Soooooo- I haven’t written or posted in a few weeks. The ‘why’ is not important but I think the ‘what now’ is. I’ve begun this process of pursuing something important to me and engaging my creativity. It’s been fulfilling and interesting (to me at least) so what do I do when I get offtrack?
After a lot of thought on this topic over the last couple of weeks, I’ve realized something important. When your progress gets interrupted, the most important thing to focus on is getting the work restarted. That’s it. I recognize that this is one of those ‘Duh’ statements but stick with me for a moment.
Over the last couple of weeks, every day that I didn’t write put a little more pressure on my psyche. I’ve absolutely been more irritated and anxious. (A friend of mine pointed out that writer’s block is the result of some thing blocking your creativity and one solution is to focus out on what specifically is blocking you. I think that’s a topic for another post.) As each day passed and added another tick mark in the ‘Didn’t Write’ column, the pressure increased.
So this morning I woke up and WordPress tells me that my last post was 16 days ago. How could I possibly write today? What could I possibly produce that would be worth the delay? My first post in more than two weeks had better be something special…
Gotcha- that’s the trap.
Placing this artificial filter- that my next post should make up for the lost time- was just another barrier to being creative. Maybe that’s the vestiges of the years of doubt and fear of failure creeping back in. Whatever it is, it’s a false logic. I’m not advocating that simply stopping is OK. I’m pointing out that the most important thing about recognizing that your progress has stalled is to get back into it and start again. That’s it. The next post doesn’t need to be your opus. It just needs to be.
Writing this, WordPress gives me a nice little word counter that shows me my progress. It was word number 108 that I relaxed. A little bit of tension that I was carrying in my shoulders relaxed. I’ve got some good music playing and feel myself smiling. My objective in my ‘Open Notebook’ posts is to simply observe and document what I’m going through trying to engage my creativity. This interruption- and my awareness of it- is all part of the process. So I’ve written a little over 400 words today and it feels good.
If you’re stuck, I hope this helps. Don’t worry about making up for lost time- just get going!
[I’ve enjoyed this blog as someone that seems to be going through a similar process of transformation. Looks like I’m not the only one that gets stuck sometimes. Check out James at So Far Untitled. He’s been stuck as well but it looks like he’s working through it!]