Life can be full on. Busy schedules. Long to-do lists. Responsibilities. It’s wonderful when you find time to write but do you ever discover that, when there’s a blank page in front of you, the words won’t come?
How you feel about writing can be what holds you back from doing any actual writing. We pour our heart and soul into the words we add to the page, and that means tapping into our emotions. Have you ever felt like every word or sentence you write is forced?
To be able to write at our best we must ensure that we allow ourselves the time and space to fill our creative wells. Pushing through any barriers might help you reach a word count or deadline, but it may also compromise the quality of your work.
How can you free your mind?
Try this simple exercise to identify what helps and hinders your writing:
- Grab a sheet of paper or your writing notebook and divide the page into two columns.
- On the left side, write a list of everything you can think of that helps you connect with your writing. It might be having a dedicated writing space, a cup of your favourite coffee, a competition deadline and so on.
- On the right side, write a list of everything that prevents you from writing. This list might include family commitments, work, lack of confidence, not enough research. Don’t worry if it’s a long list!
Once you’ve done this, think of ways to maximise the items on the left then minimise or work around the impact of the items on the right.
Climb the mountain
Writing can often feel like hard work. At times, the blank page may feel like a mountain, and you may feel wholly unprepared for the arduous journey.
But, with a few easy exercises, you can be writing again in no time:
- De-clutter your physical environment – Where are you sitting to write? Is it cluttered, dark, and uninviting? By tidying the physical area, it will have a positive impact on your mental space. Environmental psychologists recently established that people generate more ideas for novel and useful solutions to creative issues when they’re at home than in any other single environment. So, make your home the perfect setting for a creative mind. Try these tips for creating the perfect writing space.
- Write in your journal – Creativity flows through you, and if you’re troubled, anxious, or struggling with other aspects of your life, it will harm your inspiration and motivation. Keeping a journal is a fabulous way of offloading without judgement and freeing your mind. Have a go at these ideas for making the most of your journal.
- Recharge – There is no sense in pushing yourself to the limits as it will have a detrimental effect on your writing and your headspace. Sometimes, it’s better to take a step back from your writing project and recharge. That might mean taking a break from writing, going on a research trip or doing another creative activity or something totally different for a while. Whatever it is, make sure it’s fun!
Only you will know what helps you be more creative. The best way to find out is to experiment. Make time to dream, brainstorm, research and find fun in writing again.
Giving yourself space to be creative is the best gift you can give yourself.