I know you think finishing this project that you’re working- or you’ve been working on- on is horrifically painful, difficult, and near-impossible, but it’s not. I promise.
A few little tricks will clear your mind more than that desperate weekend vacation you’re considering taking. Or those hours in front of the TV you call ‘a break’.
It’s may be because you’ve worked yourself into a rut. Or maybe you’re just out. Out of words, ideas, or pissed off at everything you’ve been working on and just plain discouraged. Either way- this post is for you! For the sake of your salvation from the dreaded block, and let’s face it-
Sorry. Sometimes, being a little over-dramatic is wicked fun. Honestly… I wouldn’t have accomplished anything in the past year without these not-so-new-but-good-to-be-reminded-of secrets. I wish I’d known them since high school! But it’s never too late too learn new tricks.
I actually spent a month during the summer of spending ten hours a day ‘working’ and getting nothing done. It was making me crazy and restless.
But I blasted that motherfucking rut like no other with these tips:
1. Write something else for an entire week. This sounds crazy but it works (if you don’t have a nasty, impending deadline (see other options)). You’ll miss your original characters or you’ll fall in love with new ones. I usually end up writing lines of dialouge in the margins of my spiral for my first set of characters once I have my mind taken off the enormity of the project! Writer’s Block Boom! Gone!
2. New Music. Get together an entirely new playlist of songs that you’ve previewed on iTunes and fallen in love with. Look and listen in the related sections on iTunes of your favorite artists. This especially works for those who write with music on- but for those who prefer otherwise (which I can’t even fathom but alright): Download the new music anyway, but just close your eyes and listen to it and let your imagination run clear. Try not to think of anything too specific. Follow the words of the song, follow the instruments in the background. Until you get a clear idea. Then shut it off and do your thing. Sort of like mediation… which leads me to my next post.
3. Meditation. I know you’re probably thinking it’s not my thing, it just doesn’t work for me, I sit in yoga class daydreaming/drifting off during meditation time, but hear me out for just a sec! I too was convinced I could never quiet my mind, and now? I am convinced that meditation is the solution to most problems AND that all successful people do it- because it helps quiet your mind and focus. Like the pathway is just.. illuminated.
I’m 100% sure all writer’s do it, consciously or subconsciously. It’s not as silly or boring as it may seem to you. I look forward to it, now, like getting back to reading an addicting book or finishing a television series on Netflix that you’ve tackled. Every time I meditate, shit just starts working out for me. Like fucking magic. Pink stars falling from the sky… Under the Dome style.
I know- you have bills to worry about, a cluttered house to clean, dogs to walk, dinner to cook- but you still can get four hours of writing/working done before you have to start on all that. So just shut up and take 2-10 minutes, and focus on a single thought and repeat it in your mind over and over again. If you’re not sure what that is, it can just be your ‘happy place’, or if you want to get extra-spiritual, you can imagine a glowing, growing light at the top of your head, purifying your body, spreading throughout it, from the top of your head to your toes, slowly, slowly, slowly.
Afterwards… everything is just ten times easier and stress free. This is a secret my Pop, a yoga teacher, taught me. And its the secret to how I’ve painlessly finished every project I’ve set out to in the past year.
Don’t forget that the less stressed you are, the less stress you’re attracting into your life 🙂 Now I fully understand why people who meditate love it so much, and how it makes you a better person: I have more patience, I feel stronger emotionally and mentally, like I can handle anything you throw at me, I don’t need to depend on food and exercise for energy and endorphins as much. I’m not always in a state of need for something! I’m more content. And therefore attracting more into my life!
4. Minimalism. This may be entirely new to you, like it was to me…a month ago, or maybe you’ve heard of it already. Ever since I stumbled upon The Minimalist’s Blog, which inspired me so much in it’s beginning posts that I’ve been so busy minimizing and writing to keep reading the rest- even though I desperately want to! I finally have my priorities sorted out and this resounding clarity I hadn’t realized I’ve been craving, now that my relatively small apartment is filled with only what I need- giving me the space and clarity I need to focus on the things that really matter, my true priorities. Not to mention keeping my place clean and practically dust free is ten times easier. I even have time to exercise an hour a day, six days a week. I used to do it every other day. BEST things I’ve ever tried, in my life. And I only did my bedroom, closet, and bathroom.
It took a lot of time to clear out my space, all my crap, but I had enough room afterwards to fit in a new, bigger desk, that cost me only $30 thanks to IKEA 🙂
Now I can’t wait to change my kitchen, living, and dining room. But I’ve been doing so much writing and accomplishing my
I was able to donate tons of clothes to Salvation Army, amongst other things. It made me so happy to take three full trashbags of clothes to people who need it. I imagine the woman who only has a handful of shirts to her name or the woman who only has the one on her back, taking it with happiness and gratitude. It makes me so happy.
Think about it: don’t you usually end up rotating your top ten favorite pairs of pajamas anyway? So why do you need 30 tops and pants? I gave myself strict rules and numbers. I’m only allowed to have TWO medium sized boxes of keepsake/memory related stuff. I realized how strange and unhealthy my attachment to objects are, and it’s probably due to the childhood that was cut too short and I try to keep every relatively happy memory I have, because there were few in the first place. It helped me realize that and come to terms with the fact that I need to seek therapy for some unresolved, distressing issues in my childhood. I also realized had a tendency of keeping crap I might need one day- a habit I took on from my mother- who is a hoarder in the minimalism sense. Haha. The nightmare was realized and prevented: I am no longer turning into my mother. Good news.
Just kidding. She’s amazing. She just keeps too much crap.
Until next time.