How to develop a rewarding Writing Practice after losing your connection to your writing? Our Craft needs to be nurtured and nourished.
Here’s the thing…
The act of Creativity is meant to be a joyous one. It’s meant to be about connecting you to your best self. Sure, we might not always have moments where we feel that way, but for the most part, if we have chosen a particular creative profession, chances are it’s because once upon a time, when it was first presented to us, we leaned toward it because it completely lit us up from the inside-out.
The minute it starts to make us feel stressful, we end up becoming bitter and resentful towards something that used to give us the greatest sense of happiness and end up crippling our best work.
Don’t expect a fulfilling or rewarding relationship with your Writing if you are no longer treating it with the same level of enthusiasm and wonderment that you first started with. If you are approaching your work with sheer agony and complete dread each and every time you sit yourself in front of your screen, then you will gain little more than aching shoulders and a sore head from over thinking, with dry material that leaves you completely uninspired and what’s worse, makes you feel utterly incompetent.
So, how to develop your Writing Practice?
There are a number of things for you to consider if you need to get yourself back on course. Sometimes it can be as simple as hitting the reset button and reviewing what’s led you here in the first place. Or it could mean that you may just need a little time out…
The first thing is identify what’s conflicting you most about your writing practice?
What part of the process are you struggling with? How long have you been feeling like this? Depending on what emerges, will determine the steps you need to take.
In the past I have had great trouble in simply starting. I face huge confrontation when I need to commence a piece of work. I’ve spent a great deal of time with my Creative Scoundrels and have come to recognise when they emerge. In recent years, I feel fortunate that their presence has diminished. However, there is much that I have developed within myself to get me to this point of no longer feeling intimidated by them.
Here’s some tips on how to develop your Writing and getting more acquainted with your Habits and Patterns:
LIST: Make a list of all the things that trouble you most about your writing practice. It may be starting a sentence, generating ideas, feeling uninspired… Once you’ve generated this list, then you can clearly identify where your main issues are and take the necessary steps to work around them. In the past, I have always found the subtle art of Trickery to be most effective in helping me overcome where I feel stuck. Tricking the mind through the act of starting with what you are more comfortable with can often lead to creative breakthroughs.
The Writing Practice needs flexibility as much as it needs structure. Learning to navigate between the two makes you fare more adaptable.
BURN OUT: How long have you been pursuing your practice? Sometimes we just need a disconnect from our work. I liken it to taking a holiday. This means completely abandoning it for a period of time. Hitting the reset button like I mentioned before. However, be certain that this is in fact the case and that you are not mistaking it for Laziness. Which leads me to my next point…
LAZINESS: Are you not applying yourself enough? Sometimes we may think that we’re making the effort, but in actual fact, we may not necessarily be putting in as much as what our craft demands. Only you can be the judge of how much you are committing to your practice.
TIME: When we start, we might not always have our ideas in place, or we have a great beginning and then become stuck. This is completely normal. The more you agonise over how your the next idea is going to emerge the more you inhibit yourself from allowing the effort of flexibility to support your block…Eventually, it always comes. When we start, we are building momentum. This momentum ignites new ideas. It slowly links the missing pieces of the puzzle together. Try to relax into the space so you can free yourself up, instead of confining what’s trying to emerge.
INSPIRATIONAL MATERIAL: Here’s the thing on how to develop your writing. It needs our support. It needs our attention. It will reward us tenfold if we make the effort to give it the time and unconditional love it deserves. What kind of inspirational material do you surround yourself with? How are you feeding and nurturing your creative life? Think broad. Don’t limit yourself to just Writing Manuals. There are plenty of sources to inspire and enrich our creativity. Shift your perspective. Look towards other creative modalities. By engaging with different sources, we are learning to see and approach our craft through a different light. It’s shining a new angle on something that you haven’t seen before. Take in the work of other creatives, whether they be photographers, dancers, artists, designers…Let the world of other artists inspire your relationship with writing.
ENJOYMENT: Remember what led you down this path to begin with. Allow yourself the gift of complete creative abandonment. This means taking some time to be with your craft for no other purpose but to simply experience the sheer pleasure of what it brings you. What does this look like? For me, it has always been Journalism. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than when I am deeply engrossed in my journal. It is the place where I feel completely uninhibited and know that my Critic and Creative Scoundrel cannot come anywhere near me. It is where I experience the greatest level of free expression…
WRITING BIBLES: How are you supporting your Writing? What kind of material do you surround yourself with? Do they need a refresh or perhaps you need to revisit them? Our inspirational material should not be limited to Writing Sources alone. Cultivating our creativity comes from cultivating ourselves. Books usually present themselves when we need them most. Here are a list of some of my most treasured books that I turn to regularly:
The Artist’s Way: Julia Cameron
Writing Down The Bones: Natalie Goldberg
The Heroine’s Journey: Maureen Murdock
The Little Prince: Antoine DeSaint-Exupery
Illusions: Richard Bach
First You Have To Row A Little Boat: Richard Bode
A New Earth: Eckhart Tolle
Big Magic: Elizabeth Gilbert
Our Craft needs to be nurtured and nourished. It demands a level of attention and quality so that in return, it can reward us with having the most enriched experiences. Value your Craft and make the effort. What it gives back results in supporting us to evolve, elevate and extend ourselves…
Need some help with your Writing Practice..?
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Happy travels, Paula x