Here are five tips to get moving again when you feel stuck
Every author I have ever worked with has, at one time or another, felt stuck and unable to make forward progress in his or her writing.
The writing process usually starts out well enough until, all of a sudden, inspiration grinds to a halt. You feel stuck. Unable to continue. You stare at the blank screen and can’t seem to find the words. It’s called writer’s block. Every artist and creative soul experiences it in some form or another — usually many times.
These tips work just as well for getting unstuck in your writing as they do for getting unstuck in any other area of life.
1) Move your body in some way.
Moving your body can be as simple as turning on a song that you like and dancing around your living room. The important thing is to choose a way to move your body that is fun for you. Connecting with your body allows you to tap into wisdom you possess that is deeper and more real than any thoughts going through your head. It works wonders at getting you out of your head.
2) Do something creative that doesn’t involve writing.
Exercising a different creative muscle can open up the flow. Take photos. Play an instrument or sing. Pick up a paintbrush. Spend time coloring in one of those adult coloring books. Bake something delicious. Do a puzzle. You don’t have to be good at any of these creative pursuits. The idea is to get you unblocked and writing again.
3) Take a nap.
Your ability to write or do anything creative can be completely blocked if you are exhausted. If you are feeling empty or depleted, find ways to rejuvenate. Sleep more. Go to the spa and get a massage.
4) Discover what is underneath your resistance.
Our ego is set up to protect us, and it does so in ways we don’t always consciously recognize. We want to become an author, so we take steps to start writing our book. At this point, the ego can completely sabotage our efforts, because it wants to protect us from, say, being too successful or being rejected. Spend time digging deeper to discover what is underneath the resistance you are experiencing. Try having a conversation with your ego or resistance (verbally or through journaling). Be curious. Ask questions like, “What are you trying to protect me from? “and “What do you need from me?” Having a conversation with the voice in your head can feel crazy, but it can get you to the core of the matter.
5) Love wins.
Our first response to feeling stuck can be to “power through,” regardless of our emotions or experience. This has been my modus operandi, and I find it rarely works. Having compassion and tenderness for ourselves and our experience is far more powerful. When we feel loved and cared for, we are more likely to respond and be productive. If you need a creative break, show yourself love by allowing that break. Make friends with your ego; thank it for doing such a great job protecting you, and give it permission to take a vacation. Your process of becoming an author is as unique as you are. Embrace and accept it for what it is. Be kind to yourself most of all.
About Your Columnist
Bethany Kelly is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers everything about publishing. A publishing expert with a lifetime of experience in the industry, she writes about all things publishing. Since starting her own publishing business in 2011, she has partnered with dozens of authors, supporting them in becoming self-published and creating brilliant, beautiful books. Several of her authors have become #1 Amazon bestsellers. Her passions include reading books (no surprise), music (she plays guitar and piano) and a good laugh. Bethany is the Founder & President of Publishing Partner.