One way to get past writer’s block is to rediscover our sense of joy as a writer. We often get so bogged down in the swamp of life, the quicksand that becomes a week, trying to keep our nose above water, that we don’t look up and see what’s on the horizon.
We lose sight of the ‘bigger picture’. It’s not about celebrating each magnificent achievement with champagne; it’s about whistling as we work.
Here are four ways to rediscover your joy as a writer.
❶ Write your way back to happy. There was a time you were happy. You were in love. You’d started a job you loved. You took a trip with some friends. You celebrated a milestone birthday.
Open a notebook or a journal and write about those times. Try to remember as much detail of each event. Focus on the emotions you felt. Write it in the first person, present tense. It’s a great way to reconnect with yourself – with your inner joy.
❷ Find new excitement in new things. Sometimes we become stale as writers, as people. ‘You’re never too old to try something new.’ How many times have we heard that saying? Maybe there’s some truth in it.
Challenge yourself to learn or experience something new. You could take a free online course. You could take up a new fitness routine. You could discover your family tree. The idea is to try something you’ve never done before. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering. Start with something small, something achievable.
❸ Massage those anger points. The opposite of joy is anger. Resentment. Frustration. Boredom. Apathy. Our first instinct is usually to ignore these dark emotions – to bury them under work, comfort eating, and other bad habits. Don’t.
Bring these into the open and, better yet, tackle them on the page. Write about what makes you angry. If that’s too personal or makes you feel too vulnerable, then write about a character who is angry. Anger is a strong motivator for change.
❹ Dance to your own music. In today’s crazy, fast-paced world, it’s difficult to find time just for yourself. But sometimes a small ritual or a private moment can set your mood for the rest of the day. Find yours.
Maybe you can sing out loud to your favourite song as you get dressed in the morning – or drive to work. Choose one and play it every day. It will act as your ‘trigger’ to get you in the right frame of mind. It could be reading a page from an inspirational book, or a few moments of quiet meditation. Find what works for you.
Sometimes when we think we’re drowning, we’re not: if we look up, we’ll see we’ve swam halfway across a very vast ocean. If we look up, we’ll see the shore and we won’t believe how close we are to the shore and achieving our dreams.
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