You’re staring at that screen.
You’re checking, let’s see, email, Facebook, you go back to that empty word file.
Now, the negative self-talk begins.
Anxiety-You have to finish, and you haven’t even started.
Self-Critic-Why in the world did you ever agree to this?
Fun Guy-Tomorrow, Next Week, Next Year, anytime but now’s looking pretty good at this point.
The Angry Beast-Time to Pound the Keyboard.
Pay yourself that penny, note your thoughts.
Gone to the Dark Writer Web?
Someone might laugh at what you write.
Someone might be angry at what you write.
Someone might criticize your writing as “bad”.
Perhaps NO ONE will read what you write.
Let’s get back to the light.
Wake up in the Buddhist sense of being present.
Are you breathing from your chest?
That’s a sure sign of anxiety.
Send all your breath out of you with a calm and patient hiss until you have no more breath.
Now, when you are empty of breath, your abdomen will have no choice but to fill with breath.
Feel your abdomen fill, and breathe from there, filling up slowly.
Close your eyes, and watch your mind.
When it’s empty, keep that abdominal breath going, and see yourself typing happily.
Vigorous exercise BEFORE a writing session is also one of the best ways I know to restore your healthy instincts.
2-Disinvest in Whatever’s Right in Front of You
Odds are, you’re stuck, because some part of you is invested too heavily emotionally in whatever you’re working on.
What does that mean?
It means you’re not using your assets to write, you’re using the credit card of expecting someone else’s approval to be successful.
You need to relax and consider why this piece of writing is so important to you. Does it mean you won’t have to put on clothes ever again in the morning?
Do you expect traffic on a major highway to all pull off to the side when you appear just because of this one piece?
Here’s the biggest one of all. Do you think people will approve of you, or you’ll approve of yourself because you write this?
How much weight are you putting on this item? More than it can possibly satisfy?
Time to get in touch with all those impossible outcomes, talk with someone else, or best of all, with yourself. Write down what you expect, see if you expect too much, and let go those expectations without self-criticism. Accept those expectations, and let them go.
3-Create Something Else in the Short Term or Turn to Another Language
One of the most effective ways I know to restore your playful and creative writing instincts is to do something else creative to relax the pressure you are putting on doing this one writing project.
Write something else, make it fun, make it a product of giving yourself the permission to write something wacky, private, and lousy, as long as you enjoy it.
Here’s another interesting way to relax back into your creative instincts:
Play some music.
Read aloud pretending you’re on stage.
If you know another language, spend an hour speaking and our writing in it, so that you disinvest that “stake” in that single writing project that you’re stuck on.
4-Permission and Approval
Remind yourself that you aren’t what you write, no matter how good or bad it is.
Remind yourself you’re a human being, not a human doing.
Remind yourself that you will always win by failing, even if your eventual success doesn’t show up right away.
Channel your ideal reader. Make sure you have an ideal reader, the person whose image you can summon at will, someone you know, or someone you’ve made up, who loves you and is excited about your writing, no matter what.
5-Enlist your Brain
Pretend by sending yourself a congratulatory email that you’ve finished this challenging project and are ready for something new, then, without thinking,
dive right into what’s been giving you trouble.
You’ve now gotten your brain to help you bring about the outcome it already informed you of.
Writer’s Block is just another expression for a kind of self-imposed prison.
When you rediscover the joy of writing, you’ve simply set yourself free.
Write, rejoice in your creativity, and let your fingers dance across the keys as you soar to new heights.
If you’re a writer, there’s no greater self-kindness than liberation.
Lars Nielsen has decades of experience helping individuals and businesses discover and share their core message. Whatever your message or audience, grab his “Make YOUR Message Matter Cheat Sheet” and put his time-tested techniques to work immediately.