If you read my last (slightly doom-and-gloom) post, you might know that I’ve been struggling to motivate myself recently — to write, to work, to do most things (except to eat… I’m always ready to eat). Initially I was letting this get me down, but I’ve thought about it, and realised: if your brain doesn’t want to comply, sometimes you just need to let it be. But if it’s being too stubborn, sometimes there are ways to trick it.
Take writing, for example. Sometimes even the things that are supposed to be fun and enjoyable seem like chores. Yet most writers recommend writing everyday if you want to improve.
How can you do this if your brain is telling you to stay in bed until 2 p.m. to stare at the endless void that is the Internet?
Trick yourself into it. Write without letting your brain know you’re writing, in the following ways:
1. Post-it note stories
Forget filling a blank page, how about covering the surface of a post-it note first? I don’t know about you, but the prospect of an empty document or a fresh notebook page can be daunting, especially if I’m feeling empty of ideas. In comparison, a post-it note seems like a much more comfortable step to begin with.
Because it’s nothing official like putting pen to the perfect page of a new notebook, you can doodle, scribble, try whatever your heart desires. Maybe challenge yourself to tell a whole story within the limited space, or see if you can fill the note without saying anything at all. Doodle with your eyes closed and then tell the story around your drawing. If an idea begins to blossom, you can always advance to the next step: the revision card.
*Cue dramatic music* | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
2. Tales of post-its past
If you’re having trouble even filling out a post-it note, worry not. Try taking a look at notes you’ve written before, whether those are reminders, shopping lists, whatever. Instead of starting from scratch, change one aspect of something you’ve previously written. Maybe your shopping list suddenly has dragon meat; or your reminder mysteriously instructs you to hire a fruit juggler. Take the story from there: what would happen next? Read More
Hi. It’s been a while.
I’ve remembered this blog a lot in the last few weeks. More than once, I’ve thought, I need to post again soon. But I haven’t. To be honest, I’ve had the time. Especially since my exams (and my whole degree, in fact) ended in June, I could’ve done a two whole months of blogging by now.
But I didn’t, for a number of reasons. First of all, I felt scared to look at the last post I wrote. With every passing day, it was getting older and older, and I didn’t want to know when I last uploaded (March. Ouch). Secondly, and more importantly, every time I tried to write something, it felt forced. I couldn’t find a good place to start, and the words felt not quite right, somehow.
And finally, I knew that upon my return, I’d probably have to do the whole “sorry I haven’t written in a while“, teenage-girl-writing-in-her-diary drill again. I wasn’t sure if I had to suffer through that cringe-y routine again, or whether I could just continue without acknowledging my absence. Obviously now you know what I chose.
Truthfully, I haven’t written much in the last few weeks. Not just on this blog; I just haven’t written at all, apart from shopping lists and text messages (and those don’t count, right?). I’m in a bit of a limbo at the moment: I just finished my BA, new things are approaching in September, but until then, I’m just a little bit lost. Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of things to get done. And if not, there are plenty of movies and TV shows to sit through.
But it still feels like I have nothing to do. Or at least, like I don’t really want to do anything. Time is going by without my noticing, and before I can take stock, another day has finished. I seem to spend my time doing something or other, but by the end of the day, I seem to have done nothing at all.
I normally never treat this blog as a diary, or a space to clear out personal thoughts. But I’m bringing this up because my self-inflicted boredom has been affecting my writing, and pretty much most of the things I do.
So, in true writerly fashion, I’m writing about what is preventing me from writing, hoping that it’ll break my non-posting spell. Maybe the words of my next post will flow from my fingertips now.
What about you? Have you ever been in a writing/life limbo before? How did you deal with it? Let me know.
Until next time.
Photo by Ali Inay on Unsplash
“Stop here whenever you are weary
And rest in a sanctuary
from To a Butterfly
20th April 1802″
This week’s photo challenge is something found on the road taken. My parents and I visited Lake District a year or so ago, and explored a lot of it by walking.
We also walked to Wordsworth’s house. The above is a gate from there, and I thought the sign on it went well with the theme!