Lately I have come across some interesting reading from bloggers, not to say I wasn’t before but this has been much more focused on ways to help others. Some have suggestions to improve writing, some offer beauty and health hints, some are dedicated to the arts or teach us all manner of things from cooking to furniture.
The reason they have stood out for me, is because not only was my interest captured but they contained a generic thread that meant I could apply it to others facets of my life. I think these days this is very helpful. Life can be stressful and we need reminders we are not alone in our fears, doubts and joys.
I don’t blog on a particular subject for a particular audience – yes, I know that is the opposite of what we are supposed to do. However, I am interested in lots of things and I love finding things that apply to more than a select group like writers. I may be an author but I also like variation. With this in mind I managed to track down a blog post I read some time ago, dealing with writer’s block. I remembered it because while it had a specific topic, it lent itself to more than the writer’s perspective. That’s the kind of reading I like and the kind of writing I want to do.
We all have a moments in our professional lives when things don’t go according to the plan and often the solution is profession specific. However, there are other moments when things are not working because the problem has more to do with ourselves. Those moments are born of doubt in our abilities, of boredom, of uncertainty, or sometimes just tiredness, a burn out and burning out is non-specific. It hits everyone at some stage.
The article, Breaking the Block, by Sherry Parnell, written for writers lent itself to more of a global audience. I thought I would share her wise words with a twist of my own. When we come to a standstill, we isolate ourselves without meaning to because we don’t know the answers, we only know we have to find a solution. Naturally, we think to look internally, either inside ourselves or in the work area we belong to. However, looking wider, more generically gives us more possibilities. In this case I was reading about something that plaques writers but instead of applying it only to writer’s block, I found myself doing these things when other problems arose.
Read, Talk and be aware of surroundings
Reading teaches us new things. It doesn’t have to be work related. Fiction teaches and provides enjoyment. We need that to relax our minds and then we need to talk, have conversations about anything and everything and particularly about how we are feeling. Being aware of those around us, of nature and taking pleasure in simple things is soothing. I cook new dishes or vary old ones because succeeding at something however small, energises me and then I find it easier to tackle the problem.
Music, art , watch television? Why not? These things give me ideas. At other times though I just chill and enjoy. I recently went to an art exhibition and went home and wrote. It was only a small piece, but it got me re-started. It turned out the more I thought about writing the less I did. The less I thought about writing, the more ideas came to me. I know that at this stage I am a beginner but whatever stage we are at in our work or private lives, we still get tired and so, we still need to chill.
I have always wanted to play an instrument and be able to draw but I know my limitations. Choosing something that is new is good, but overreaching puts you further back. I try not to choose what can frustrate. I think we need to challenge ourselves but doing something we know we basically suck at emphasises our discomfit. My head doesn’t lend itself beyond learning the scales in music. In my head I am perfect but my fingers refuse to accept this fact. What should I do? Easy, I press a button and enjoy.
This is one I am careful with. I don’t mind pushing but I am careful not to put pressure on myself. I burn out hard and long, and not just in the professional area. The idea of the deadline however cements the idea of the end product and that gets us thinking about doing things, gets us looking beyond that burnout, creates a new interest. So, I set a deadline for something other than what I am supposed to be doing, something I can manage. It might be as simple as filing. It gives me that sense of achievement that carries me through the real task, like writing my second novel. Distraction that is sensible, achievable but interesting and exciting gives us a win. A small victory or two and we are ready to tackle something bigger with a better attitude including that novel.
What do you think about all this? Let me know.