I, for one, can say that these pesky stay at home orders have actually impacted my writing in a productive way. But for others, the stress of the unknown and the hysteria that flows through the air has done nothing than be a giant road block. The question is, how do you find the want to write when you can’t stop stressing about what’s going on around you?
Today, I’ll discuss a few ways I’ve found it helpful to continue my writing progress without becoming distracted or overwhelmed. These proven methods have landed me 70,000 words in a two month block of time. So, it works!!
1. A digital detox
Yes. You heard me. Sometimes unplugging from the very source that’s driving our stress is the only way to immerse ourself back into our literary worlds. At the start of March, I found myself consuming news media while reading and writing less and less each day. I can admit openly and honestly, the fear got to me in a bad way. Once I realized how detrimental it was to my passion, I made the decision to detox entirely. In the process of a couple days I found myself refreshed and able to move back into the stories I was vigorously writing before.
2. Read a book!
So easy huh? But it isn’t! The world is SO DISTRACTING. How can anyone find the time to read?
It’s quite obvious to me as a writer, that reading is extremely important. The more you read, the better writer you become. And I’ve learned first hand how true this statement is. When Covid-19 hit, I stopped reading. The result was bland and uninteresting words. That “idea” pot, as I like to call it, was drained. Actually, it was a barren wasteland. I didn’t have the constant influx of stories ideas as before when I was reading all the time and my style wasn’t improving. I like to think of reading as studying. The more exposure to other author’s styles and writing techniques, the better I can be at it. So reading helps!
3. Clear your head
This is often times the hardest of the four because we don’t always have a lot of extra time on our hands. Some of us juggle families, work, and other responsibilities that slow our progress done, but I have a solution for that!
EFFECTIVE WAYS TO CLEAR YOUR HEAD
1. Take a walk around the block
2. Immerse yourself in the outdoors
3. Talk with a loved one
4. Journal about the things that clog your head
I bet if you do any of these, you’ll come out cleaner and much more ready to put words onto the page. Perhaps, even inspired beyond your imagination!
4. Lastly, remember why you did it all in the first place
What made you take up the pen rather than the sword? Why was the glory of being a writer appealing to you? And what fueled your fire from the start?
It’s self evident that chaos creates distraction. Distraction moves you further away from why you decided to become a writer in the first place.
I get it. Self-doubt is something all people struggle with. I do, however, think that artists get an extra dose of self-doubt that others aren’t accustomed to. The equation becomes unbalanced the minute you lose sight of the reason why you started. I know, because this happened to me. The less and less I wrote, the less I felt like a writer and the more I contemplated just giving up the fantasy entirely.
It wasn’t until I was pretty down on my spirits that I remembered what was important to me. Words were important. Telling stories were important. And showing those to the word was more important than ever. If people were sad, then I’d give them something to cheer them up! If people needed humor, I’d try making them laugh! Writing for me, has always been about moving other people and challenging others way of thinking. Convincing myself of these mission statements was what it took for me to continue forward.
My last bit of Advice
Don’t forget your passion. Never forget your drive. Always remember the destination ahead of you.
Alexander // the Tea Cup Writer