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Creating Headspace to Write When Everything Sucks
Not to put a finer point on it, but things suck right now for a lot of people. This newsletter isn't about that. It's about the act of writing when everything sucks. I find that the urge to write is different from actually writing, and sometimes it's not as simple as sitting down to write. Sometimes, you need to be in the right frame of mind--which I've found is often emotionally-driven.
Here's a quick process that might help you if you're stuck:
1. Understand what emotions drive you. Now, every writer is a bit different. Some people write out of spite or anger. Some people write to chase the blues away. Some people write no matter how they're feeling (or why). I write from a place of joy; writing, like my jewelry design, is an act of creation that I love so, so much. The thing is, your emotions exist regardless of the state of your world (and the world at large). They're an important part of you and your writing process!
2. Mark that emotional state. Emotions are something we all have, and being happy, sad, or angry when you write is something familiar to you. Think about how you're feeling when you were writing. Say you acknowledge that you often write when you're happy. Great! Write yourself a sticky note or some reminders and put 'em up where you can see them. Here, the intent is to remind yourself not only that you write, but when you wrote before.
3. Tap into that emotion. This one sounds easy enough, but in practice when everything's blowing up it can be really hard. Managing our emotions takes effort, and recreating the conditions to feel an emotion can be Herculean. The reason why I feel this is important, however, is because this emotional state is familiar and comfortable to you. Let's go back to the emotion of happiness for a second. Okay, you write when you're happy. To recreate that emotional state, you need to figure out what makes you happy. That's a process and it's different for everyone.
4. Use it. Give yourself permission to "just write". Once you are in that emotional state, just write. Whether you grab a notebook and pen, whether you sit down and pound out some words for the next hour or two, whatever you decide... There's no right or wrong about what you're doing. Your goal was to write, and that's exactly what you're doing!
If you can't achieve that emotional state, then I'd recommend thinking about what you do need. Maybe that's a sign you need help. Maybe that could signal a different approach--like a writing routine, instead. Or, maybe you realize that your writing process has changed or you need a break. Whatever the solution, I'm confident you'll find it. Hopefully, this will encourage you to figure out your own process by starting with a crucial part of you: your lovely heart.
'Til next time!
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