A wonderful counsellor said to me once, you cannot do your best work when you are in a blue or red zone. You have to be in the green zone.
So, even without looking directly at the model, it stands to reason that if you are caught in the midst of the red or blue areas you're not going to be terribly productive!
You've heard of going with your flow, of being in the zone - whatever you call it, the principle stands.
You're in your calm, productive zone.
The clarity is glorious, the ideas crystalising and the ideas and concepts which had been weighing on your mind (and prickling your conscience) have all of a sudden found their way beyond the confines of a foggy mind, down your now fluid shoulders and arms and the words come dancing up on the screen to the rhythm of a constant, fast-tapped keyboard.
Writers block is a very real - and rather calamitous - condition which beleaguers writers of all nature.
Be they authors, professors, journalists, professional scribes or columnists, the one reliable condition of their pursuit is that there will come a time when they come to a hault and they have no idea from where to start again.
It is as physical an affliction as mental. And it is more exhausting sitting, looking at a screen of blankness, or maybe some half-constructed sentences which seem to be staring back at you with a sinister undertone of "so now what?".
So how do you get past it?
If anyone really had the answer to that question, they'd be rich!
But there are some techniques and tricks which have worked over the years and have given short shrift to even the most stubborn of cases of writers block.
Really, these are just pointers - and it's up to you to go through that tried and tested process of trial and error to see how you go.
1. Walk Away. Not for good. But get up and know when you're beat. The more you sit staring at the screen, the faster your frustration grows - and what follows is a vicious circle of angst and deep disappointment over the fact you cannot seem to put words to paper. Get up, go for a walk. Make a cup of tea. Take a nap if fatigue if the cause of your woe. Play with the dogs, read to the kids. Cook. Garden. Do whatever it is which will help in the reframing of your block-ridden disposition.
2. Practice mindfulness. You have been mulling over a sentence of no more than even 12 words for the past hour, ruminating, pontificating and wallowing in the malais which is your writers block. Yuck! What a terrible waste of hours that you'll never get back! Either at your desk, or, preferably away from it in a favoured spot in your home or office (or somewhere close by) take a moment of pause to stop, observe and become immersed in your surrounds. Consider what you see. Focus on the facets and colours and diversity of the visual palette laid out in front of you. Now be observant of what you hear. Traffic? Children playing and nattering? Footsteps? Then scratch the surface and consider more closely. The breeze. A bird. A person whistling. A far off beeping horn? Certainly this is in an urban context, but you get the drift. Then do the same for your sense of smell and sense of touch. Feel your shirt or trousers as the breeze moves it to and fro against you. Be conscious of the smell of cut lawn or the smell of coffee from a nearby vendor. Feel the strap of your handbag on your shoulder, or your wallet in the inside pocket of your jacket. Expereince every sense and focus.
3. Breathe. This and mindfulness go hand in hand. Deep nourishing breaths which feel like they fill every last crevice of your cavernous lungs are renewing to the body and mind. Visualise your body expelling the negativity and anxiety and confidence inhibitors which stand blocking you from your potential. With every exhale imagine the fractured pieces of that block being expelled and your creativity and talent being given the freedom to channel through your mind and finally form a conherant and fluid body of work.
4. Remind yourself. You started this project for a reason, right? So it doesn't hurt to remember that from time to time. If vision boards are your thing then do one and focus on it when inspiration is called upon. Make a diary note when you manage to overcome writers block. Chronicle what brought you back so you can draw on that wisdom when it happens again. Quietly meditate on the importance of the project and your why behind it. The authentic and truest WHY is your most powerful tool and it is that which will pull you out of the darkest pits.
With every block conquered, there is a renewed determination and confidence that the project is nearer to completion. That's in the literal and emotional sense.
There's never a need - or a justification - for giving up.
Just be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself the natural shortcoming that plagues every writer at one point or other, and just keep going.
You know it will be worth it.
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