘normal’ only a year ago?) now have you frozen in fear.
The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it.
Michael A. Singer, Author of The Untethered Soul
You need to learn how to let go and live in a flexible manner. This will ensure that you feel happier, and more imprtantly improve your ability to adapt to the consequences of this pandemic and move forward.
3. Write Anything
So you sit down in your favourite spot, and you write anything. It’ll be like turning a switch on. You have to try to limit distractions. Close the door. Leave your mobile phone in another room. Tell your family you’re working.
OK, once you’re there, what exactly do you write about?
You write about the fact that you can’t write. You write how numb you feel. The fact that you can get your head around online lessons, getting a daily walk for mental health purposes (yes, yours and the children’s!) and dealing with three mealtimes for your family.
If your spouse is at home, you’re navigating the treacherous land of ‘no absence; therefore, the heart is not becoming fonder’ moments. If he or she is away, you’re dealing with it all on your own, and it’s tough.
So it’s no surprise that your writing (what writing?) has got to the bottom of the to-do list.
By leaving your expectations by the door, you don’t kick yourself when you’re already down. You turn up in your writing spot and sit. Put a timer on for 5 minutes and write something. Anything.
Write about the many DIY projects you have to do around the house and garden. Write about the travel expeditions or cooking masterclasses you can attend from your living room chair. Write about the effect Klarna payments are having on your shoe collection. Write anything at all.
You could even write a letter to your younger version of yourself, telling you how to get through those tough times or previous tough times from your life.
And when you see your fingers flying across the keyboard at speed, you’ll experience the wonders of making a blank paper come alive. You will rediscover the joy. Your creativity and flair will return. Things will start to flow once again.
You will unlock the secret to writing through a pandemic by admitting that there’s a problem. Your previous methods of setting and visualising goals may not work for you anymore.
Be productive while others struggle to find their feet by focusing on nourishing and treating your inner child to a special writing place and letting go of all expectations.
And then write anything. A little will go a long way. You’ll see.
I wish you all the best! Now get on that phone and start browsing or messaging around to beg or borrow. Find that perfect little armchair or vase that will fit that particular cosy nook.
Treat yourself kindly and with care. And then delight your eye and fingertips with the wonders of filling a page with words.
You. Are. Welcome.
Peace and Love,