“One day I’ll quit my job and write a book!”
Have you ever said that?
Or what about…
“One day, I’ll go on a retreat and write my book?”
We’ve been gifted a unique opportunity.
Lives have been put on hold, we’re encouraged to Stay Home Save Lives. We are in a unique moment to make the most of this pause in normalcy to do something soulful, something we’ve always dreamed of doing.
If you have always wanted to squirrel yourself away, take a sabbatical, or an extended vacation…
This is the perfect opportunity to get writing!
It’s not Isolation It’s a Retreat
Let’s start with a mindset choice…
You’re not ‘stuck at home’, you are ‘safe at home’
You’re not ‘in isolation’ , you are ‘on a retreat’
As we adjust to our current reality we can think of this time as taking that retreat (just at home).
This can be a retreat with your business and with your creativity.
Being Productive at a Time of Grief
It’s understandable, indeed, it’s expected that our motivation may be waning right now.
I have a theory that this is a stage of grief.
Tragically, many of will be grieving for the loss of loved ones, due to COVID 19. But that doesn’t undervalue your own emotions at this time.
We’re responding to this unexpected and unwelcome change; grieving for the things we’ve lost… At the time of writing this, we’re almost a month into lockdown here in the UK. We may yet experience stages of grief, in our own sweet time and on our terms.
I’m not qualified to help people deal with their emotions, I’m simply sharing a perspective, some information and encouraging people to reach out to those who can help.
What I can do, is empower, inspire and bring a little positivity.
It’s OK not to be at your most productive.
Finding the motivation to do anything productive right now, considering the crisis unfolding around us, is perfectly normal!
Don’t put pressure on yourself to perform, to behave as if everything is normal when clearly, it isn’t.
Just be. Find things to be grateful and positive about.
That said, we can use it as an opportunity to make space in our days, in our routines, to get creative to carve out time to write.
Writing for the Soul
Writing has many proven benefits for your mental health.
Call it writing mindfully but I like to think of it as soulful writing. Not only can it nourish your mind but it can nourish your soul too.
Writing for self-care. Processing our thoughts and feelings. Releasing what’s going on in our heads; getting it out of your system.
That stream of consciousness can be an incredibly cathartic process; to sit and write down what’s going on in your brain is part of the process of being mindful of our current situation. Acknowledging and accepting our thoughts and feelings.
It’s surprising how quickly those thoughts and feeling stop fogging your mind and allow more positive and productive ideas to surface.
An important part of self-care is to actually express our thoughts and feelings, by giving them words we give ourselves a voice, even if no one ever sees it. Taking it out of our minds gives us a sense of relief, allowing us to move on.
Just write, for the sake of writing.
No one needs to see it.
Write in a notebook.
Allow your mind to drift. Dump the guff out of your brain and make some space in there to stretch your creative legs.
It’s surprising what little nuggets pop out when we clear away the word-cobwebs!
Don’t question it, don’t second guess yourself, don’t edit as you go, don’t pressurise yourself, just do it – Just write!
I call it ‘Unintentional Writing’
Writing just because…
A Soulful Writing Mindset
Writing those things down, getting the words out of our brains also has the advantage of putting us in a mindset for writing.
Literally writing a stream of consciousness – what we’re thinking about right now – let it flow then keep going.
Don’t self-edit, the point of this exercise is not to produce a beautiful piece of writing, it’s to actually get words out of your brain, unblock what’s in there. Find clarity by giving it words, giving it a voice and giving substance to our thoughts. It has the advantage of breaking through those creative blocks.
Writing because you feel like you should be writing, but don’t know what to write about.
Before you know it, what’s buried beneath will come to the surface. The thing that you need to write – right now – the thing that you need to acknowledge and needs to come out. The thing you need to say will gradually find it’s way out of your brain and through your hands. Once you break through the fog, putting yourself in that experience of writing, you can start to tap into the creative nuggets.
It’s a bit like panning for gold. Shaking away the dirt to find those shiny morsels. Scooping up all of the rubbish that’s in your brain and washing it out through your words until it releases those hidden gems.
You can then cut and paste those shiny morsels into your blogs, your book, or whatever writing project you are working through.
Time To Get Writing
I am planning a series of online events and activities to inspire and motivate you to get writing.
Join me on:
Whether it’s creating a bulk of blogs and creative content to see you through the rest of the year; to get ahead of yourself with your content marketing – or writing the book that you’ve always wanted to write.
Slightly selfishly, by taking you through this process, I’m following my own advice, so I can unblock some of my own creative barriers. I’m taking a soulful approach to my own writing. If I turn my energies towards inspiring you to write, in turn, my energies will be directed to write and tap into my own creativity. I want to start my next big writing project!